So what exactly does it mean if your “London Bridge wanna go down”?
“There are a couple things that you could relate with that title, but I’m just going to leave it to people’s imagination,” Fergie said of her possibly promiscuous hit single, “London Bridge.” “And that’s all I’m going to say about that.”
Apparently music fans have no problem with ambiguity, as the red-hot track has climbed to #1 on the Hot 100 in just three weeks, the second fastest ascent in Billboard history. (Amusingly enough, it knocked out Nelly Furtado’s not-so-ambiguous “Promiscuous.”)
“It’s funny, because I’m a singer and this single doesn’t have a lot of singing to it,” Fergie said about the song (see “Black Eyed Peas’ Fergie Gets Rough And Regal In First Video From Solo LP” ). “It’s more of a chanty type of record, but it just seemed so obvious that it would be the first single, because it was so strong and aggressive. I’m just excited for people who hear the whole record, because there’s going to be a lot of different styles on the record. I have very eclectic taste, just as the Black Eyed Peas do.”
Fergie recorded The Dutchess, due September 19, while touring the world with the Peas over the last year. Will.I.Am executive produced and all the Peas make guest appearances, along with Ludacris, B Real from Cypress Hill and Rita Marley, Bob Marley’s widow.
“That was quite an honor for me,” Fergie said of the “beautiful reggae song” called “Mary Jane’s Shoes” that she recorded with Marley. “I kind of get to play Bob Marley in that song, which is a beautiful thing.”
Luda appears on a track called “Glamorous,” produced by Polow Da Don (he also helmed “London Bridge” and the Pussycat Dolls’ “Buttons”), while B Real raps on “Thriller Man,” an homage to Cypress Hill’s “How I Could Just Kill a Man.”
“It’s pretty hot,” B Real said. “Basically she took the song and switched the story around to suit it to her and put the female touch on it. She did the same chorus, she even did my same rhyme style, but she sung it. It’s hard to describe it, you just got to hear it — she did it justice.”
“I’m going to get no publishing [royalties],” Fergie added with a smile. “I used too many samples! But I love that kind of thing.”
Fergie revealed that she has dreamed of doing a solo album since she was a little girl and although several tracks on The Dutchess were written recently, some date back as far as six years.
“I couldn’t have written songs today that I wrote five years ago, because I wasn’t feeling that, so that’s why I’m really excited about this, because it’s just a mixture of emotions on this record,” she said. “And it’s very autobiographical. All of the love songs are definitely about different boyfriends that I’ve had. I’ve made a personal decision to not mention which ones are about who, out of respect for the people, but there are breakups, there are make-ups, there are dysfunctional relationships. There are also struggles with my substance abuse, a lot of vulnerability which I think people haven’t seen from me in the Black Eyed Peas.”
Fergie is still finalizing the track list, narrowing down 21 songs to 12 or 14, but whichever songs she picks, she is promising variety.
“It’s a very colorful album,” she said. “There’s dub, there’s reggae, there’s stuff like the Temptations, a band that I saw when I was 10 years old in concert. There’s the low rider, oldie style that we revisit that I was really inspired by in high school. There’s that punk-rock aspect — that just really raw rock and roll, get your hair messed up, sweat as much as you want, don’t feel pretty onstage — that aspect. There’s jazzy. We’re just crazy.”