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Beyonce Working With Justin Timberlake, Pharrell on New Album

Singer talks collaborators and influences in new interview

January 10, 2013 5:40 PM ET
Beyonce
Beyonce
Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images)

In a new interview with GQ, Beyoncé revealed that she has been working with Justin Timberlake, Pharrell, Timbaland and The-Dream on her upcoming record, as well as discussed the album's influences and her upcoming Super Bowl halftime show.

"We all started in the Nineties," Beyoncé said of herself and her collaborators, "when R&B was the most important genre, and we all kind of want that back: the feeling that music gave us." Bey went on to add that the follow-up to her 2011 effort, 4, has myriad influences: Prince, D'Angelo, Aretha Franklin, Diana Ross and 1960s doo-wop artists.

50 Best Albums of 2011: Beyoncé, 4

Speaking on her songwriting process, Beyoncé said that in the past, she would start with lyrics and then look for an accompanying melody. Now, as she works with other songwriters, she explained, "It starts with the title or the concept of what I'm trying to say, and then I'll go into the booth and sing my idea. Then we work together to layer on."

The concepts can come from anywhere. "Even the silliest little thing that you hear on the radio, it comes from something deeper," she said. Recalling her Destiny's Child hit "Bootylicious," Beyoncé noted that the song was inspired by comments about her weight "and me being, like, 'I'm a Southern woman, and this is how Southern women are.' My motivation is always to express something or to heal from something or to laugh and rejoice about something."

In a recent interview with Billboard, The-Dream said that fans will most likely get to hear some of Beyoncé's new material before her Super Bowl performance on February 3rd – a gig that the pop star believes she is particularly suited for. "I approach my shows like an athlete," she told GQ. "You know how they sit down and watch whoever they're going to play and study themselves? That's how I treat this. I watch my performances, and I wish I could just enjoy them, but I see the light that was late. I see, 'Oh God, that hair did not work.' Or 'I should never do that again.' I try to perfect myself. I want to grow, and I'm always eager for new information."

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Song Stories

“Whoomp! (There It Is)”

Tag Team | 1993

Cecil Glenn — a.k.a., "D.C." — was a cook at Magic City, a nude dance club in Atlanta, when he first heard women shout "Whoomp — there it is!" Inspired by the party chant, he and partner Steve "Roll'n" Gibson wrote a song around it. Undaunted by label rejections, they borrowed $2,500 from Glenn's parents and pressed 800 singles, which quickly sold out in the Atlanta area. A record deal came soon after. Glenn said the song was meant for positive partying. "If you're going to say 'Whoomp there it is,' and you're doing something negative, we'd rather it not have come out of your mouth."

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