Wonder To Spread 'Love' Next Spring

After several delays, Stevie Wonder's first studio album since 1995, "A Time 2 Love," is expected to be out in April via Motown.

After several delays, Stevie Wonder's new studio album, "A Time 2 Love," is expected to be out in April via Motown.

"As an artist, you get anxious and excited -- you want to show what you can do," Wonder tells Billboard in an exclusive interview for the Dec. 11 issue, on newsstands today (Dec. 3). "But for me, I had to make a real decision not to rush. I wasn't feeling that the timing is right. A lot of what I do when I do an album is based on whether the timing is right."

"A Time 2 Love" will be Wonder's first studio set since 1995's "Conversation Peace," which debuted at No. 16 on The Billboard 200. "I didn't mean for that to happen," he says of the amount of time that elapsed between projects. "On the other hand, it wasn't a panic-mode situation, either, where we've got to do this or we're going to have a problem up in here."

The set will be a single-disc affair, although Wonder says, "in these nine years I've done more than just the songs that will be on the album. And it's going good. In these nine years I've found the songs that feel most comfortable for me."

Among the tracks earmarked for the set are "If the Creek Don't Rise" ("something I wrote a while back that I recently revisited," Wonder says) and "If Your Love Cannot Be Moved," the latter of which features live instrumentation by Wonder and several guest spots.

"I have myself playing, some symphony musicians from [Los Angeles] and Doug E. Fresh doing a little beat-box thing," he reveals. "I also have a female talking-drum player from Nigeria. And we're going to have the West Los Angeles choir sing. I'm going to record the choir at the church."

After "Time" is released, Wonder says he has "three immediate goals": a "jazz album with harmonica," a gospel album and a musical.

As previously reported, the artist will receive the Century Award, Billboard's highest honor for creative achievement, Wednesday (Dec. 8) at the Billboard Music Awards. Several artists, including Diana Ross and Mary J. Blige, will be on hand to salute Wonder during the event, which will air live on Fox.

The full text of the Wonder interview is available to Billboard.com subscribers after 3 p.m. ET today. For information about ordering a copy of the issue, click here.