COMEBACK: Missy Elliott
EARLIER THIS month hip-hop royalty Missy Elliot finally made her long-awaited return to music by releasing her new track, WTF (Where They From.
It appears the 44-year-old hasn’t lost her touch with fans, judging from the views of the Pharrell-produced track. Since its November 12 debut online, the video for WTF has picked up 13.1 views on YouTube so far.
But Missy’s journey back into the limelight hasn't been without its challenges.
During a new interview with i-D magazine, the Grammy Award-winner explained how being a writer and producer for other artists ultimately led to her self-imposed hiatus following the release of her 2005 album, The Cookbook.
"The one thing that a lot of people don’t know is that for as long as I’ve been an artist, I’ve been a writer and a producer. So I’ve had to write and produce for other artists and then maintain my sound and myself as an artist,” she told the publication.
“So all that time, I was doing Missy and also making sure I was giving all of these other artists a different sound too. That was hard for me. At first it wasn’t but then when it started piling up on a plate, it was tough.”
After making the decision to take a break from producing, Missy was faced with another challenge when she was diagnosed with Graves Disease in 2011. As she was overcoming health hurdles and watching a new generation of fans take interest in new types of artists, the Virginia-native began to doubt her relevance.
“It was a time where I felt like ‘Do I still have it’? Especially when you see a whole new slew, a whole new generation of kids, come through and the music is not like how it was. I felt like, ‘How do I fit in’? I’m battling,” she said.
“Do people still want to hear something creative and risky at this point? People might not be accepting of your music. So I battled that and I thank god for somebody like Pharrell who stayed in my ear…He said to me, ‘You call me any time you feel like that, because I have went through that same thing in my life and I want to make sure I pull you up.”
While discussing the current music scene, Missy also showed admiration for British singer Adele, who has also made a comeback this year.
"Adele, she's most definitely killing right now. I understand someone like a Rihanna. She's a superstar, I get it. Beyoncé, well she's from our era, and she's beyond that!
"What I love about Kanye is that he doesn't fit the mould either. He does what he feels. People might look at him like, 'Kanye at it again', but I can respect the fact and I can tell when he does his music it's not 'I'm doing what's hot right now'."
She continued: "That's what I felt in the studio. So I can appreciate artists like that. People, I think they are fiending for more of that, that's why Adele could take that rest and come back. Cos that's how it used to be. She's shown people that when you've got talent, those solid fans will wait for you. So, yeah, it's a lot of great stuff out there."