With just days until she releases her video for "Run the World (Girls)," [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, "Run the World (Girls)," 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 she told MTV News 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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