Rapper-turned-actor Will Smith has bounced back after dropped by record label SONY - he has a new album ready for release.

After first shooting to fame as part of 80s rap duo JAZZY JEFF AND THE FRESH PRINCE, Smith went solo and topped the charts with tracks like MEN IN BLACK.

Sony dropped him earlier this year (03) after a series of chart flops, but multi-talented Smith hasn't been put off - he's readied an entire record of new material, which he plans to release without the help of big music labels.

He says, "I am recording now and my album is just about ready. I am sort of waiting to see how things fall in the music industry.

"My contract was up with Sony. I am looking at a few different outlets, I am thinking about using the internet, doing something special.

"Films really pay the bills well so I enjoy making them.

"But if all things were even, I would absolutely choose music over film-making.

"When you make a film it's really a director's medium, but when I make an album it is about me - what I think, what I feel."

02/10/2003 14:00