Natasha Bedingfield  promises that the title of her new album, "Strip Me," does not refer to wardrobe malfunctions or any kind of prurient desires.
"The album's called 'Strip Me' because it's all about stripping it down to who we are as humans," the British-born songstress tells Billboard.com. "We're united about our needs, our desires and our pain, all the different things we go through together. 'Strip Me' felt like it explains what the songs are about more than any other title I could think of. So it has a double meaning, but I think people kind of know me enough to know what I mean by it."
Bedingfield adds that "Strip Me," which comes out Dec. 7, also refers to her sonic ambitions on the 14-track set, which she executive produced while working with collaborators such as John Shanks, Ryan Tedder, Steve Kipner and John Hill.
"I wanted the album to musically feel kind of stripped-back and have a simplicity to it," she explains. "When I sing and perform live, I strip it back so often. Many times it's just me and a guitar or me on piano and keyboards...I felt like I really wanted to represent a bit of that on the album. I feel like creatively it's my most cohesive work. It really feels like all the songs belong together."
The songs from "Strip Me" aren't the only way for fans to hear Bedingfield these days, however. She also shows up in the worlds of country and hip-hop, guesting on "Easy" from Rascal Flatts ' new album "Nothing Like This" and on "Last Chance" from Nicki Minaj 's debut, "Pink Friday."
"I've always had very eclectic and varied tastes in music," Bedingfield says. "I think you're always going to see that from me, just working with people in different genres. I love it. Rascal Flatts were fantastic; I've always been into folk music and Americana, people like Johnny Cash , so I feel that's quite linked to country music. And I know Rascal Flatts are classified as pop/country, definitely more in that world. So it was like opening a window for me.
"And with Nicki, I come from London and we've got a heavy influence in hip-hop. She called me and was like, 'I'd love for you to sing on this. I'm a huge fan,' and I was instantly like, 'I'll do this.' I heard the song she'd written and it gave me goosebumps. I was like, 'I've got to be on that.' I was in Detroit, doing some promotion, so I went into Eminem's studio and it was amazing, really catching off Eminem's vibe. He wasn't there, but his studio is great."
Bedingfield says she's planning to tour in 2011 to promote "Strip Me," but no dates have been set yet. "I know it's all being mapped out now," she says.
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