For her much-anticipated return to making music, Christina Aguilera has found a bit of an unlikely collaborator in Kanye West. The song “Maria” dropped yesterday along with her album Liberation.
Christina and Kanye had previously collaborated on a track for the album, “Accelerate,” that Kanye produced, and the album features “Maria,” another song co-produced by the rapper. The song is named after The Sound of Music‘s Maria Von Trapp, Christina’s childhood hero, and it samples the 1965 film’s Roger & Hammerstein melody “Maria.” The track is also produced by Hudson Mohawke, who worked with Kanye on Yeezus and The Life of Pablo.
The album as a whole is a reflection on Christina Aguilera’s younger self and the loss of childhood ambition.
In an Instagram post, the singer wrote, “The intro vocal to the album is an homage to a side of myself I lost touch with for a number of years…Maria, an irrepressible free spirit, struggles to find herself and her freedom. The song ‘Maria’ is my personal account of that journey, and features a sample of an old Jackson 5 song.”
The 37-year-old singer’s last album was 2012’s Lotus which focused on the concept of rebirth, and drew from her experiences from her appearance on The Voice and her divorce. Liberation features collaborations with Anderson .Paak, Demi Lovato, GoldLink, and more.