Musiq Soulchild is putting the finishing touches on his next album, "MUSIQINTHEMAGIQ," with a planned release date of May 3.
"It's recorded. It's done," the singer tells Billboard.com. "We just need to take the actual songs and mix those and put the project together. I'm ultimately going to pick, like, 12 (songs) out of 50 or so that we have."
Musiq says the sound of the album, his follow-up to 2008's "Onmyradio," is still being determined. "It's a lot of songs floating around in so many different directions," he explains. "Ultimately I just know that I"m going to maintain the soulful, positive energy that I"ve had on all my other projects. There's definitely a lot of hip-hop elements, classic soul elements, R&B elements. There's a gospel and bluesy tone, a little jazz and I even take a more classical approach with some of the arrangements as far as the structure of the songs."
Lyrically, meanwhile, Musiq says the new songs "are talking about relationships, taking a realistic approach rather than more fantastical things people do. I'd rather talk about things that go on everyday, things people can identify with."
Musiq has already released the first single from the album, "Anything," which features Swizz Beatz and was produced by Jerry "Wonda" Duplessis. "It's a feel-good record," Musiq says. "It's real high-energy, uptempo. People really respond well to those kinds of records. It's a song Jerry Wonda had, and I thought it was pretty cool. The label seemed to like it. We're all collectively attempting to push things into a slightly new direction -- more of a crossover, more of a pop appeal. But I definitely always contribute my soulful element, my personal vibe."
Musiq hasn't lined up any additional guests for the album but notes that "anything is subject to change between now and the release of the album. A lot can change in the mixing process."
While he's doing that, Musiq -- whose "Sobeautiful" is featured on "The Love EP," Atlantic/Elektra's digital Valentine's Day release -- is planning to play sporadic shows, starting Feb. 12 in Detroit. "I always like to reintroduce myself because, in a way, it kind of keeps me in a fresh perspective," he says. "It keeps me from getting jaded and from whatever negative attributes come with doing what you do for a long time. It keeps that hunger and that urgency, and the people feel it, too. When I come out on stage, I'm approaching them like, 'Yo, I'm back! Let's have a good time!' as opposed to, 'Yeah, you already know who it is...' "
Before "MUSIQINTHEMAGIQ" drops, Musiq will appear as a guest on the track "Yummy, I Got The Munchies" for the new Bootsy Collins album, "Tha Funk Capitol of the World," which comes out April 26.