Just A Minute With: singer Erykah Badu

Wed Oct 1, 2008 8:20am EDT
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By Phil Stewart

ROME (Reuters Life!) - Desperate to record song ideas, Grammy Award-winning R&B singer Erykah Badu used to dial her own phone number and sing into the voicemail.

That's until her 10-year-old son took pity on her and explained how to use Apple computer's built-in music recording program, GarageBand.

The result for the self-proclaimed "analog girl" was 72 new songs in three months that ended a dry spell away from the studio. It also led to the diva's critically acclaimed new album "New Amerykah Part One (4th World War)," which blends soul, funk, hip-hop and blues. Part Two is due out shortly.

Badu sat down with Reuters during her European tour to discuss her return to recording music, the use of new technologies and her fascination with blues legends like Lightnin' Hopkins.

Q: It's been a long time since your last album. Why the delay?

A: I tour eight months out of the year. That's what I do. I'm mainly a performance artist. I also enjoy recording too... When there is something to say, when I have something to write about, I do that. And I don't try to beat the clock or push. I have all my life.

Q: It was your son that taught you how to use (the computer to record music ideas)?

A: Garageband? Yes. Because he felt sorry for me. I would get my cell phone and try to remember a song, and he said: "Mom. You don't have to do that. All you have to do is drag the music into this one track. And then create some tracks to sing on and you can record right now."   Continued...

<p>Singer Erykah Badu performs at the Music Park Auditorium in Rome in this picture taken July 6, 2008. REUTERS/Musacchio &amp; Ianniello/Handout</p>