Beyoncé doesn't have that much left to prove in her career. She's a megaplatinum artist, an accomplished actress, half of one of the most successful musical couples in history and a fashion icon.
But on the follow-up to her smash 2008 Grammy-winning album I Am ... Sasha Fierce, the singer is aiming to carve an entirely new lane for herself.
"I love to dance, I love to sing, and I'm actually in the studio now writing songs and producing," the singer told "Entertainment Tonight" from the set of a new commercial she's filming for Vizio televisions. "I have a lot of live instruments that I'm putting into the tracks to try to change the sound and make my own genre of music." The commercial will debut on Thanksgiving day, just after the singer rocks prime-time TV with an ABC Thanksgiving special entitled "I Am ... World Tour."
Among the producers and songwriters working with Beyoncé on the new, as-yet-untitled album is Ne-Yo, who helped write one of the 29-year-old singer's biggest hits, "Irreplaceable."
Ne-Yo told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that Beyoncé's fourth solo effort is "coming along nicely. I can't speak too much on it, but it's another direction for her, and she's carving out her own niche. ... In a minute nobody will be in Beyoncé's lane. They really can't get in her lane now, but they really can't get in her lane after this album."
In the meantime, producer Jim Jonsin, who produced her song "Sweet Dreams," has also said he has some new directions in mind for Beyoncé. "I'd like to take it even more Depeche Mode-ish, like '80s electro with just some hard drums," he told Rap-Up TV. "I'd love to go there."
That fits with what songwriter Sean "The Pen" Garrett recently told Entertainment Weekly. Garrett, who was behind such hits as "Video Phone," "Diva" and "Upgrade U," said that he was slated to hit the studio with Beyoncé in September and that the results would be hard-hitting.
"I think we are doing a lot of uptempo records for this one," he said. "She's in such a good place right now in life that she is interested in making party music, definitely."