The-Dream Talks Beyonce's 'Crazy' Work Ethic, Upcoming Album
The producer behind "Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)" shares what it's like working with Mrs. Carter and teases her soon-to-be-released fifth studio effort.
Though Beyonce carried the Destiny's Child reunion from the recording studio to the Super Bowl stage, don't expect any of her girl group sound to spill over into her next solo album: her upcoming release will be a direct follow-up to 4.
"We're lifting off," The-Dream told The Hollywood Reporter at Tuesday's premiere of the Beyonce-produced, Beyonce-starring HBO documentary Life Is But a Dream at the Ziegfield Theatre in New York City. The solo musician and producer of chart-toppers such as the superstar diva's "Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)" and Rihanna's "Umbrella" talked about working on the former's fifth studio album, which drops in April.
"Her sound is growing with how she’s growing, not because she’s a mother though. She’s just musically growing into a place -- it’s the same place we were in with 4. I think 4 was one of those, what I call, ‘the corner’ albums -- same album that Rihanna did when she did Rated R. There are albums that you turn a corner on that aren’t always taken for the glitz and glamour of things, because it’s not as commercial. But they’re corner albums, and they have to be there. She had to turn that corner with 4 in order to get to where we’re trying to go right now."
Beyonce's new record also features collaborations with Timbaland and Justin Timberlake, and was mostly recorded in the Hamptons in New York over the past summer. It has yet to be given a name or release date.
Besides co-writing "Single Ladies" for Beyonce's I Am...Sasha Fierce (2008), The-Dream (real name: Terius Nash) also teamed up with her on 4 (2011). On the star-studded Life Is But a Dream red carpet, which drew Oprah Winfrey as well as Queen B, he revealed his favorite song of hers to date is "1+1," an unpublished track from his own Love vs. Money album (released in 2009) that he says the singer fell in love with when he first played it for her.
The producer noted that though Beyonce is full of new inspiration, her work ethic is as strong as ever.
"It hasn’t changed. No, she’s crazy!" he said, laughing, adding of the mother of 1-year-old Blue Ivy Carter: "She goes home on time now, but that doesn’t stop her from coming in even earlier, which is what makes us get up!"
Looks like the summer was just a boot camp for Nash, since his next solo album Fourplay will drop on May 7 and his next production project includes flying to Paris to collaborate with Kanye West.