We've seen the pictures of Beyonce hanging out in the recording studio, and now she's finally giving fans an update on her follow-up to 2011's 4. Bey tells GQ that she's recorded about 50 songs for the album, though certainly only a fraction of those will make the final cut. And Bey says she's been getting help from a handful of her previous collaborators, including one guy who featured her on his 2007 single "End of Time" -- Justin Timberlake.
"I've been working with Pharrell [Williams] and Timbaland and Justin Timberlake and [The-]Dream," Bey reveals in the new issue of GQ. "We all started in the '90s, when R&B was the most important genre, and we all kind of want that back: the feeling that music gave us."
The inspiration for Bey's fifth studio album is "mostly R&B," she says. "I always have my Prince and rock/soul influences. There's a bit of D'Angelo, some '60s doo-wop. And Aretha [Franklin] and Diana Ross."
Beyonce's love for those sounds probably won't ever change, but what has changed is her songwriting strategy. "I used to start with lyrics and then I'd find tracks -- often it was something I had in my head, and it just so happened to go with the melody," Beyonce tells GQ. "Now I write with other writers. It starts with the title or the concept of what I'm trying to say, and then I'll go into the booth and sing my idea. Then we work together to layer on."
Beyonce says, "My motivation is always to express something or to heal from something or to laugh and rejoice about something."
In the GQ cover story, Beyonce also discusses her upcoming performance on the Super Bowl, saying she connects to the event because she approaches her concert performances "like an athlete."
She explains, "You know how they sit down and watch whoever they're going to play and study themselves? That's how I treat this. I watch my performances, and I wish I could just enjoy them, but I see the light that was late. I see, 'Oh God, that hair did not work.' Or 'I should never do that again.'"
"I try to perfect myself," Bey adds. "I want to grow, and I'm always eager for new information."
Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio