The collaboration with Cobra Starship frontman Gabe Saporta on “Make It Out This Town” seems like an unlikely albeit successful one. How did it come about?
Gabe is someone I actually met, I think we had to do something for MTV or something like that and we just kind of hit it off—like we clicked—and I winded up going to his concert and I was like wow. His band is really good and I think he’s really talented. When I was writing the song, for some reason his name and his voice was the voice I could hear [on it]. And knowing him as a person, although his music is different, I knew he would be into the subject of the song.
I saw pictures recently of you with Estelle, Melanie Fiona, and Chrisette Michele, who appears on your new record, at your NYC album listening party and you ladies looked like you were friends. Do you think that feeling of sisterhood is easier to achieve in the R&B/soul music world than the rap world because of the innate competitive nature of the rap game?
Yes, it seems to be. You know it’s funny, because after I looked at those pictures too I was like damn, it’s funny how these ladies came out for me in the industry, but they all happened to be R&B – no hip hop. It is kind of crazy, and even in R&B the ladies are definitely friendlier to each other, so I don’t know what it is with hip hop that females can’t get along. I don’t know what it is. They guys [in hip hop] do it all the time – they run around together, do songs together, all kinds of things…
But you do have a single on Lip Lock with rapper Missy Elliott. How was it working with her?
It was great. I mean, Missy’s someone I’ve known since I’ve been in the business, so that was really, really great, and we also got a young girl on it named Nacho who’s an up-and-coming female rapper.
How was it working with Snoop Dogg aka Snoop Lion on your album? Was that an experiment or was it a collaboration destined to happen?
The song actually had him on the hook already and I believe the song was for him, and I kinda begged and was like, “Oh my God is he going to use this song? If he’s not going to use it I want it and would he stay on the song.” So it kind of organically just happened.