Most R&B singers are singing love songs, most pop singers are singing love songs, but most hip-hop singers are not singing love songs. They’re usually talking about their life, what they’re going through, what they’re experiencing. And so they need a voice that speaks about life, that sounds like it can explain life and what life feels like. I think that they [aspire] to work with me because my voice pairs well with [that] lifestyle.
EBONY: Is there someone you haven’t worked with who you’d love to work with in the future?
CM: Bruno Mars. I think he’s really dope. I’d love to work together. I love Iggy Azalea. I think she’s dope, I think she’d be fun in the studio.
EBONY: Did you write a lot on this new album?
CM: Oh, yes. And it’s funny because most of the writing took place maybe a year and a half ago. The album was done when I put my mixtape out for the most part. So all that happened after that was me sort of figuring out how I’m gonna explain to my fans that I’m not sad, I’m not broken, I’m not singing anymore brokenhearted love songs.
EBONY: So we’re hearing the pages of your diary, but from a year ago?
CM: Definitely. When I write songs and I sing them onstage, a lot of times what I sing about onstage happens in my life. Even if I sing about it, it happened after. But I sort of got tired of being sort of in a rut—relationships that didn’t necessarily work out or heartbreak. So I said, “From now on, I’m going to sing stuff that I want to see happen in my life.” So a lot of the album is a forecast into what I’m expecting in the future, and that’s love.
EBONY: Better is a big deal, but what else is 2013 bringing for Chrisette Michele?
CM: I’m going to take some time to go hang out in Paris and learn French for a little bit. Maybe there’ll be a French song on the next album! I’ll be out touring, of course. I’m out with Mary J. Blige right now, so just a lot of being onstage. And then I’m working on a book called Fat and Vegan that I would like to see on shelves by Christmastime. I think I’m going to take a nap in Paris right in the middle of it all and then get back to it.