DECEMBER 18 2008 11:08h

Beyonce: I Write My Songs for Women


Beyonce Knowles spoke for Plavi Radio about her acting, her work on her new album, her performances and Sascha Fierce.

Alen Balen spoke to Beyonce Knowles for the “Backstage” show on Zagreb’s Plavi Radio.


Hi Beyoncé – we saw you on TV recently at the MTV awards performing If I Were A Boy – did you enjoy it?Reuters-.--.-Beyonce performs at the 50th Annual Grammy Awards held in Los Angeles.

It was great because it was my first time performing this song for an audience, and you know, it’s a new song, it’s always very scary.  And because I usually come out with up tempos it just feels kinda strange.  But it was great.  I wanted to keep it really simple and about my voice and about the classic song, and the crowd loved it and it felt great.  I love performing with my band, and they are all female, and they give me so much energy and it’s like a spirit that just feels very comforting and a little bit overwhelming.

And we saw you with the glove – the Sasha Fierce glove.

The magical Sasha Fierce glove.  It’s very light it’s made out of titanium so it’s really light and I had to do like a hand molding, and it’s all this drama, but it’s great, I love it, it’s like a second skin.  When you want Sasha Fierce I have to have the glove on right now, I don’t, so you’re talking to Beyoncé!

The new album, I Am … Sasha Fierce, is a double CD. What was the thinking behind that?

I wanted to separate the CDs and give like, it’s a double album, and one disc is I Am, and basically I feel like people are a little more comfortable with Sasha Fierce than me, because they are used to seeing that side of me in my videos and in my performances.  And I wanted to reveal, no make up and no extensions or wind blowing, you know, just really who I am in my cashmere and in my jeans and wife-beaters [type of shirt] and Sasha Fierce I know is for the fans, I have to give them what they’re used to.  And what I love performing, ‘cos I get to live out all my fantasies through her!  So I decided to split the album into two, so when you’re in the mood to have a dance or have a good time with your friends, or be sexy or extra confident, you put that in.  And when you want to reflect on your relationships or your love life or vulnerability, you listen to I Am.

Let’s talk about that single If I Were A Boy – what do you think of the song and tell me about the reaction you get from your male fans.

I love it because the, it’s very simple and it’s very sweet and then it gets really aggressive and then it gets back sweet and it’s like life, you know, and I think the melody is strong and you know, it starts off kinda low and it gets really high… I love it, it just goes through all these emotions and you Reuters-.--.-Beyonce Knowles hear it in the melody and in the music.  The boys definitely are like, ‘OK, why is she doing it again?’  But I kind of have a reputation for that you know, Irreplaceable wasn’t very nice to the boys.  But, it’s important that we women know how strong we are, and know our power and that’s all that I talk about, and my music is always for the ladies.  I love the guys, but you know I have sung so many love songs on the album that are about men, and when you find a good man, you keep a good man.  But when you have a little boys, then sometimes they need to be called out.  So that’s basically what I’m doing in this record.

Are you more confident as yourself?

I really feel more confident and more comfortable especially after doing the movie, Cadillac Records.  I play Etta James, and after going from singing all the heart-wrenching records, I wanted to do some things that felt a little more emotional and showed my vulnerability so I wasn’t as afraid to step out of the box and try some different things.  And I think you hear it with the single, Boy, it’s almost like folk music.  And it’s really different for me.  So I got the bravery from Etta James.  She’s a living legend, she’s still here, and she is, was the first African American woman to cross over, to get played on the radio stations.  And she was with Muddy Waters and Little Walter and all of these legends that The Beatles and The Rolling Stones and all of these people got their inspiration from.  And, basically she was, had this incredible voice that she’s known for, best known for At Last. And she was a rock and roll singer, a pop singer, rhythm and blues, she did everything.  And she made it her own, and she didn’t have a relationship with her father, so she had a lot of pain from that.  And from her childhood, she had a really traumatic childhood.  She was also addicted to heroin, so I have this really emotional scene where, you know, they find me, I almost overdose, and it was really difficult because I’ve never tried drugs and I went to this place called Phoenix House in Brooklyn, and I met with a lot of women that were recovering addicts, and still having problems with their addiction.  And it was really really great learning experience for me, because I knew I couldn’t judge the addiction if I was playing this character.  And she was the type of woman that had a very foul mouth!  And was very different from me, so I think people are gonna be really surprised when they see it!

What do you prefer; making music or acting in movies?-.--.-Beyonce

I love both, and they help you know, my love for my movies, I get focussed on the movies and then I want to do an album and vice versa.  They help each other, and inspire each other.  And I didn’t know I would love movies so much, but finally after I did this movie Cadillac Records, I felt the same outer body experience and the same… it’s like that weird magic that happens on the stage.  I felt it finally on screen.  So I’m really into it now, and I’d love to continue to do movies that are a little more emotional.  It’s humbling and it’s life, and you know, if you walk around comfortable all the time you’ll stay in the same place.  So, I do get scared and I do get you know, nervous, that, am I ready for this?  But I know that’s just something that’s like growing pains, and if I can get through that I’ll always be stronger.  I did another movie, a psychological thriller and it’s really emotional and I’m saying that I’m really good at drama, ‘cos I’m emotionally connected and I’m one of those people that feel other people’s pain.  And feel other people’s joy.  I can just feel off of them.  But the next movie, I’m done with the dramas for a while, I want to do like an action hero or something, a comedy or something.  I would love to be a Bond girl.  I’d love to play Wonder Woman too.

Finally, what did you think of your husband Jay-Z’s controversial performance at Glastonbury this year?

I know it was so controversial and I was like, I have to be there.  And I’m so happy I was.  It was the most amazing performance I’ve seen Jay do.  And the most amazing crowd I’ve seen.  It was almost overwhelming, all the people and all their banners, and no one knew like ‘OK, are people gonna respond?  What’s gonna happen?’  He walked out and they went nuts.  And it was like ‘Yeah!’  And I was so happy to be there.  So, one day, someone asked would you perform?  It would be great ‘cos it’s so different, and I was a little disappointed that it wasn’t muddy, ‘cos I had my wellies.  And I was excited about that.  But it was still great, and I thought everyone did a great job.