Mary J Blige Announces Sam Smith, Disclosure & Emeli Sande for 'London Sessions'
Mary J Blige's upcoming album release will be a best of British affair. The R&B Queen will collaborate with the likes of Sam Smith, Disclosure and Emeli Sande on The London Sessions, a collection of recordings inspired by the spectacular output of London's music scene.
Naughty Boy, Sam Romans, Jimmy Napes, and Eg White will also contribute to the album, which will be released Dec. 2 through a new relationship with Capitol Records.
“It’s all about the London music scene and I’m so excited to have been part of it, to record my album,” says Blige in a statement. “The songs are fun, therapeutic and soulful. This is a beautiful change for me and I’m proud of what we have done here.”
Adds Capitol chairman Steve Barnett: “Mary J. Blige created a one-of-a-kind blend of hip-hop and soul that has excited fans for more than 20 years, making her one of the most successful and acclaimed artists in any genre of music. The London Sessions is a fantastic album; another step forward for this great and enduring artist, and I am thrilled that she is now an important member of our Capitol Records family.”
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Although Blige remains in the Universal fold, The London Sessions marks her first effort off of Interscope Records, her label home of more than 15 years.
On The London Sessions, she’s in familiar company. Blige gave Disclosure's "F For You" a makeover earlier this year, and contributed vocals to Smith's hit single, "Stay With Me.”
Blige has a lot of love for the London scene. "The music is free over here the way it used to be in the States,” she told Britain’s Observer newspaper. “Artists are just free to do what they love. Listening to the radio you can hear the freedom. The music is living and breathing – you can hear that from Adele's last album. It was massive – a big deal. But she did what she loved."
Smith co-wrote lead single “Therapy” with Blige and Eg White (Adele, Florence + The Machines, James Blunt). The song, which is said to borrow from doo-wop with a simple beat, minimal instrumentation and backing harmonies, will become available as an instant-grat track on Sept. 23 when fans purchase a pre-order copy of the album on iTunes.
Blige has been prolific of late. The London Sessions, her 13th studio album, follows on the heels of her soundtrack album Think Like a Man Too which arrived in June via Epic, and the yuletide themed A Mary Christmas which dropped in late 2013 via Matriarch/Verve/Interscope.
Blige’s next major performance will be, appropriately, in London on Sept. 25 for the iTunes Festival.