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August 27, 2009

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Turn on, tune in to pop singer Aguilera's latest career

CDS handed to producers elicited the response: "Wow, you should be a DJ." So that gave the popular American singer an idea. Mesfin Feladu reports.

You'll be hearing more of Christina Aguilera's voice on the radio, but it won't be in the form of a song. Instead, the pop singer works as a DJ.

Aguilera's very own radio station debuted on July 31.

The 24-hour online channel distributes across Clear Channel Radio's "iheartradio" network, and features interviews, news, personal commentary from Aguilera as well as her favorite tunes.

"It stands across so many different feels and genres from A Tribe Called Quest to the Beatles to Billie Holiday to Bjork to Black Sabbath, Jay-Z," she says in a phone interview from Los Angeles.

The new radio venture, APE Radio (Artist Personal Experience), also launched The Eagles' own channel on recently, to be hosted by guitarist Joe Walsh.

The radio station is not the only project Aguilera is working on.

The 28-year-old mother of a one-year-old son is also working on a new CD and has signed on to do a movie with Cher; Both are due for release next year.

Q: How does a radio channel fit you?

A: In the beginning when I make my CDs, I make inspiration record-CDs and I hand them out to all the producers that I am looking forward to working with.

And I hand out these CDs and at the end of the day it's funny because all the producers, or a lot of the producers, are like, "Wow, you should be a DJ." It's a really great mix of songs, and they're so different and eclectic and that's my style in general.

Q: Will you premiere your new music on the channel?

A: Possibly. I'm really, really excited to release some of my new music and this is actually a great way to let my fans hear maybe a little sneak preview.

Q: You're working on electronic-futuristic pop. Why that sound now?

A: I kind of had an idea for a futuristic feel for many years now, but I also had that idea that I wanted to do a soul, blues and jazz record also.

But I knew I had to do that one first. It's always been in the back of my mind to do a more futuristic sound. But I felt like it couldn't be a better time or place for me personally also as a new mom.

Q: While you're creating your new CD, are you paying attention to what's on the radio now?

A: No, that was the funny thing too. I did start to notice that music did start to take a more electronic turn.

But I really don't pay attention to what's going on out there because I want everything I do to have a very original feel. I wanted to keep a good balance of future but still mix it with a very real and believable sound.

Q: Now that you have a family, have you had any issues with paparazzi?

A: We moved into our new house about a year ago but since I started working on the record, I have a studio in the backyard and it just has been so perfect for me to just wake up in the morning, put on my flip flops and sweat pants, and just go back in the studio and pretty much get into my creative cave and zone out that way, so it's been really convenient.

So the paparazzi have probably been upset with me. I know they told my husband, they're like: "Is she ever going to leave the house?"

Q: Talk about your new film "Burlesque."

A: I finally believed in a movie enough and a script enough, and a director enough to sign on and do my first feature film.

Cher will be starring with me, so it's very exciting for me to step into that project and I'll be taking it very seriously so that's actually what I am diving into, filming over the next few months.

Q: What comes to mind when you look back at how your career has gone so far?

A: I keep trying to test myself and try new things because at the end of the day, I want to look back at a huge body of work and be so excited.

I never like to get too comfortable because I think that's when you start to really fail, when you start believing your own hype so I'm always very reserved in my own praise of myself. I always try to shoot for bigger and better basically.


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