By Amanda Wicks
Lauryn Hill never released a follow-up to her 1998 solo debut album, The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill. For years, it seemed like a new musical project from the artist wasn’t going to happen thanks to an array of personal and professional hurdles, but in a new story from Fader that may soon change.
Phil Nicolo, a founder of Ruffhouse (the Fugees’ original label) and one of Hill’s current producers, says she’s been back in the studio recording and moving closer to a complete new album. Five years ago, he explained, she began touring to stretch her creative muscles and things have been building from there.
“She has to be given the space and ability to try things,” he said. “Sometimes your immediate impression is: ‘You want to do what?’ But I enjoy working with her more than every other artist.” Unlike some of the individual tracks Hill has released over the years, the new material will be “much more musical,” according to Nicolo.
As to why it’s taken so long to get to a follow-up, Nicolo explained, “It’s not that she feels like, ‘You can wait for me!’ She wants to be right. She wants to be perfect.”
“When she was first getting back into it, there were times when she wasn’t as positive,” he said. “But I think she’s in the best place I’ve ever seen her. She seems happy and very centered. When I see her, her face lights up.”