With a new album set to be released in June, the often tight-lipped pop megastar Beyoncé spilled details of her long-awaited return to the music scene with Billboard, discussing her latest single “Run The World (Girls)” and revealing the name and concept of her forthcoming album, 4.
While discussing her current single, “Run The World (Girls),” which has received mixed reviews from fans and critics, Beyoncé explains that she intended to take a risk with the single’s alternative sound.
“It’s definitely riskier than something a bit more…simple. I just heard the track and loved that it was so different: it felt a bit African, a bit electronic and futuristic. It reminded me of what I love, which is mixing different cultures and eras — things that typically don’t go together — to create a new sound. I can never be safe; I always try and go against the grain. As soon as I accomplish one thing, I just set a higher goal. That’s how I’ve gotten to where I am,” she said.
Besides taking a risk with her single, Beyoncé explains that the entire new album was an experiment in sound, pulling inspiration from various cultures and musical genres and that she recorded more than 60 songs in the process of creating the album.
“Everything I ever wanted to try, I just did it. I started off being inspired by Fela Kuti. I actually worked with the band from “Fela!” [the hit Broadway musical based on his life] for a couple of days, just to get the feel for the soul and heart of his music,” said Beyoncé.
“I also found a lot of inspiration in ’90s R&B, Earth, Wind & Fire, DeBarge, Lionel Richie, Teena Marie… I listened to a lot of Jackson 5 and New Edition, but also Adele, Florence + the Machine, and Prince. Add in my hip-hop influences, and you can hear how broad it is. I also gave myself more freedom to really belt out some songs, and bring soul singing back: I used a lot of the brassiness and grittiness in my voice that people hear in my live performances, but not necessarily on my records,” she said.
In the article, Beyoncé also explains the origins of the title of her album, 4, citing it as a significant number in her life.
“We all have special numbers in our lives, and four is that for me. It’s the day I was born. My mother’s birthday, and a lot of my friends’ birthdays, are on the fourth; April 4 is my wedding date.”
What do you think of Beyoncé’s new single and her new direction in music?