After re-launching her music career with an appearance on fellow “American Idol” judge Randy Jackson’s new album, Paula Abdul is getting busy on her first new album since 1995’s “Head Over Heels.”
The as-yet-untitled project will include remixes of Abdul’s best-known hits, plus a host of new songs. In addition, Abdul tells Billboard that Paul Oakenfold and Akon are preparing remixes of “Dance Like There’s No Tomorrow,” her contribution to Jackson’s album. The artist has already chosen three new tracks to accompany the remixes.
“I will always be grateful for Randy getting me back into even the idea of helping me do this,” says Abdul. “I didn’t realize how much I missed it.”
For the artist, whose last new single was 1995’s “Crazy Cool,” the collaboration with Jackson consummated several years of vague conversations about working together. But during “Idol” auditions last July in San Diego, “Randy kept saying to me, ‘I’ve got the perfect song for you. It sounds like you, like now, it’s like a nod to you and your past, but it’s you now,’ ” Abdul says. “And he played it, and it was after the first two bars, I knew it was a hit. I knew it was a total smash.”
“Dance Like There’s No Tomorrow” was produced by Jackson and the Danish duo known as Deekay. Oliver Leiber, who wrote and produced Abdul’s “Forever Your Girl” and “(It’s Just) The Way That You Love Me,” did some additional vocal production.
Abdul, who scored her biggest hits with Virgin, now finds herself a free agent amid a music business that has changed drastically since her glory days. “I’m already getting interesting phone calls,” she says. “I want to have the ability to expand on my other talents. I want to be more of a partner.”
Abdul is hoping “to have another single out by the end of ‘Idol.’ I could have another single out, and another single after that, and then have an album out before Christmas. It’s the best of all worlds.”
Also on the horizon: a return to live performance. Abdul says she’s been offered the opportunity to make guest appearances during the annual “American Idol” summer tour, but she says she’s aiming higher.
“For me, I have to have the visuals and the staging. That’s what people expect from me, and the ‘Idol’ tour doesn’t allow for that,” she observes. “I have a whole plan. I do things that are very different and I’m all about setting a new trend and exploring. I have a lot of cool ideas.”