D’Angelo confessed that he’s going for something completely new on his third album.
In outtakes from GQ interview, the singer confessed that he’s always hated the term "neo-soul" because it’s so restrictive.
"It counteracts the very f*#king idea of what it was in the first place," he said. "It’s Black music thinking—it’s Black music manifested outside of the box. And when you label it neo-soul, you’re putting it right back in the box. How about you just call me soul music?’”
And D’Angelo wants to stay true to his musical vision. To do that, though, the singer said he must remain the person he’s always been at heart.
"I tried to fight, I guess, what typically fame quote-unquote does to people,” he explained. “I didn’t want to stop being, you know, the rambunctious mug that I was, because that’s what made my music what it was."
He added, "It happens to the best of them, you know: At some point in everyone’s career, it was like the music lost its bite. I’m like, ‘Well, how do you avoid that?’”
Still, D’Angelo knows that change and growth are inevitable, and that means that his music must change as well. For this album, which he told GQ is about 97 percent done, he’s gotten experimental. Fans will still have something to groove to with tracks like "Sugar Daddy," but there are also some darker tones on the album.
For example, on "The Charade" D’Angelo growls about "crawling through a systematic maze to demise." There’s also a song called "1000 Deaths," that is so distorted as to be an acquired taste for some listeners.
It doesn’t bother D’Angelo that not everyone may take to his new material right away because he’s driven by artistry.