Britney credits her A&R Karen Kwak for helping craft Glory, because she knew what's up.
Kwak was familiar with Britney's discography before heading into the ninth studio album, which is why she used In The Zone and Blackout as inspiration for the new record. And why she decided to delete "Pretty Girls" from our existence.
“[‘Pretty Girls’] wasn’t original,” Kwak tells the NYPost. “Britney wanted to do things that were fresh and unexpected this time.”
Britney accomplished that initiative with Glory, and it happened organically.
“There was never a moment where she was given a song, and anybody said, ‘This is a hit. You have to sing it,’ ” adds Kwak. “Britney pursued the songs she wanted to do for herself. She came up with concepts and melodies. It’s her baby.”
She also mentions Britney's diligence in the studio. “It’s like being an athlete. If you’re doing it that much, you’re getting yourself into shape,” says Kwak. “She was always ready to work during the album sessions, and it was very important to her to be done by a certain time so she could pick up her boys [Sean and Jayden] from school.”
Songwriter Jesse Saint John, who co-wrote "Love Me Down," which he says was the last song recorded for the album, recounts how his track made the record... all thanks to Kwak.
"I met her A&R, Karen Kwak, who Britney has been shouting out in interviews. I was like, 'Oh that's dope. She's doing a shoutout to her A&R.' But I met Karen, and I spoke really candidly with her," John tells Vice. "Karen was like, 'You don't understand—this album has been manic for me. Every single person seems to have this personal attachment to Britney Spears and really wants to be a part of this album.' I was like, 'I really, totally get that.' So she asked me what my favorite Britney album was, and I was like, 'Ugh, don't make me choose! But if I had to choose it would be In the Zone and a close second is Blackout.' She was like, 'That's exactly what I wanted to hear.' Those were the milestone albums that she wanted to reference for Britney, so she was like, 'I'm going to keep you updated as far as what Britney's feeling and all that.' She was my big champion to make sure I got a song on the album."