05/30/2009 at 11:20 AM EDT
Though the case against Chris Brown
for the alleged assault
earlier this year continues to play out in Los Angeles courtrooms, a friend of Brown's says the singer is doing his best to move forward and concentrate on work.
"Chris is focused," says songwriter Robert Allen, who is working with Brown on his upcoming album, tentatively titled Graffiti
. "He knows how to deal with whatever is going on and is willing to do what he has to do to please his fans."
To do that, Brown plans to bring a different vibe to his music. "It's not particularly just R&B," says Allen, who has worked on songs with Brown in Los Angeles, New York, and Miami. "Chris is trying different things and experimenting. We've been making things really eclectic. The direction of this album is really fun and free spirited. It's like a collage."
Brown, who had been keeping a low profile for about three months, recently broke his silence
in a YouTube.com video, in which he declared, "I ain't a monster."
"You want to go away so your audience can miss you some," Allen says of why Brown has laid low. "But he's so happy and ready for this next album to break through and make a big impact. He wants this to be his masterpiece. He's predicting this will be his biggest album."