Beyoncé Knowles covers ‘Complex’ August/September 2011, the annual Style & Design issue. The 29-year-old singer sat down with the magazine and shared the story behind her latest album ‘4’. Bey also chatted about her husband of three years Jay-Z, inspiration, the boundaries of her music and what she would want her legacy to be.
Her album ‘4’ was officially released in June. Speaking about the inspiration for this album, Beyoncé told ‘Complex’ that, “Figuring out a way to get R&B back on the radio is challenging. Everything sounds the same on the radio. With ‘4’ I tried to mix R&B from the ’70s and the ’90s with rock ‘n’ roll and a lot of horns to create something new and exciting. I wanted musical changes, bridges, vibrata, live instrumentation, and classic songwriting.”
For this new album, she collaborated with The-Dream, Babyface, Switch, Sleigh Bells, Frank Ocean and Kanye West. Beyoncé admits that she cried the first time she heard Kanye’s ‘Runaway’. “The fact that he’s belting out his pain, his confusion, and his anger, with no pre-written lyrics, was so moving. He’s singing his heart out for five minutes. He is so vulnerable. I love when an artist can be so honest,” the singer says.
On her husband’s music, Beyoncé confesses that, “Jay’s music is more than music. His lyrics have fathered generations. All that he has overcome gives millions so much hope. There are moments when I see his lips moving and I can see lyrics floating above his head and I think, ‘Wow! How did I get so lucky to be able to witness this level of genius so closely?'”
The singer reveals that she anticipates if a certain song can pass beyond different boundaries. “I’ve found that with hit records the melody and lyrics come together [naturally]. I usually know from the hook if the song is something that transcends language, race, and genre, and if it’s something that affects pop culture. It’s something I can visualize people singing in stadiums all over the world. But my favorite songs on my albums are usually not my singles,” she told the magazine.
The gorgeous diva also talks about competition and the rivalry with other queens. “There is room on this earth for many queens. I have an authentic, God-given talent, drive, and longevity that will always separate me from everyone else. I’ve been fortunate to accomplish things that the younger generation of queens dream of accomplishing. I have no desire for anyone else’s throne. I am very comfortable in the throne I’ve been building for the past 15 years,” Bey says.
Beyoncé proves she’s more mature and wiser, saying that, “Whenever I feel bad, I use that feeling to motivate me to work harder. I only allow myself one day to feel sorry for myself. People who complain really get on my nerves. When I’m not feeling my best I ask myself, ‘What are you gonna do about it?’ I use the negativity to fuel the transformation into a better me.”
On art and her music, she thinks that, “It’s important to have no boundaries in my music. The beautiful thing about art is that you can create a fantasy in your mind about what you think a song is about. Only the writer truly knows what or whom the song is about.” As for what she would want her legacy to be, Bey says that, “I just want my legacy to be great music. Someone who was a risk taker and someone who had songs that struck conversation and emotion.”
Photos courtesy of Complex Magazine