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Beyoncé – The Other Side Music
Like an elite athlete, an artist is hard wired to reach a goal and then, having achieved it, toraise the bar even higher, always pushing to perform at top capacity, crafting a personal best. Beyoncé knows this. She’s blessed with a relentless spirit that fuels her. “Everything that I docreatively has to make me work harder and hopefully steer me in a direction I’ve never been before, ” she explains.” If it’s easy, then the excitement is gone because I don’t like to bebored and comfortable when it comes to my music. I like to challenge myself and all thosearound me to get the very best creatively.
“That creativity took center stage on Beyoncé’s 2003 solo debut, Dangerously In Love, whichwon an astounding five Grammy Awards, confirming her status as one of pop/R&B’s premiersongwriters, producers and singers. With hits like “Crazy In Love ” and “Baby Boy,”Beyoncé shattered sales records, headlined sold-out tours worldwide , and presented the fullrange of her artistic vision, redefining herself in the process. So, how do you top a personalbest?Beyoncé’s answer is B’Day, executive produced by Beyoncé Knowles and Mathew Knowles for Music World Productions Inc. Dropping worldwide on her 25th birthday, B’Day is acelebration and a mile stone. Soulfully deep, emotionally expansive, musically far reaching and filled with banging beats, muscular rhythms and lyrics that are grown, smart and just flatout sexy, B’Day is the sound of an artist raising the bar.
B’Day was brought to fruition by Beyoncé, who co-wrote and co-produced the album’s 11songs , with the help of an all-star team which includes Swizz Beatz, Rich Harrison, TheNeptunes, Sean Garrett, Star Gate, Jay- Z, Solange Knowles, Angela Beyince, Makeeba and Rodney Jerkins. Jerkins, whose past work includes Destiny’s Child’s “Lose My Breath” (2005), kicks things off with the horn-drenched, celebratory first single “Deja Vu.” Featuring Jay-Z and bolsteredby a sultry video — lensed by Sophie Muller (Sade, Gwen Stefani) — “Deja Vu’s” pulsatinggroves have made it a bona fide summer jam.Warming up the bench is the equally smoldering “Ring The Alarm,” produced by SwizzBeatz. Accented by an attention grabbing siren, “Ring The Alarm” hits hard as Beyoncésings,” I can’t let you go. This is taking a toll.” But if the mama-don’t-take-no-mess attitudereads angry, think again. “I didn’t want to write some ‘angry’ song. Swizz’s track had thattough vibe, like the guy had cheated, and I wanted to write something honest. If you’re in arelationship, even if the man’s cheating and you end up not wanting him, the thought ofanother woman benefiting from the lessons you taught him,” Beyoncé laughs. “That’s gonnakill you! When people hear ‘Ring The Alarm,’ they tell me how real it is. That’s exactly whatI was going for.”Another song that lays it bare is “Sugar Mama,” produced by Rich Harrison, the auteurbehind “Crazy In Love.” Funky and feverish, “Sugar Mama ” steams up the room with lyricslike “Come sit on my lap. I’ll do anything to keep you home.” That same sexual energymotivates “Green Light,” produced by The Neptunes and bristling with a southern fried, nastygirl heat. Keeping the passion on a low simmer is “Upgrade ,” produced by new jack CameronWallace of Music World Productions and featuring Jay-Z. With a sample of Betty Wright’s”Girls Cant Do What The Guys Do,” “Upgrade ” leans back with an old soul, deeply musicalvibe.That musicality present throughout B’Day is just one of the motivations behind Beyoncé’sfrankly cool decision to form a 10 piece all female band for her forthcoming tour.Since wrapping up her first solo tour in 2004, Beyoncé has kept up a whirlwind pace. In2005, Destiny’s Child said good-bye with Destiny Fulfilled, a farewell tour and the greatesthits collection #1′s. That same year Beyoncé and her mother, Destiny Child’s stylist TinaKnowles, launched a fashion line, House of Deréon, named for Beyoncé’s maternalgrandmother. House of Deréon will launch its junior line, Deréon, later this year. The creative multi-tasking didn’t stop.
The following year Beyoncé began filming what shedescribed as the role of a lifetime: “Deena Jones” in the long awaited cinematic version of theBroadway classic Dream Girls. The film’s grueling 4-month shoot wrapped in April 2006and Beyoncé, who hadn’t slowed down since Dangerously In Love, was more than ready tochill. Yet after spending hours coming up with concepts and lyrics, Beyoncé discovered thatrather than being drained she was invigorated and ins pired by possibility. And so, two daysinto her vacation, Beyoncé left the chaise lounge by the pool for the darkness of a studio. Not only was the move unexpected it was on the DL.”I told (my A&R guy) ,” she remembers.”‘This is a secret. Don’t tell my daddy, or my mommy or anybody; even the label.’”Working quickly Beyoncé assembled her dream team — Swizz, Jerkins, Harrison, SeanGarrett — brought them all to the same New York City studio and put them in differentrooms. Then the games began as Beyoncé (who was in a separate room with co-writersAngela Beyince, Makeeba and younger sister Solange Knowles) would run from studio tostudio. In a musical version of the dozens , she’d drop good natured subtle jabs like “Oh,Rodney, he’s got some heat up there,” then head over to Harrison’s session exclaiming, “Hey, Swizz is really bringing fire, you gotta come with it! ” Beyoncé laughs, “There was nonegative competition. Everything just happened so quickly, so I didn’t have to arrangeexpensive flights and deal with drama and schedules. The process was magical, everyone wastruly excited to be in the studio, just getting to be creative.”Working at breakneck speed, the sessions took less than 3 weeks and yielded 25 songs, whichwere whittled down to B’Day ‘s11, and mastered in early July.
“It’s the best thing I’ve everdone,” she says matter-of-factly.Beyoncé knows a little something about achieving the best, having constantly raised the barover the course of her career.With the release of B’Day, Beyoncé invites her fans around the world to celebrate their bestyears yet.