photo courtesy of saintheron.com
The rumors surrounding the R&B legend have been officially confirmed. After spending a month in London, Mary J. Blige is coming out with a new album.
“Mary J. Blige, The London Sessions” will boast ten tracks and some serious variety. Blige got together with Disclosure, Emeli Sande, Sam Smith, Jimmy Napes, and Naughty Boy for several songs. The release is coming via Capital Records this November.
So why London? Aside from the obvious slew of great music coming out of the UK over the last year or so, it started when Blige took interest in Disclosure’s single “F for You” last year after seeing the video on Vevo. She had to get in touch – the result was less a cover than it was a unique collaboration (go listen to it – she takes it to another level). After that, the London music vibe wouldn’t leave her alone.
“Our idea was to become part of London,” she told The Guardian, “to really embrace the culture – to really live in it. Not that I haven’t been here before, but I’ve never had the chance to really soak in it the way I have this time. To make records from the London-scene perspective.”
Of the album’s theme, Sam Smith offered some thoughts. “We’re just saying what’s in our minds and in our hearts. Some people think that when you are singing about heartbreak, or how lonely you are, or how sad, that you are admitting to weakness. But I don’t see that as weakness. I see that as strength – to be able to face your issues and your sadness head-on… I think that’s what this Mary album is about – a fearless vulnerability.”
Blige didn’t stay in the studio for the full duration of her trip – she made it a point to meet Mitch Winehouse. “She was one of the special ones, and I never got the chance to meet her” she said of Amy Winehouse. “It was like he gave me the chance to hug her through him.”
The whole trip, one-month deadline and all, was clearly exactly what Blige wanted it to be. “Working with these guys, it’s like they’re my family… And I love to work. I love creating, and once I’m in it, I’m just in it. I just love being in the midst of the creativity.”