BEVERLY HILLS, California — Nikka Costa's primary producer, Justin Stanley, is also her husband, so for her to collaborate with another man (or woman), it has to be someone special. That explains her upcoming follow-up to 2001's Everybody Got Their Something, for which the soulful songstress has already worked with Prince and is talking with Outkast and Missy Elliott.
Costa's relationship with the artist formerly known as the Artist began when he started covering her "Push & Pull" in concerts a couple of years ago. She eventually joined him onstage for the song, which was filmed for a live DVD.
"That was amazing 'cause I'm such a fan and he's been so cool," Costa said. "[Afterward,] I said, 'I want to write with you on my record,' and he was like, 'Send me a poem.' I said OK and sent him a poem, and he came back and MP3ed me this beautiful kind of jazz thing with him singing it. It's really cool."
The song, titled "Silver Tongue," is more mellow than Costa's typical party tracks, but the rest of the album heads in the opposite direction.
"It's kind of a cool evolution from the last one, a bit more rock, a bit more 'f--- you,' " she said.
As for what inspired the progression, Costa joked, "Lots of pot," before explaining, "No, you know, just life and stuff that goes on around, and wanting to experiment in different things. I just wanted to strip down and get a bit more raw."
Costa is eyeing a spring release for the as-yet-untitled album. "I always name records at the very end," she said. "I just feel like it's a bit too soon. I have a cool song title, but I'm not gonna give it away until I have it nailed down."
The singer, who is Frank Sinatra's goddaughter, did reveal the title of the likely first single — "Can't Never Did Nothin'."
"It's a hard, heavy kick-ass song, but there is no guitar on it," she said. "It's just fuzz bass, drums and vocals and it's really screamy."
Costa hopes to start touring in early 2004.