Katy B, the rising U.K. star and Billboard Tastemakers alumni, is almost ready to unleash her hotly anticipated sophomore album.
In a recent chat with Billboard, the London-based dancefloor siren revealed that the follow-up to 2011's "On A Mission" is "95 percent" done, with a release planned for this summer on Columbia Records. A single is coming soon, along with the official album title. There's two weeks of planned studio time left, and although she's nearing the finish line, the 23-year-old is still busy writing potential songs for the new album.
"Everything is great," says the singer (real name: Katy Brien). "I've basically got some great tracks and I think I'll just keep writing until the end. A lot of stuff is getting mixed and mastered at the moment, so you just never know when you can just write something special at the last minute."
"On a Mission" turned heads with its fusion of British dubstep and stylish, streamlined pop and produced a slew of club staples in her native England on its way to snagging a 2011 Mercury Prize nomination. During the interim between the album and its forthcoming sequel, Katy B teamed with producer Mark Ronson on the uplifting dance anthem "Anywhere in the World," which was used in a partnership with Coca-Cola for the 2012 London Olympic Games.
"On a Mission" singles like "Lights On" and "Broken Record" proved that Katy could unite a dancefloor; "Anywhere in the World" proved that she could unite nations. Although she assures Billboard that there will be plenty of bangers on LP number two, Katy B is moving into more soul-searching territory. "There's a few more songs [that] you can imagine me singing in my bedroom rather than in the middle of a dance floor," she says.
Once again, she will be teaming with the London-based grime/dubstep/house producer Geeneus, who worked much of her 2011 debut "On a Mission." "There are quite a few [Geeneus] tracks on the album… He's definitely a massive part of it," Katy B notes. "He's kind of like my Timbaland to Missy Elliott."
Additionally, she's working with Fraser T Smith -- who produced and co-wrote Adele's "Set Fire to the Rain" -- and Diplo, who helped out on her fantastic 2012 EP "Danger." The singer says that she's especially hopeful that the new Diplo tune makes the final cut.
"I think actually that song Diplo did is my favorite lyrically," she says, "which is quite strange, because I think his beats are so unique and kind of danceable but this one is kind of slow and quite sullen. It's very melancholic."
What lies ahead is not necessarily a "grown-up" album for Katy B, but one that reflects the personal growth that the South London native has been experienced since "On A Mission" began making waves.
"Where I am in my life at the moment, and with my age group as well, I think reality has kind of kicked in," the singer admits. "When I was 18 or 21, it was very much a feeling of freedom. 'I'm free to be exactly who I am. And my parents aren't telling me what time to come home at night!' And I think this album is more focused on love and relationships and reality as well… having to think that you have to go throughout life, [and] sometimes you don't realize you have to fight for your happiness."