Anita Baker Explains 'Only Forever' Album Inspiration, Tyrese-Assisted Single 'Lately'
Anita Baker can't sit still. The Ohio-born, Michigan-raised soul singer has about as much energy as a toddler on a sugar high as she speaks about Only Forever, her first album in seven years. She's excited for the release, and rightfully so. The woman is on a mission to merge classic sounds with technological advancements.
"I just had this concept of walking into a digital universe with an analog heart [on Only Forever]," Baker tells The BoomBox. "So we're kind of marrying the two. I started cutting analog down in Nashville, and once I knew what we were gonna do, we bounced it over to the digital format so that the 21st century producers like Harvey Mason, Jr., could manipulate it.
"I was just very focused on getting some analog energy in there somewhere. So it's a lovely bridge that I'm trying to build tech-wise as well as musically."
The first single off the effort, titled "Lately," is actually a take on crooner Tyrese's 1999 track of the same name. Baker, who speaks fondly of the former model-turned-singer and actor, referring to him as one of her "handful of friends" and "second-born Capricorn son," chose to recreate his original song in part because she wants him to continue sharing his gift. He's set to appear on one of two versions of the track.
"['Lately' is] one of the first songs we cut, analog, in Nashville," she reveals. "I brought in a live rhythm section. I brought it to L.A., and I called [Tyrese] into the studio and I played it for him; he had no idea. And he lost it, of course. He was like, 'I know who has got to produce this!' I'm like, 'I already know, I got Harvey Mason, Jr., on tap.'"
Another song that will be featured