Britney Spears has kept most things about her upcoming album under wraps, but at least one of the producers she’s collaborated with confirmed what many have speculated — that the singer, like her recent head-turning photo spreads in the New York Times, W and Elle, is definitely going in a more adult direction.
“We went in the studio and cooked up something hot for the dance floor, made something real sexy,” P. Diddy told MTV News backstage at the Video Music Awards last week. “It’s going to be great.”
Diddy declined to give song titles, since the tracks aren’t finished and the album isn’t due until November. While other producers who have worked with the singer, including the Matrix and Fred Durst, have described Britney’s new material as having a trip-hop vibe reminiscent of Madonna’s “Ray of Light” (see “Who’s Been Hooking Up With Britney? We Got ’Em To Talk” ), Diddy said Spears actually has a wider range on the upcoming album, which MTV got a sneak preview of earlier this summer (see “Britney Previews LP, Denies Rumors Of ’Cry Me A River’ Response” ).
Besides ballads, dance tracks and Middle Eastern rhythms, Spears also raps on one track, “Brave Girl.” “I think she’s giving you a lot to work with,” Diddy said. “She’s broke out of that just pop [style], just being a pop artist. She’s being a trendsetter. She has many styles. You don’t know how she’s going to come and hit you next.”
Diddy said he came out of the sessions with a newfound respect for Spears and found that she had taught him a thing or two as well.
“As a performer, as an artist, as a songwriter, she ain’t no slouch,” he said. “It was great working with her. She was real quick, real quick. I wouldn’t go into the studio with nothing that wouldn’t motivate me. The way she did it her way, that motivated me to get with her and give her a bit of my flavor mixed with hers, to get her to do something combustionable.
“Is that a word?” he asked, laughing.
Spears plans to unveil two new songs during her performance at the NFL Kickoff concert, which will be televised live on ABC at 8 p.m. ET September 4 (see “Britney Spears To Perform Two New Songs On NFL TV Special” ).
—Jennifer Vineyard, with additional reporting by SuChin Pak