Alicia Keys

Mario Taps Dupri, Alicia Keys For Next LP; Acting Career Is Rising Fast    ·    February 22nd, 2006

To really bring in some soul, Mario will also be collaborating with friend and J Records labelmate Alicia Keys, who produced two tracks on his 2002 debut disc Mario.

“I’m really looking forward to working with Alicia [again]. We discussed it at [Clive Davis’] Grammy party, and her schedule’s kind of crazy now, [but] I’ll be getting in the studio with her soon,” he said of the singer, who is currently filming her first big-screen role in “Smokin’ Aces” opposite Jeremy Piven, Ryan Reynolds and Ben Affleck (see “Jeremy Piven Psyched To Have ‘Amazing Artist’ Alicia Keys In ‘Smokin’ Aces’ “).

And banking on the success of their platinum debut PCD, Mario also wants to recruit the Pussycat Dolls to add some spice to the forthcoming disc. “I like their music and I dig their style. I think that would be a cool mixture,” he noted.

Meanwhile, the singer-turned-actor is also shooting his next feature film role, opposite two-time Oscar winner Hilary Swank, in the coming-of-age drama “Freedom Writers,” set to open this fall. The movie is based on the true story of a high school English teacher who transforms her misfit students into model community members by sharing their own street-smart stories by way of an anonymous diary.

Mario’s involvement in the inspirational project has spurred him to become more creative in his own songwriting process. “This is one of the only times I’m experimenting with my writing, by learning how these kids had to express themselves and live through their [words],” he explained. “I’m very free with my writing and it [holds value for me] because I know this is something that’s going to last.”

 Full source: mtv

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