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Last month, we brought you the scoop on Fergieís debut solo album The Dutchess, and its smashing first single London Bridge. This month, we let the Black Eyed Pea herself tell us about the making of the album, her favourite tracks, and her personal struggles that have helped her grow into one of todayís biggest stars.

You seem to have a lot of support from your band members. But the question on everyoneís mind is ~ are the Black Eyed Peas breaking up?
For everyoneís information, the Peas are not breaking up. We are currently on tour and during the set I play one of my songs. And as the singles come out, Iíll start playing more of them and letting just people live with the album. You know, I want people to hear the album and really listen from start to finish because there will be songs for everyone.

How is The Dutchess different from a Black Eyed Peas album?
The difference between the Peasí sound and my solo album is that this one is a lot more open on a personal level for me. I really dug deep and was very honest about my relationships, my break-ups, my struggles, and of course the good times. So, this will be a look into who I am as a person.

This album was written within a seven-year period, so it has songs from many different phases of my life, which I find interesting. I couldnít have written a song today that I wrote five years ago because Iím not in the same place. There are also a lot more ballads on my album than there would be on a Black Eyed Peas album because first and foremost, I am a singer.

How was your experience making this album?
The experience of recording this record took many turns. Some songs were done before I even joined the Peas, when I was living at my momís just trying to get into any studio I could and trying to work with and the Peas. Little did I know that I would join them soon in the band. Also, I had another set of recordings from a time when we actually took a month off, which is a big deal for us, and I lived at a Malibu studio home with Will and it was very peaceful and serene. Itís in Malibu itís called Morning View, and I really needed that time to get away from what chaos of tour to dig deep and get some of those more intimate lyrics that are on the album.

Tell us about London Bridge.
London Bridge is a very aggressive, exciting of song. I wanted that type of song for my first single because I wanted people to know that I have arrived. And Iíve been waiting a long time for this. So, I really needed to get peopleís attention to let them know that Iím here. And that was that song.

How was the experience shooting the video in London?
It was amazing to shoot the video in London. Being that the song is called London Bridge it was only right and proper. It was beautiful. We got to this beautiful mansion and have this old school gentlemenís club party that I got to crash in the video. I got to wear menís clothing, which Iíve always wanted to do in a video. That whole androgynous, but not, type of thing. I also made the English guard beefeaters move when theyíre standing completely still. I had to. It was just so obvious.

My relationship with London is obviously a very good one, or I wouldnít have allowed there to be a song called London Bridge. I lived in London for a bit in Cheswick while we were recording Monkey Business. So I know the day-to-day weather and happenings of London. I even recorded some of my record there.

Youíve worked with [producers] and Ron Fair before. How was it to work with them on a Fergie record?
Fergie:, as you all know, is just a genius, as well as Ron Fair. They both are brilliant in their different ways, but Will and I work together constantly. And on the road we took the John Lennon studio bus and as we toured America just went into the studio for a few hours before the show and knocked some stuff out, and thatís the way we were able to finish the album.

Iíve known Ron Fair for a long time, since I was eighteen years old and he signed another group I was in called Wild Orchid. And we worked long hours into the night in the studio. So we know each other very well in the studio and out. So it was a joy that this all came together to where our paths crossed again and he was involved with the Peas, became the president of Geffen and now got to work with me on my record, so it was just like old times.

Mary Janeís Shoes is a special track for youÖ
Mary Janeís Shoes is my reggae song. Iíve always been a huge fan of Bob Marley and Rita Marley and I was blessed to have the Original I-3, including Rita Marley sing backgrounds on this record. So I got to pretend Iím Bob for about two seconds. Itís a feel good song. At the end, it goes into a little bit of the rock side of me. So I think Iím gonna just chill out for a while on that song and at the very end, Iíll jump up and down, maybe mosh pit a little bit. I donít know, coming to a town near you. Weíll see.

You can read the rest of our feature on Fergie in the November-December 2006 issue of The Record Music Magazine available at your local newsagent.


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