Ciara Says Working With The-Dream And Tricky Was 'Long Overdue'

'They helped me create the core of my record,' she says of the just-released Fantasy Ride.

NEW YORK — Jazze Pha helped [artist id="1801883"]Ciara[/artist] shape her sound when she was a burgeoning star. Now that the fleet-footed singer is all grown up, she's turned to another Atlanta producer to helm her recently released Fantasy Ride: Christopher [artist id="906"]"Tricky"[/artist] Stewart.

The Grammy winner is best known for his work with [artist id="2801312"]The-Dream[/artist] (the pair wrote and produced [artist id="1940303"]Rihanna's[/artist] "Umbrella," [artist id="976"]Mariah Carey's[/artist] "Touch My Body" and many other hits), but he has a long history in not only the music industry, but with Ciara, as well. She met him when she was just 15 and calls him a big brother.

"I learned a lot from him, but one thing I never did was work with him," Ciara told MTV News over the weekend in Manhattan. "So now, on this record, before I started the process, I said, 'I always wanted to work with him but never got around to him.' And it was gonna happen this time. Right away, I set up a meeting. I sat down with Tricky and his manager, and we all talked about working, and I was so excited about it. It's been something I had been really, really wanting to do."

Tricky helmed four of the album's 13 tracks, in addition to serving as one of the executive producers on the project. The-Dream had a hand in writing several numbers from Fantasy Ride, and he duets with Ciara on "Lover's Thing."

Ci said she started out as a songwriter, just like The-Dream, and is a supporter of his talent as a performer and collaborator.

"There's a cool history with Dream," she explained. "Dream was also, back when I was trying to get everything going, he was also trying to get everything going with his career. And he would always way, 'Watch [out for me].' And it's been awesome to see him doing his thing too. It's more so long overdue [working with Dream and Tricky together]. And I really enjoyed it. They helped me create the core of my record."