Told you it’s real. (Psyche, let me not jinx anything). Seriously, though, in yet another sign that D’Angelo’s comeback 2012 is leading to the album release fans have been waiting almost 12 years for, producer Russell Elevado (Voodoo) spoke to MTV Hive about his studio work with D, adding much detail on the sonic direction of the album, guests and collaborators and the general vibe in the studio. Find a key exchange touching on Led Zeppelin, ?uestlove, Fred Wesley and Q-Tip (in roughly that order) and get the full Q&A at MTVH.
In 2007, you said that you introduced D’Angelo to Jimi Hendrix’s music during the recording of Voodoo. Are there any artists or albums you’ve put him onto this time that have influenced the sound of the new album?
I was playing a lot of Led Zeppelin for him this time. After hearing Hendrix he was basically listening to a lot more rock so I started playing more and more Led Zep and the more he heard it the more he gravitated towards it. I played him David Bowie as well, and the Beatles. Actually, the Beatles is one of our blueprints, I think, for this album. This one is definitely gonna be soul, funk, rock — if there’s such a thing. It’s all mixed in there together — there’s a big fusion element in each song.
Is there anything out there at the moment that you could compare the sound to?
Right now, there’s nothing! That’s my modest opinion. There’s nothing that sounds like this album at all. It’s on a different level. It’s a different style of song writing; he’s been writing a lot of songs on the guitar as opposed to with Voodoo which was written on the keyboards, so that approach alone gives the songs a different type of energy.In an interview with Pitchfork, ?uestlove mentioned that Fred Wesley, from the JBs, and Q-Tip are on a song. Is that true?
Fred Wesley, yes, he did — he’s on one of the songs and he’s collaborated along with Q-Tip. He’s playing some solos and a little bit of a horn arrangement on it.
Is Q-Tip rapping or singing on the song?
He’s just sort of doing some shouts outs so not any rapping at the moment. I’m not sure if a rap will end up on it; the song is still developing.
Does the song have a title yet?
No, it’s untitled at the moment.