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Friday, February 17, 2012

Algebra Blessett talks "Black Gold" — and her solo musical future

Algebra on the set of the Black Gold video.
  • Algebra on the set of the "Black Gold" video.

A few weeks ago, we offered a look at the video for “Black Gold,” the new single by Grammy-winning bassist/vocalist Esperanza Spalding and Atlanta-based soul singer Algebra Blessett.

If you haven’t seen it, watch it … because it’s amazing. It’s so amazing, in fact, that we just had to get more details about the collaboration.

So, this week, we tracked down Blessett and she gave up the goods about “Black Gold” — as well as info about her own musical future.

Creative Loafing: How did you get hooked up with Esperanza to do “Black Gold”?

Algebra Blessett: Well, we’ve always wanted to work together. We’ve known each other for a while now … During [the making of] her Chamber Music Society [album] we got a chance to do a few songs together, and it just kind of snowballed.

So what was the process like writing and recording the song?

We wrote the song together, and it was just a good process. She is a phenomenal musician, so it was good to be in a creative space with somebody who speaks the same language when it comes to good music. [There were] no barriers at all. It was easygoing.

When I was watching the video for “Black Gold,” I really got the sense that there was more to that particular shoot. I did some poking around online and found some footage of you doing jam sessions on the set. So what was it like shooting the video that day?

Well, the video was shot in New York, and it was one of those things where we didn’t know what was going to happen. During the recording of the video, we were really playing along with the track. And in between a lot of the takes, we’d do a lot of different songs, spur of the moment. It was real improv.

Switching gears to your solo music, how are things going on your second album?

Things are interesting. It’s been a few years since I’ve done an album. But since Purpose in ’08, I’ve gone through doing features on other albums, writing for other people, writing for myself as well, touring, spot dates … but there’s nothing like having your album ready to go. Because a lot of times people can’t come see you in a certain city [and] sometimes they just want to pop you into a CD player or iTunes. So that’s been my focus for the last few months — just focusing on completing this record. So that when I see everyone again, I’ll have something to say, “Hey, and this is what I’ve been working on.”

And you think this new CD will come out in 2012?

Yes.

Are you signed to a label now or are you independent?

I’m independent. I was at first with Motown/Kedar Entertainment and then it went to Kedar Entertainment. I’m in an independent situation as of right now … independently major, as they call it these days … but you never know what’ll happen in two weeks with the way the music is going.

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