"Back in January, Disclosure and Mary J. Blige teamed up for a new version of Settle's "F For You". The remix proved immensely popular with fans, and Blige eventually joined the duo onstage at New York City's Terminal 5 to sing the track. A few months later, the R&B diva was featured on another reworked another British hit: this time, Sam Smith's "Stay With Me".
Now, in an interview with The Observer published August 31, Blige has announced a deeper foray into British music with The London Sessions. The new album, recorded earlier this summer, will include at least one track recorded in collaboration with Disclosure (who also co-produced the new project) and a "doo-wop" song featuring Sam Smith. It'll be out later this autumn.
Disclosure confirmed their team-up with Blige on their Twitter:
We have been writing/producing some songs on @maryjblige 's forthcoming record with @jimmynapes and @samsmithworld http://t.co/ARu15Na8Jx
— Disclosure (@disclosure) September 1, 2014
Blige worked alongside an extensive roster of musicians on The London Sessions. Emeli Sandé, Jimmy Napes, Naughty Boy, and Sam Romans all pitched in, with Rodney "Darkchild" Jerkins contributing additional production, according to The Observer.
Speaking with The Observer, Blige elaborated on what drew her to the U.K.:
The sound in London at the moment is house music. That is what the majority of people are producing their songs like. But the ones that get truly successful are the ones using proper songwriting. Rudimental for example – they write proper songs and then produce them like dance music. And that is exactly what we're trying to do, along with a few other people. But that applies to any genre, not just dance music. You could take the songs off Sam Smith's album, produce them in a completely different way and they would still be a huge success – you could produce them like acid jazz and I still feel like they'd get somewhere."
-Zoe Camp (pitchfork)