Erykah Badu says that Drake’s “Hotline Bling” influenced her musically. Recently, Erykah dropped her mixtape But U Caint Use My Phone last month. In an interview with Pitchfork the songstress talks about being inspired by Drake, the creative process of the mixtape, and new music.
“It was Drake’s song that helped me reboot the music hard drive inside of me, Once I embodied that, I was off and running because I knew how to use the frequencies to fit my tastes, and I was able to manipulate Ableton and sound effects and voice boxes and all these things. I’ve always tampered with that, but not to this extent. Of course, New Amerykah Part One was a psychedelic trip, but it had an analog base. With But You Caint Use My Phone, I didn’t use any analog-based material, all digi.”
Erykah also discusses her collaboration with André 3000 on the song “Hello.”
One day, I was sharing my ideas with Seven and André in the living room, and they are always really excited to share ideas with me—especially when they see that I’m percolating. They threw out a whole lot of songs to me once they figured out I was doing a phone theme with the mixtape, and André goes, “What about the Isley Brothers’ ‘Hello It’s Me’?” and I was like “Yeah!” So I plugged my phone in the speaker jack and played it, and we all started singing. Of course, the melody is totally different from how I did it, but it’s a classic and a favorite in the house.
In addition Erykah mentioned the current status of her next album.
“I have so much music that I do. Just like how a visual artist is always sketching something but they might not share it, I’m always writing songs or coming up with melodic lines on piano or guitar. It’s therapy. It’s always happening. And when I get ready to do an album, that means I have something to say for the sake of words, and I listen back to all of the things I’ve been creating and pull things from out of the air to go with them. It’s almost like I start creating the album before I even think about creating it. I use elements from my recent notebooks and things I’m feeling at the time and put together a body of work, including the artwork, the sequencing, a video. All those things go hand-in-hand now, it’s like putting together a huge piece of art using all of the things I have in my art box.”