Jully Black Reveals Her ‘Black Book’
Jully Black has a song about racial harmony on her new album, 'The Black Book,' and one inspired by young women with HIV, but it's surprising to learn that the Canadian R&B artist has a song about American country superstar Tim McGraw. Black, who is well known in the urban music world and has written or collaborated with such artists as Nas, Destiny's Child, Missy Elliott and Sean Paul, wrote 'What Is This' after a strange experience with tabloid media and how they get their stories.
"That song came from the National Enquirer calling me," Black laughs. "They asked me if I was Tim McGraw's mistress because I took a photo with him at Bill Clinton's birthday party that we both performed at ... I posted it on my MySpace. It wasn't nothing sexual, but they were willing to pay me some money to say that I was his mistress -- like come on! -- and so right away that song was born."
For those unfamiliar, Black is a chart-topping gold-selling artist in Canada, whose outgoing, personable nature has led to frequent guest reporting for a national entertainment television show and hosting opportunities for awards show and live events. 'The Black Book' is her third full-length release and stretches beyond her usual R&B-pop to rock out a bit on songs 'I'll Rock It,' 'Recalculate' and 'Share My World.'
She has had a U.S. record deal before, but because of the precarious music business the past decade with layoffs and consolidations, things fell apart. Now, the industry has swung back in favor of the independent artist. She is active on Twitter and FaceBook, and has many fans across the U.S. and other parts of the world. Her next single, the reflective ballad 'The Plan,' is a track that if it came from Rihanna or Beyonce would be an instant hit.
"Now we are 200 percent in okay with breaking international and doing it in a way that's indie," says Black. "For once in my life, I'm actually okay with doing it that way. 'Do you want a record deal? Do you want to be picked up?' I'm not even hating on that.
"If that's my destiny, then that's my destiny, but now having a body of work, especially with 'The Black Book,' I can now go to South By Southwest [music festival in Texas] and play to different types of audiences, a more rock audience, and I know that my management will hit up MIDEM [a music conference in France]. I feel like I'm way more equipped to go to these various places, and we're just gonna do it, man, full on, full on."