Although there’s no schedule set for her fourth Jive studio album, Britney Spears has already taken meetings with producer William Orbit (Madonna, Blur) and French electronica duo Daft Punk with an eye on future collaborations. “I’ve been off, but I’ve still been working, too,” she says in an exclusive interview with the Hollywood Reporter. “The main thing is I’ve just been going on my [own] schedule. I’ve been going in the studio, I’ve been working, I’ve been dancing, but it hasn’t been someone saying, ‘You have to do this at this time.’ It’s really been on my own time.”
“I would go crazy if I didn’t do anything,” Spears continues. “I always have to do something. When I first got off the [Dream Within a Dream] tour, I was going to try and chill out for a couple of months, but there’s no way I could’ve done that. So after two weeks, I just started recording and playing around. We haven’t really been taking it that seriously, but we are going to start taking it serious in January. Mainly, I’ve just been having meetings with people to hear their stuff to see if I want to work with them in January. I met up with some really hot producers, William Orbit and Daft Punk, overseas.”
Spears stretched her sound on her 2001 album “Britney,” which featured collaborations with such producers as the Neptunes, Rodney Jerkins, and Max Martin. “Musically, I seriously think I am going to do a little bit more rock, hip-hop and just play with it,” the artist reveals. “That’s the direction I’m in now, but who knows? A month from now, it may change, and I could come up with this amazing, amazing song, and then everything just kind of shifts.”
Asked if she feels any pressure to reinvent herself amid ever-shifting popular tastes, Spears says, “No. Anyway, it’s not something you should try to do — it should just happen naturally from the way you feel. When people say, ‘I’m going to do this,’ or ‘I’m going to do that’ or they plan something, that’s when it doesn’t really come out. Right now, I’m in the studio just doing my thing and letting it flow. Whatever happens, happens.”
“Britney” debuted in November 2001 at No. 1 on The Billboard 200 and has sold 4 million copies in the U.S., according to Nielsen SoundScan. Spears’ three sets have sold a combined 23.4 million copies in the U.S. to date.