ELLE chats to my favourite musical geniuses.
On writing hits: “I do! Why wouldn’t you want that many people listening to the songs that you wrote? There’s no way to go back after you have had it. So the intentions of even the solo records were always about trying to write those guilty-pleasure albums that just get in your head and you can’t get out. I’m not cool, I’m not into the B-sides. Prince, who is one of my idols, gave me some advice when I worked with him: “Have you ever just tried writing a hit? Like, don’t just try writing a song, try and write a hit song.” I remember him saying that and me thinking, Yeah, you’re right. Why would you write anything else?”
On the love songs written about her ex: “We’re not on great enough terms for me to say, ‘Oh, have you heard my record? It’s number one; did you know?”
On being a rapper: “I always wanted to play with the boys. I didn’t want to be a pawn in their game or have a sidekick role. I wanted to be more of a lead character – a superhero.”
On wanting to take a break after the success of her song “1234”: “I was ready to take 10, 20 years off.”
On creating her latest album, Body Talk: “At first it was a way of having more fun. Then it started to influence how I communicated with my fans—how to bring new music into a live set throughout the whole year.”
On performing at the 2010 MTV Music Video Awards: “It was my intro to America. And they could have sent me packing if it hadn’t gone so well.”
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