London is grey. It’s gritty and grainy and broken windows on tiny alleyways. It’s worn off glamour and better days. But London is also a sound. It’s Sam Smith, John Neman and Disclosure. It’s Rudimental, Dizzy Rascal and Naughty Boy. And coming this November, it’s also Mary J Blige. The queen of R&B has descended. We are not worthy. This past summer Mary spent a month on Abbey Road working with Sam Roman, Sam Smith, Emeli Sande and other London scene luminaries, the result of which is The London Sessions album. To say that I’m waiting for this album like I’m waiting for the moon to rise, is an understatement. Mary J Blige is a diamond.The guest vocals she did on Disclosure’s F for You, were not guest vocals. She owned that song. At 43 and with over a decade of hits behind her, Mary could just sit on her laurels and wave her 9 Grammy Awards at London’s face. Instead she has gleaned on that one thing that makes London special, something us Londoners are very proud of. Our free spirit. “The music (in the UK) is free the way it used to be in the States. Artists are just free to do what they love. Listening to the radio you can hear the freedom.” Therapy, the first release from The London Sessions is co-written by Sam Smith, but the heart of it quite clearly beats to the sound of London’s own lost wild child, Amy Winehouse.