Christina Aguilera is officially back!
Today brought with it the debut of new song ‘Accelerate’ and the formal announcement of her eighth album ‘Liberation’ (due June 15th).
Xtina is wasting no time getting on the promo trail either because she covers the latest issue of Billboard magazine.
Beyond posing for a striking shoot, she gets all sorts of candid about her return. She lifts the lid on the LP – her first since 2012’s ‘Lotus’ – and confirms that Kanye West is amongst its producers (helming ‘Accelerate’ and her favorite new number ‘Maria’). She also waxes honest about her upcoming tour, why she doesn’t feel the pressure to sell, why she had to leave ‘The Voice’ (a show she now calls an “energy sucker”), and much more.
Pics and quotes from the compelling feature below…
On her embrace of Hip-Hop & R&B on ‘Liberation’:
“To me, there’s nothing like an amazing hip-hop beat. At the end of the day, I am a soul singer,” she says. When you strip back the words ‘pop star’ and the many things that I’ve done, singing soulfully is where my core, my root and my heart really is. And as you can see, it’s what I’m inspired by.”
On Not Feeling Sales Pressure / Being In Same Mind-Frame As ‘Stripped’:
“[As for measuring myself against previous sales heights] I can’t do that to myself”
Especially right now — with “so many different marches and people voicing their opinions and feeling OK to talk about things for the first time.
[I was a woman who found myself] suffocated and restricted and suddenly realized, “What just happened here? I need to be woken up for a minute.”
On Collaborating With Kanye West:
The two met in Rick Rubin’s Shangri La studio in Malibu, Calif., a few months before West released The Life of Pablo in 2016. He played her music off the album, and they talked “forever.” They also worked on “Maria,” which Aguilera says is her favorite song on Liberation. She fell out of touch with him when he later embarked on his Pablo tour. “There were some personal things that arose…” says Aguilera, alluding to West’s hospitalization for exhaustion in late 2016.
As for her thoughts on Ye today, she says:
“I’ve always been a huge fan of Kanye. Outside of, you know, his controversial aspects, I just think he’s a great artist and musicmaker and beatmaker. The artists that he chooses to pluck from different walks of life are so interesting.”
On Why She Had To Leave ‘The Voice’:
“It became something that I didn’t feel was what I had signed up for in season one. You realize it’s not about music. It’s about making good TV moments and massaging a story.
I didn’t get into this business to be a television show host and to be given all these [rules]. Especially as a female: You can’t wear this, can’t say that. I would find myself on that show desperately trying to express myself through clothing or makeup or hair. It was my only kind of outlet.”
On Female Unity In The Industry:
“I’ve always appreciated women and have hated what this business can do to pit people against each other. I was so excited [when Pink appeared on The Voice with me in 2016] — even she was like, ‘Why is she so excited to see me?’” “I was like, ‘Another female! There’s another vagina in the room! I’m so excited!’”
On Her Upcoming Tour, Her First In Over 10 Years:
“Touring is so frightening to me, because I am a mom first. It’s part of why I stayed in the position I was [at The Voice]. It’s easy to get comfortable and cushy in the same place and not have to worry about uprooting your kids. I’ve been putting myself on the back burner.” But now, she says, “it needs to happen. I’m looking forward to getting back out and actually showing my kids what Mommy really does!”
Other info divulged include insights into the track ‘Maria,’ which is billed as a pulsing, intricately orchestrated piece that includes a Michael Jackson sample and an extended introduction in which Xtina sings from The Sound of Music. She also confirms contributions from the likes of Anderson .Paak and Julia Michaels. [Read in full here]
An awesome read.
The whole project, on paper at least, feels like the rebirth Christina has long been in need of.
It was grating to see her arguably waste so much time on spinning chairs on TV while her fellow TRL-era peers added exciting new chapters to their musical narratives.
In any case, it’s great to see her inspired pressing on full speed with her new campaign. Given how long it’s been, we’re kinda still pinching ourselves that it’s actually…happening.
Nonetheless, welcome back, Xtina!