Although songwriters walking the red carpet at the 32nd annual ASCAP Pop Music Awards on Wednesday night were being recognized for past work, many of them shared news of upcoming albums they’re working on.
Lorde: Joel Little, who received awards for co-writing “Royals” and “Team” with Lorde, says he and the New Zealand singer have begun work on her follow-up to 2013’s Pure Heroine on Lava/Republic. “We’ve written a couple of songs,” he says. “We haven’t done a whole lot of production on it yet, we just want to make sure the songs are really good and try and experiment with some new things — just different beats and whatever occurs in the studio.” With no release date set, Little says the pair are “not pigeonholing ourselves in any particular way” and are “just trying new things. We can take the time to make sure we’ve explored every option.”
Iggy Azalea: Producer/songwriters Kurtis McKenzie and Jon Mills, collectively known as The Arcade, have begun writing songs for Azalea’s new album. The pair, who collected an award for co-writing Azalea’s breakthrough hit “Fancy,” said that so far, they are concentrating on similarly upbeat, confident fare. They added that other writers were penning some slower tempo songs so the Australian rapper’s second Def Jam album — and follow up to 2014’s The New Classic — would show more facets of Azalea.
Leona Lewis: Toby Gad, who captured Song of the Year honors for co-writing John Legend’s smash “All of Me,” just wrapped work with a re-invigorated Leona Lewis, whose next album, I Am, will come out on Def Jam in the U.S. Lewis parted ways with Syco/RCA after the relatively disappointing performance of her last album, 2012’s Glassheart. “She has a completely new team. When she left the old team, she was angry and upset and that was great to write songs about that and that led to amazing songs,” Gad says. “The two of us wrote most of the album together and just put our feelings into songs.” Lewis will perform “emotion” first single, “Fire (Under My Feet),” on television in the U.K. next week, with the single going to radio in two weeks. The U.S. roll out will begin shortly thereafter, with the album expected to come out later this year.
Tom Morello: The Rage Against the Machine/Audioslave guitarist is working on a solo album as Tom Morello, as opposed to his politically-charged folk alter ego The Nightwatchman. Producer/instrumentalist Carl Restivo, who took part in the Constantine Maroulis-led tribute to Kiss at the ASCAP Awards, tells Billboard that he and Morello have worked on four songs together. “It’s rock, but it’s pretty experimental, too. It’s slamming, hard hitting,” he says, adding that there are also electronic elements mixed in. Restivo is co-producing with Morello and handling much of the programming. “He writes all music and, obviously, the lyrics. Some of the songs, I take what he does –sometimes it’s just a shell with the electric guitar and a click track or maybe a bass line — and I’ll go program all the drums [and] put in the synths, the bass synths.” Restivo also hinted that there may be some high profile guests, but said that Morello’s recent touring mate, Bruce Springsteen, was not one of them. Morello has been shopping the project, but no label or release date has been announced, according to Restivo.