Bey-exc-1Five months after her stealth album drop it looks like Yonce is still on everyone’s mouth. Recently, the pop diva snagged the May “Power” issue of Out and allowed readers to venture behind the tightly-sealed doors of her company, Parkwood Entertainment, to discuss her surprise album release and its surprising ultra-personal (ehem, overtly sexual) tone.

The sprawling article details Parkwood’s close-knit staff, made of up Bey loyalists like her cousin and BFF Angie Beyince, Parkwood’s VP of Operations; Ed Burke, the company’s visual director; Ty Hunter, Beyonce’s stylists since the Destiny’s Child days; Yvette Noel-Schure, Bey’s publicist; and several others.

It is clear that each member of Beyoncé’s team puts in long hours and work their butts off because they believe in her talent. This unwavering commitment helped Parkwood pull off one of the biggest coups in music history: dropping an album with no build up, no hype, and no lead single, and watching it shoot to number one overnight.

Beyoncé told Out, her self-titled album was “much freer than anything I’d done in the past,” and that she and her team “really just tried to trust our instincts, embrace the moment, and keep it fun.”

Bey’s newfound freeness ignited an uproar about whether she was trying to ride a trend and keep up with sexy pop stars like Rihanna, or if she was finally being herself. But the singer said her latest effort is an expression of who she is right now: a complex woman who loves sex with her husband and is about her business.

Peep some of the excerpts below:

Out: Your new album is also your most sexually liberated project. The confidence and maturity and the fantasy speak to women almost as if in code. How do you create this conversation?

Beyoncé: I’d like to believe that my music opened up that conversation. There is unbelievable power in ownership, and women should own their sexuality. There is a double standard when it comes to sexuality that still persists. Men are free and women are not. That is crazy. The old lessons of submissiveness and fragility made us victims. Women are so much more than that. You can be a businesswoman, a mother, an artist, and a feminist—whatever you want to be—and still be a sexual being. It’s not mutually exclusive.

(Click to larger images. Photos via Out

Out: Your fifth album has been noted for being feminist, but a number of people in the LGBT community also identify with it. Were the lyrics ever written consciously with different groups in mind?

Beyoncé: While I am definitely conscious of all the different types of people who listen to my music, I really set out to make the most personal, honest, and best album I could make. I needed to free myself from the pressures and expectations of what I thought I should say or be, and just speak from the heart. Being that I am a woman in a male-dominated society, the feminist mentality rang true to me and became a way to personalize that struggle…But what I’m really referring to, and hoping for, is human rights and equality, not just that between a woman and a man. So I’m very happy if my words can ever inspire or empower someone who considers themselves an oppressed minority…We are all the same and we all want the same things: the right to be happy, to be just who we want to be and to love who we want to love.

Out: On certain songs, like “XO,” your voice is a lot more raw (and beautiful) than fans are used to. Was it a conscious decision to be less polished? 

Beyoncé: When I recorded “XO” I was sick with a bad sinus infection. I recorded it in a few minutes just as a demo and decided to keep the vocals. I lived with most of the songs for a year and never rerecorded the demo vocals. I really loved the imperfections, so I kept the original demos. I spent the time I’d normally spend on backgrounds and vocal production on getting the music perfect. There were days I spent solely on getting the perfect mix of sounds for the snare alone. Discipline, patience, control, truth, risk, and effortlessness were all things I thought about while I was putting this album together.

Read the entire article on the Out website.

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  • Passing for a minute

    First of all, if any of us have heard Bey speak, we know the Editor revised her responses. Seriously, come on. Watch the Oprah interview & get back to me. Now, for decades, these pop tarts have been claiming there is power in stripping down to your undies. I get it, I get it, you have power now can you put your clothes back on and see if that power and fame still stands? See Sade for reference. Never has to remove one item of clothing and still holds her own. The point is, it seems a woman CAN’T make it in music without removing her clothes. Beyonce needs to focus on making better songs then the mind numbing lyrics she puts out. Also, a song glorifying Tina Turner’s beatings cannot be and never will be female empowerment. She needs to sit down somewhere. She is aware that she has gotten criticism for this album and now she is going to make it seem like it is some kind of feminist call to action. Girl, please.

  • Passing for a minute

    This is yet another Beyonce image change. My thing is Pharrell’s Happy and Robin Thicke’s Blurred Lines were on autuplay on every station. Not one song form this album cracked that level of success. She knows this and is pushing hard to tell us this was an insightful feminist album. Really Bey? Nina Simone, you are not darling. I will give you credit on consistently keeping the blonde bombshell Marilyn Monroe/Farrah Fawcett look validated though. You do that well girl.

  • dtshowme

    It’s good to see that a lot of people aren’t falling for this “sexual liberation feminist” spiel she’s pushing. What she’s doing is using her body for attention and money — nothing more and nothing less. She is providing entertainment for horny men and confused young girls. Her choice her life, but don’t try to force it down our throats and make it the norm. Young women who think they will thrive using this method in their everyday lives are going to have a serious wake up when they get older and that doesn’t work anymore. Twerk your brain instead!