Musiq Tunes In The '80s On His Soulstarradio

Singer's feel-good LP due December 9.

LOS ANGELES — On the back cover of his last album, Musiq is pictured thumbing through crates of vinyl, surrounded by 8-tracks. Perhaps his new artwork will find him immersed in cassettes.

"I'm a '70s baby, but I'm trying to step into the '80s a little bit," Musiq said, talking particularly about his upcoming single, "Forthenight." "It has a little bit of a nice four-on-the-floor, skating-rink kind of feel-good vibe. I'm just trying to break the monotony of things that's going on, trying to cut through, create my own lane in the process, but definitely just trying to make feel-good music."

"Forthenight" is the first single from Musiq's third album (see "Musiq To Drop Soulstar In December"), now due December 9. Originally called Soulstar, it will now carry the title Soulstarradio.

"I didn't wanna come out as like this arrogant dude saying, 'I'm the soul star!' " Musiq said, explaining the change backstage at Sunday's Shortlist concert (see "Irish Singer Damien Rice Wins Shortlist Music Prize"). "I chose Soulstarradio because it's more like I'm trying to make music and contribute to what I would like to hear on the radio. But the idea of Soulstar comes from all of the soul stars from the past, like Stevie Wonder, Donny Hathaway, Marvin Gaye, James Brown, Sly & the Family Stone, etc. that I'm basically trying to follow within the tradition of.

"I'm just praying that I can live up to it," he added, with a smile.

That shouldn't be a problem. Musiq's last album, Juslisen, topped the charts when it was released last spring (see "Musiq Tops Albums Chart, Lauryn Hill Makes Big Debut"), and while the new material flirts more with '80s sounds, it won't be that different from what fans are used to.

"If you fused Aijuswanaseing, which is my first album, with Juslisen, then you get Soulstarradio, basically," Musiq explained.

The new album will likely include a cover of the Rolling Stones' "Miss You," but Musiq isn't sure if any artists themselves will guest. What he is sure about is that Soulstarradio will be promoted with a world tour.

"I definitely have to give it up to my international fans, 'cause I didn't really do it on my last album," he said. "I might even go and live [somewhere overseas] for a little while. I'm thinking about that really hard. Go to London, go to Japan, somewhere, and just chill out there for maybe a month or so."