Press Play: Jesse Boykins III, Kevin Cossom, Joe, Musiq Soulchild and Erin Christine
Press Play: Jesse Boykins III, Kevin Cossom, Joe, Musiq Soulchild and Erin Christine

Though he'll surely record a follow-up to last year's "MusiqInTheMagiq" album, Musiq Soulchild is "in writer-producer mode" right now. And in author mode, too.

The Philadelphia neo-soul artist tells Billboard.com he has a book "in its early, embryonic development stage," although he hopes to publish it "by summer -- definitely before the fall." And the subject comes from some of his favorite topics to sing and write about.

"It's going to be about love and relationships, and love and music," Musiq explains. "Basically it's just a man with an opinion ranting about love and relationships and how my music is affected by them and how my music impacts other people's relationships. I know my core audience and people who are interested in my music will be interested in it, and hopefully people who never even heard of me and wouldn't even be interested in the music I make will at least be interested in my thoughts and opinions on how we as people relate to each other in terms of romantic love and relationships. I just really hope people will enjoy it."

While the book is in motion, Musiq is also hunkering down with other artists, including Bow Wow, Chrisette Michele and "a few other people who are still in the development phase." "I think at the moment I enjoy being a writer and producer just a little bit more than being a performer," he says. "I want to take a step back a little bit as an artist. I do enjoy performing, I do enjoying singing -- all of that, and I'm not gonna stop doing it. But I think it takes away from being creative, and being a writer-producer you can constantly be creative."

He wouldn't mind seeing another single releases from "MusiqInTheMagiq" because "there's a lot of good stuff on that project that could use a little bit of attention" but says his label hasn't approached him about it yet. He's also waiting for a green-light for another album; when that happens Musiq says he'll "jump on it" and expects to "be as authentic and true to myself as possible" with his own new music.

"I don't want to be trending," Musiq explains. "Instead of pursuing ideas of being more radio-friendly and...commercial, I want to go harder at being more creative. I've been at this game for 10, 11 years doing R&B, soul, neo soul, alternative soul -- whatever you want to call it, music that's not necessarily trendy and popular but that people still come out for. I really can't complain about that; I just take it as a sign of my credibility. People are going to gravitate towards whether they like it or not, no matter how marketable it is or whether you're pleasing a certain demographic. I don't mind trending, but I want it to be for authentic purposes and not because a whole bunch of people said it was hot."

Questions? Comments? Let us know: @billboard

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