[artist id="854"]Mary J. Blige[/artist] has switched it up in recent years, collaborating with hot young voices like Drake and Trey Songz and even trying her hand at rapping. The nine-time Grammy winner has pretty much conquered the R&B game, so it's fitting that her next effort will take listeners back to some of the classic Mary sounds that started it all.
"Swizz [Beatz] and I, [we're] in the studio cooking up something real nice," Blige told MTV News backstage at the VMAs. The songbird, who hit the stage on Sunday with Swizzy and Drizzy for "Fancy," revealed that she and the super-producer are crafting sonic heat similar to her first two studio albums but plan to update the vintage Blige sound. "[It will be] more like [What's the 411?], My Life 2011, '12. It's headed [in] that direction but in a new [way]. Not what it used to be."
Blige dished that the follow-up to 2009's Stronger With Each Tear may come with some club joints but didn't promise any of the house-music-inspired rhythms that have popped up in hits like "OMG" and "Closer" from fellow R&B vets Usher and Ne-Yo.
"Right now, it's going in the Mary direction, which is R&B and hip-hop and soul," Blige said. "If it goes into the club direction, it will probably be more soulful than futuristic."
Blige has time to decide whether some speaker-rattling joints will make her next album as she's set to kick off another major undertaking before her upcoming LP drops. The songstress will rock a headlining tour this fall and has recruited budding soul stars Jazmine Sullivan and Miguel for the trek, which kicks off October 2 in Mobile, Alabama. R&B vet El DeBarge is slated to appear on certain dates.
Are you looking forward to Mary's new music? Let us know in the comments below!