TIME

D’Angelo’s New Album Is Really Actually Truly Happening, Manager Says

D'Angelo
D'Angelo performing in 2012. Charles Sykes—Invision/AP

The record has been about 12 years in the making

The long-awaited new album from soul singer D’Angelo — his first since 2000’s Voodoo — is sort of like the Loch Ness Monster: there is evidence suggesting it exists, but it hasn’t ever revealed itself, becoming more of a myth with each passing day.

But one year after promising that the record was on the way, D’Angelo’s manager, Kevin Liles, says it’s definitely happening this time. Really. For real. No joke.

“There’ll be an album this year,” he told Billboard. “There’s 14 records so far, we might have a couple of bonus records, but all the recording is basically done and we’re mixing and mastering now. Definitely, he’ll be back.”

The cause of the delay? D’Angelo is a perfectionist — no surprise from someone who’s spent more than a decade working on new material. Liles explains:

Here’s the thing: with D’Angelo it was a process. He didn’t perform for 10 years and he’s been working on an album for the past 12 years. I actually got him to go out and do 30 shows [in 2011-2012], and then we did some ‘Brothers in Arms’ shows. I said, ‘We have to get motivated around what people want to hear from you, and what does it mean to come back to that space?’ He very bluntly put it, ‘Kev, the studio and the stage: that’s my lifeblood. Now that I’ve touched it again, now that I see it again, I wanna be sure that the baby I’m about to have — the album — that I take it to the point where it’s all it can be.’

2014 could use a little brown sugar, but as with Nessie, we’ll believe it when we see it.

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