Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Chaka Khan Releases New CD, 'Funk This,' Returning to Her Roots

CHAKA KHAN: Ready To 'Funk'

Posted Jun 22nd 2007 4:44PM by Karu F. Daniels
Filed under: Entertainment Newswire
By Karu F. Daniels, AOL Black Voices

Chaka Khan is still hot like fire.

The eight time Grammy Award winning R&B diva brought her soulful fury into The Big Apple June 21 for an exclusive listening session for her new album, titled 'Funk This,' at the Sony Music Studios.

The new album, produced by R&B superproducers Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis marks Khan's first full length studio effort (including new, unreleased compositions) in over ten years. With covers of tracks popularized by Prince ('Sign of the Times'), Dee Dee Warwick ('Foolish Fool'), Jimi Hendrix ('Castle in the Sand') and her former band Rufus ('You Got the Love'), 'Funk This' is well balanced with new and original compositions, most notably the poignant 'Angel,' which is an entry from her diary.

Yesterday, she talked to a jam-packed studio audience about her experience working with the four-time Grammy Award winning dynamic duo.

"I really enjoyed working with Jam and Lewis. They are not snobby, stuck up guys. They are really real. And Terry would say you're not coming out of the (booth) until I feel it."

Khan feels that this new opus, set for release via Burgundy Records/Sony on Sept. 25, may remind people of my early Rufus albums because she's in a similar "soul space."

"I've been on a little journey in the last few years, finding Yvette again," she said. (Yvette Marie Stevens is the Chicago native's birthname.) "I went through a period of being insecure," she added. "I'm walking a different path now. I've changed. This album is different from any other album I've recorded because it reflects what I'm about, who I am now. The album is called, 'Funk This!' because it's funky!"

Speaking of funky, a lead single from the album is an original up-tempo groove titled 'Disrespectful,' -- the tour-de-force duet with Queen of Hip-hop/Soul Mary J. Blige.

While her and Blige didn't record the album together live, it's a collaboration that will knock your socks off. "We're never together anymore," she admitted of the recording process. "Mary, however, did come back after I put my vocal on it, and put another vocal on because ... she had to," Khan quipped as the room busted out in laughter. "That's my dog. She's my dog and I love her," she clarified, then explained, "but there are times when you can't really distinguish which one of us are singing, even to me."

"But what I'm dreading is singing that live because that's a lot of screaming," she contemplated.

According to a Burgundy rep, various mixes of 'Disrespectful' will surface within the coming weeks, as the label gears up for a full fledged marketing blitz surrounding the yet to be determined first single.

Khan, who appeared as an opening act for Jill Scott at Radio City Music Hall last week, will also embark on a 'Funk This' around the time of the album's release.

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