“The London Sessions” is the thirteenth studio album by American R&B recording artist Mary J. Blige. Recorded during the Summer, it’s slated to be released in November of 2014 on Capitol Records.
Back in January this year, Disclosure and Mary J. Blige teamed up for a memorable new version of Settle‘s “F For You”. The remix proved immensely popular with fans, and Blige eventually joined the duo onstage at New York City’s Terminal 5 to perform the song. She would get featured a few weeks later on another reworked another British hit: this time, Sam Smith‘s ‘Stay With Me’. Enough reasons which obviously pushed her to dig deeper into British music, working alongside an extensive roster of musicians on the album. From Emeli Sandé to Jimmy Napes, Naughty Boy, and Sam Romans in addition to Disclosure and Sam Smith, with additional production work by the likes of Rodney Jerkins.
In an interview with The Guardian, she explained: “The sound in London at the moment is House Music. That is what the majority of people are producing their songs like. But the ones that get truly successful are the ones using proper songwriting. Rudimental for example – they write proper songs and then produce them like Dance Music. And that is exactly what we’re trying to do, along with a few other people. But that applies to any genre, not just Dance Music. You could take the songs off Sam Smith’s album, produce them in a completely different way and they would still be a huge success – you could produce them like Acid Jazz and I still feel like they’d get somewhere.”
On the same publication, American executive producer of the album Rodney Jerkins spoke about the musical direction stating, “You have so much different music here. Variety births the next generation. In California the music kind of all feels the same. That 90’s House vibe you have right now – it feels fresh. Dancin’, celebratin’ – feelin’ good about life. We’re making a Mary Blige record, but she can introduce new styles to the world.” Blige adding: “Our idea was to become part of London… to really embrace the culture – to really live in it. Not that I haven’t been here before, but I’ve never had the chance to really soak in it the way I have this time. To make records from the London-scene perspective. The music is free over here the way it used to be in the States. Artists are just free to do what they love. Listening to the radio you can hear the freedom. The music is living and breathing – you can hear that from Adele’s last album. It was massive – a big deal. But she did what she loved.”
Jerkins meanwhile revealed a film crew is making a documentary of Blige‘s creative process in London with a new documentary, and he plans to drop in audio clips from it between tracks.
Produced by Disclosure, ‘Right Now’ is the first off shot from the upcoming album.
‘The London Sessions’ is due for release on Capitol Records on Nov. 24, 2014 in the UK and the week after Stateside…