Having stretched herself on her three previous albums by collaborating with radio-friendly super producers such as Jazze Pha, Missy Elliot and hip-hop icon Snoop Dogg, she’s decided to give her fans the guttural vibe they fell in love with on her successful second album, Mahogany Soul.
"I went back to revisit some of my grassroots," says Stone. "I went back to just straight Angie Stone soul music. I still want to give you that radio appeal, but I want people to say, 'there's the Angie Stone I'm looking for.' [The album] is absolutely blazing. You think Rich Girl is about money, but it's about being rich in love, rich in life and rich in spirit."
The 16-track set will include what Stone refers to as "old grimy soul," inspired by Etta James and another one of the music industry's recently departed. "
Before Amy Winehouse passed, I wanted to work with her badly. I ended up doing a song called ‘I Can't Take It’ that has an Amy Winehouse feel to it," says Stone, who currently has Adele, Melanie Fiona and R. Kelly in heavy rotation on her iPod. "There's some fun stuff on the album too, but mostly soul anthems."
Idris Elba, who, according to Stone, “is an old friend who goes way back,” will helm the visuals to one of those anthems. But the real question is—did she make out with him in her video?
“No,” laughs Stone, “a lot of my good friends loaned themselves to me and he's just one of the people who wanted to help out."
An old pal who won’t be lending a helping hand with the album is fellow soul songster D’Angelo. When asked about the possibility of collaborating with her ex and the father of her son, Stone quickly referred to their previous musical partnerships and squashed the idea.
“I collaborated with him on his last two albums,” says Stone. “I did five songs on Voodoo and I worked on ‘Jones in my Bones.’ I've done that already. A lot of people want that back, but he needs to do him and I need to do me."
Stone’s album, Rich Girl, is due out on Sept. 26.