I was very excited read somewhere that you’ve got another project in the pipeline called ‘The King and I.’ Perhaps you could enlighten me as to what that’s going to be.
For a long time I always thought and shared with Ms. Wallace (a.k.a. Christopher Wallace/Biggie Small’s mother) and close friends that one day I want to do a duet album with me and Big. I just kind of finally felt that it was a good time to see about making it happen and the people that own the masters agreed.
Is it all unreleased stuff?
No, but what I plan on doing with it is not like remixes. I actually started recording a couple of things and plan on crafting new songs based around whether it be a verse or verses of his from different records. Some of the songs will be me singing most of it with him maybe rapping the bridge and vice versa, some songs will be him rapping and me singing the hook. It’s definitely going to be a different approach to the previous things – his posthumous work – that have been put out other than his actual album releases. It’s not going to be like the duets album that came out already, that’s for sure. More like Natalie Cole and Nat King Cole, but hip-hop and R&B (laughs).
Why do you think Biggie’s music has stood the test of time?
Because he was dope and one of the best that ever did it. That’s so true. You can hear his stuff and it’s not like it sounds an old stuff. It’s still dope.
Going back to the beginning of your career, what was it like working at Bad Boy at the beginning of the ’90s?
Everything was a lot of fun. We were all family, like we would go and hang at each other’s sessions, or hang in the office and kick it with the staff. It was just a lot of fun. I think once the records actually came out and the success started it probably was a bit much (laughs). Of course, I mean everybody started travelling and we didn’t see each other as much but I still maintain all the relationships that I had back then with everybody from Bad Boy.
Do you have any unfulfilled ambitions?
Oh, there’s a whole lot more from me to do at some of it. I’m constantly thinking of different things. Again, I have several TV projects in development, one we are actually shooting a pilot that has Queen Latifah’s company on.
Does that have a title yet?
I think they’re going to make a press announcement so I don’t want to jump the gun. But it will definitely be announced very soon.
Of all the people that you worked with, who taught you most?
Oh wow, that’s a hard one. (Pauses, muses) That’s really hard because I’ve learned from people whether they knew I was or not. I was always very self-contained as far as what I do in the studio and stuff like that so it’s pretty much been always just me and the engineer. You know Al B. Sure, and Puff. I worked with Al before I had my deal. Not until I worked with him did I realise that he really is a producer. You don’t have to play the piano on a record or program the beats. And you don’t even have to write the record if you’re the one bringing it all together to be the finished product. And that’s what that word, producer, means. I’ve always taken that to heart but over time the definition’s changed. But Al is a trooper-duper, as Puff is as well.
Is there any fact about yourself that would probably surprise your fans?
I have a very wicked sense of humour, and I really do beat box a bit, like in the movies. And I cook pretty damn good! (laughs).
What’s been the highlight of your career to date?
I would say right now: still being here in this moment being promoted, having a record out, and talking to some people about it. The best is still yet to come. I haven’t reached the pinnacle yet and that’s a beautiful thing.
Finally, who would you most like to record with?
Oh, there’s a whole lot of people but I would say the two that come immediately to mind would be Stevie Wonder and Anita Baker. Both of them actually have reached out to me about working together. The Stevie collaboration was kind of hard, trying to get it scheduled. I think he was on his tour so we’re hopefully going to get together soon. Anita Baker reaches out to me a lot to encourage me and congratulate me and tells me she wants us to work together so we’ll be writing together soon as well.
FAITH EVANS IS PERFORMING AT BIRMINGHAM’S THE INSTITUTE TONIGHT AND TOMORROW AT LONDON’S INDIGO2.
HER NEW ALBUM ‘INCOMPARABLE’ IS IN THE UK OUT ON MARCH 16TH.