After a prolific 2010 that's seen an album (the chart-topping "Raymond v. Raymond") and an EP ("Versus"), Usher says we can expect his next release probably sooner rather than later.
"I don't plan on taking a long time or hiatus from music after this tour," the multi-platinum R&B singer told Billboard.com in advance his worldwide OMG trek, which kicks off Nov. 10 in Seattle and runs through late March of 2011. "I do plan on coming right back. I don't know exactly what type of musical experience it will be, but I'll be right back with another musical experience to keep it alive."
Usher added that he does expect his world travels, which will take him through North America, Europe, Australia and New Zealand, to have some impact when he does return to the studio.
"As I travel the world, I absorb what I hear and what I feel," he explains. "The one thing that is inevitable is change, and if you don't change and adapt, then you die...I plan on keeping my ear to the street, or at least to the world, but pounding the concrete in introducing new styles. I just hope that the world can keep up."
Usher has been rehearsing for the OMG tour -- which takes its name from the chart-topping collaboration with will.i.am from "Raymond v. Raymond" -- at the Los Angeles Forum. He describes the production as "a more technical show than my normal show," with "a lot of (video) screen content," extensive choreography and "a few remarkable moments."
"Expect a show that's above and beyond what you'd normally get form Usher," he says. "I'm like a superhero in this show, and I do all my own stunts. I wanted to make sure it was state-of-the-art...I pulled all that stuff together to give people this ultimate OMG, 'Oh my god!,' experience."
Usher said he plans to draw generously from both "Raymond v. Raymond" and "Versus" for the OMG show's setlist. "I'm doing all the singles that you've heard," he revealed, "and there are a few new records from 'Raymond v. Raymond' that have not been singles, but I know that my crowd responds to as well. Otherwise I'll be doing classics form all my other albums."
Along with opener Trey Songz, Usher is using the OMG tour to introduce Miguel, the latest artist from his production stable that has also launched the skyrocketing career of Justin Bieber. Not surprisingly, Usher voiced some confidence he could make lightning strike again.
"Y'know, I never sell myself short," he said. "I aim to be the best and aim to introduce the best...when I saw (Bieber) he was the type of artist I wanted to be associated with, someone that I felt would be able to really absorb whatever I have to offer. I always told him, 'You could be as big as you want to be, depending on your dedication. How bad do you want this?' And he said, 'I really want it,' then I said 'OK, then you'll make it. You'll have it all.' I'm very proud of the success we've had with him."