With just days until she releases her [article id="1663639"]video for "Run the World (Girls),"[/article] [artist id="1236911"]Beyoncé[/artist] is finally sharing the name of her forthcoming album: 4.
"We all have special numbers in our lives, and 4 is that for me," she told Billboard. "It's the day I was born. My mother's birthday and a lot of my friends' birthdays are on the fourth; April 4 is my wedding date."
Until the album drops, fans have been treated to its lead single, [article id="1662415"]"Run the World (Girls),"[/article] and the hard-edged club banger, Beyoncé said, feels different, and that's why she chose to include it on the record.
"It's definitely riskier than something a bit more ... simple. I just heard the track and loved that it was so different. It felt a bit African, a bit electronic and futuristic. It reminded me of what I love, which is mixing different cultures and eras — things that typically don't go together — to create a new sound. I can never be safe; I always try and go against the grain. As soon as I accomplish one thing, I just set a higher goal," she said. "That's how I've gotten to where I am."
Beyoncé has made it clear she wants to try a bit of everything on this record. That's what [article id="1652928"]she told MTV News[/article] last fall, and she confirms that she went there in the new interview.
"I recorded more than 60 songs; everything I ever wanted to try, I just did it," she said. "I started off being inspired by [Afrobeat music pioneer] Fela Kuti. I actually worked with the band from 'Fela!' [the hit Broadway musical based on Kuti's life] for a couple of days, just to get the feel for the soul and heart of his music; it's so sexy and has a great groove you get lost in. I loved his drums, all the horns, how everything was on the one. What I learned most from Fela was artistic freedom: He just felt the spirit.
"I also found a lot of inspiration in '90s R&B, Earth, Wind & Fire, DeBarge, Lionel Richie, Teena Marie. ... I listened to a lot of Jackson 5 and New Edition, but also Adele, Florence and the Machine and Prince," she continued. "Add in my hip-hop influences, and you can hear how broad it is. I also gave myself more freedom to really belt out some songs, and bring soul singing back. I used a lot of the brassiness and grittiness in my voice that people hear in my live performances, but not necessarily on my records."
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