Shania Twain will be honored by Billboard‘s annual Women in Music event on Friday with the Icon Award. An inspiration to many female artists like Taylor Swift and Kelsea Ballerini, Twain opens up about her lifelong career in country music and her forthcoming album at great length with Billboard.
Twain likens her love of songwriting to cooking. “Everyone has to cook sometimes. Why not write songs?” she reasons.
“I do most of my writing in the bathroom," Twain continues. "Or in the basement. Or on the beach. Its a strange thing, but I do need that isolation. I need to feel alone and intimate with my thoughts."
Twain says it’s often a “tug-of-war” trying to write about her extreme emotions in song form. Her forthcoming record will likely be completed before 2017. This time around, she is working on it without ex-husband Mutt Lange’s direction, saying that the experience was a big leap of courage for her.
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"I didnt know where to begin. I'd write every type of song, every type of lyric, every type of melody. Who is going to say, 'All right, let's hone in on this style?' I didnt have that direction, whereas with Mutt I did," she explains.
Twain found herself working with new producers, like the 29-year-old DJ/dance artist Matthew Koma, who raves about the experience collaborating with the country icon. He shares that Twain wasn’t following the rules this time around.
The singer herself describes her forthcoming album as being kind of busy musically.
"I talk a lot more about pain," she shares, "but I didnt feel the need to be that literal about anger or hate. It's very triumphant in the end. I felt like, 'Whew! I made it through the album! I made it through writing all the songs!' It was an emotional roller coaster, and the lyrics reflect that."