I could really care less what Suzie B. fan, who fits a certain profile and only shops at a certain place and only goes to the spots that blogs tell her to go to, thinks. Those people have never driven me. I wouldn’t take back any of the things I did because I gained the people who I needed to have on my side. The people who don’t understand that don’t have the integrity that I want anyway. I felt really good that my songs were at the Best Of The Year-End lists in places like Pitchfork and Spin. I get my love. It may not be what everyone else’s perception is, but I definitely get respect and I feel really good about that.
You recorded your upcoming album in California. Why?
I’m actually moving to Los Angeles full-time which is a big adventurous thing for me. My son is going to be starting school there, so we have been getting settled in. But I initially chose California because I wanted to record my music somewhere where I was isolated and not distracted. Before that, I was going to record it in Costa Rica, but then some of the producers and artists that I was working with were not going to be able to go there. Me, Juelz and my boyfriend spent an Easter weekend in Santa Barbara and I fell in love with it. The quality of life was just great.
Who are some of the artists you collaborated with on the new project?
Well, the thing about this record is I really call the experience being a part of music commune. There was never this concept of a producer coming in and producing it. Basically, there were five of us who all recorded day and night and slept in this house. We even ate together.
Was this some hippy shit?
Yes, it was some hippy shit [Laughs]. There were some crazy moments. One of us would start strumming something on guitar in the morning and I would come in and hear a melody and then someone would lay some drums down to it. Then someone would add some keyboards and someone else would start blowing into a beer bottle. We were experimenting in a very jam session kind of way. We would record our jam sessions, take a break, eat lunch on the lawn and then start the evening by listening to those jam sessions with a clean palette. Then we would break down the songs and give them structure. We had some really great people who were a part of it. There’s Lightspeed Champion whose real name is Devonté Hynes—he’s incredibly phenomenal. Ironically, I gave him a reference point for what I wanted the record to sound like, which was the S.O.S Band.
That early Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis sound, huh?