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Mary J. Blige was surprised to find a taste of the familiar when she hopped across the pond to create music in London this summer.

The Queen of Hip-Hop Soul told a New York Radio Station that she had a blast in London creating something a little different from what her loyal fans have come to expect. Her music on “The London Sessions” is outside of her usual feel that the DJs wanted to know if it was hard for her to adopt the new vibe. “I love the feel,” Mary exclaimed.

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She added that the sound may be a little more familiar to people who love soulful, old-school music because producers in London have been able to replicate the sound and adapt it to today’s trends. “Their music sounds like what we grew up on, and it’s crazy! It’s that real house feel,” Mary dished. “They know their hip-hop homework, too! It’s new, but it’s not new.”

The familiar sound effectively created a comfortable lane for the siren to try out. Mary took this creative vacation as an opportunity to try out something she normally may not have tackled. “It’s new for me because all I’ve ever done is hip-hop and R&B,” she explained. “This is my chance to break out because it’s time. And not to break out and leave things behind because I’m Mary—as you can hear on ‘Whole Damn Year’—but just to expand and just grow for myself.”

While the sound might be a little newer, her music on “The London Sessions” is still patently Mary and it’s got her essence woven throughout the album.

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Check out her new song “Whole Damn Year” below!

Mary also got in the studio with Sam Smith for something a little more upbeat with her doo-wop tinged track “Therapy.”

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