“We start next week,” Will.i.am said of the recording sessions, speaking on the lawn before the Clios at the Museum of Natural History in New York. “Before we even start we’ve had these juicy sessions, where we’ve been bonding, building the trust and comfort. I’ve never worked like this before – not even the Peas.”

Spears has been spending the last few weeks in meetings with Will.i.am, opening up about her life before a single song has been recorded.

“I wanted to just go to lunch for two months, which is totally different from how you typically do it. I said, ‘Let’s talk about what you’re excited about. Let’s talk about things you’ve done in you career, what you’re happy about. Let’s talk about spending time with your kids, let’s talk about your breakup. Let’s talk about how now you’re single, how independent you might feel.’ We started talking about all that stuff. So I said, ‘do you mind if I write this down? I don’t mean to impose but I want to interview you. I need this to create a filter.'”

Taking the filter approach to Britney’s personal life, Will.i.am added, means that “when people start bringing us stuff, I can say ‘Actually we can’t have this song. Yes, we want dance songs but that’s a little too dark.’ I want it to fit with the emotions. I’m really excited about that and honored that she trusts me. I don’t want to let her down. I just want to do it the way a brand would do it. They wouldn’t say, ‘Take this. Put it out.’ That’s not what you would do. You’d come up with a mood board, the logos, the font, all the other stuff.”

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