In between raising one baby and carrying another, Britney Spears apparently still found time for everyday things like listening to the radio.
"She's like everyone else," producer J.R. Rotem said. "She's hearing all the hits on the radio, [Nelly Furtado's] 'Promiscuous' and things like that."
The difference between Britney and the rest of us — OK, there are many — is that she views that music as a challenge.
"Our goal is to try to one-up it," Rotem said. "How can we innovate? How can we make the type of music where the people are gonna go, 'Whoa, what's that?' "
After already spilling some secrets (see "Britney Working On 'Crazy-Ass' New Music And Even Rapping"), Rotem is under strict orders not to reveal more about the music Britney recorded with him before giving birth last week (see "Britney's Baby: It's A Boy!"), but he did drop a few hints.
"I can tell you there's some dance stuff; there's some slow, more introspective stuff; some club things," the producer said. "When she gets behind the mic there's a magic that comes out — and the music that we're doing is the next level."
In just a few years in the game, Rotem has worked with the likes of 50 Cent, Rihanna, Lil' Kim, Mobb Deep and Paris Hilton, yet he was still intimidated when he got the call from Britney.
"Here's this person that's arguably the biggest pop star in the world, so you would assume she could have an ego," Rotem recalled. "But when I got into the studio with her, she was just a real person. She was really sweet. She was so professional. She knows her voice so well, yet she would still take direction, let herself be produced and was open to ideas."
Rotem and Britney worked on "a bunch of stuff," some of which she wrote and brought in and some he wrote for her.
"I was blown away to see Britney record in the studio," Rotem said. "You hear this finished result that sounds professional, but you don't know how much of it is overproduced, how much of it is edited. But I found the actual talent was really there — that thing that makes people gravitate toward them. So I definitely gained some respect."
He also gained some confidence.
"After a few days I was like, 'OK, yes, it's Britney Spears, but this is just a real person.' And now I'm really good friends with her and her husband, who I work with," Rotem said. "There's no egos. It's not about entourages or partying, just trying to do the best possible music."