'He always wants there to be the soul in there,' Cruz tells MTV News about his 'Without You' collaborator.
By Jocelyn Vena, with reporting by Matt Elias
Usher is hard at work on his next album. Set to work with fellow hitmaker Taio Cruz, the two already cooked up some magic with their David Guetta anthem "Without You," and it seems they are hoping to recapture that spirit for Usher's follow-up to 2010's Raymond v. Raymond.
"I saw Usher a few times, but I spoke to him at length at David [Guetta]'s house when we were in Ibiza [Spain]," he told MTV News in L.A. after his Jingle Ball set. "He has very specific ideas of where he wants to go musically and sound-wise." Given that Usher has never shied away from exposing a bit of himself in his music, while also keeping the party going, Cruz wants to make sure they can connect the mind, body and soul for this next release. "He always wants there to be the soul in there," he explained. "I'm kind of, not the opposite, but I'm always like, 'Let's get straight to the point and be really clear with the message and be simple.' "So we try to match those two worlds together: being soulful and, at the same time, catchy," he added. Cruz can't yet discuss what they're working on: Besides "Without You," he said, "Everything else is secret." Usher said he was drawn to the Guetta hit because he connected to it emotionally, explaining to MTV News recently what an important part that plays in his musical philosophy. "I think the world wanted a record like that. That [song] really spoke to the journey that I've actually been on in the last three years," he said. "Traveling all around the world, music sounds different. There's many different genres, and when you see R&B and pop and house, as well as electronic, come together, that's the reality of what music is."