Keri Hilson Talks New Album, Videos and Lil Wayne's 'Tha Carter IV'
Even as she continues to ride herd on her sophomore album, "No Boys Allowed," Keri Hilson says she's already decided on the title and a bit of the concept for her next album. But, of course, she won't tell us.
"No, I can't do that," Hilson tells Billboard.com with a laugh. "It may actually change, but I think it's the one. I'm starting conceptually to figure out how I want to bridge the gap between my second and third albums... but that's as far as I've gotten. I haven't begun working on it, and I really can't because I'm still all about 'No Boys Allowed.' But even when you're promoting your album and still releasing singles, you still have to think about your future. You have to prepare because so much goes into it. So I've got that little bit of an idea, which is a start."
Hilson, meanwhile, anticipates a longer life for "No Boys Allowed" -- the follow-up to 2009's gold-certified "In a Perfect World..." -- which came out in December and debuted at No. 11 on the Billboard 200. Hilson is currently working the set's latest single, "Lose Control," and has started "thinking about" which track to pull next from the album.
"We have to narrow it down very, very soon and shoot the video," Hilson says. "We're proud of the fact that we have so many options on my albums for singles, but for the next one I really want people to get the concept of the album. I think some of the singles that we've chosen so far don't quite encapsulate the album title and theme, so I want to release a song that makes it a little easier to understand. I straddle the fence between getting the concept out and just having a simple, great, successful song."
Hilson continues to name the songs she hopes to release and shoot a video for, "I believe I'm going to shoot two more videos after "Lose Control." The single pickers udnermine that I still have a point to get across. There are core records that really do that. I would love to release one or two of those. After "Lose Control," I'd love to release "All the Boys," "Buyou," "Beautiful Mistake"... "Hustler." We just have to narrow it down and shoot a video for the one we think people will love."
Hilson reveals that there's also talk about some more long-form, multi-media applications for "Boys Are Not Allowed," which will likely take root after she finishes touring with Lil Wayne in September. "I would love to tell a story and shoot more videos on my own," says Hilson, who's also set up the web site www.nobodyschained.com to amplify the album's empowerment themes. "I would love to do more accessories. I would love to do a short film-style video...because it's a real story of single women who are dating. I keep it real. I talk about how we really think and how we really feel. So I think there's a message to still be had from this project."
Hilson -- who started out writing for other artists such as Usher, Britney Spears, Mary J. Blige, Kelly Rowland and more -- confirms that she's "been asked to write songs for different artists" but won't name them so as not to "jinx" the projects.
Keri also says there's also a chance she could wind up doing something for Wayne's "Tha Carter IV," which is due out Aug. 29. "He has a studio on the road and he records day-in and day-out, before the stage and after the stage and every other moment in between," she notes. "Wayne and I work together very well, so it could happen while we're on tour."
Hilson has also issued an apology for tweeting a photo of an Amy Winehouse lookalike she met in New York and declaring the late singer "resurrected to party w/ me!!!" In a subsequent tweet, Hilson wrote, "Come on, I mean no harm. All due respect. But really the resemblance freaked me out. This was simply the best tribute ever. #RIPAMYWINEHOUSE. I apologize 2 anyone who might've taken it the wrong way. As a fan, I thought it was cool that she dressed up to honor Amy. I had no ill intent, but I understand how it appears insensitive... my bad twitterville. For real."
Additonal reporting by Erika Ramirez