Kelly Rowland: It’s Personal

Grammy Award-winning R&B singer Kelly Rowland (born Kelendria Trene Rowland) rose to fame as one of the founding members of the successful R&B girl group Destiny’s Child, the world’s best-selling female group of all time, selling over 50 million records worldwide.

After a series of commercially successful releases with the group and a worldwide number-one success with rapper Nelly and their Grammy-winning single “Dilemma,” Rowland released her debut solo album Simply Deep in 2002. The album became a commercial success, eventually selling more than 2.5 million copies worldwide.

Now Kelly Rowland is back with ‘Ms. Kelly,’ originally entitled My Story, which was actually scheduled for a release on June 2006, this album, is Kelly’s personal testimony about the things that has been going on in her life. The disc features production from Sean Garret, Scott Storch, Rich Harrison, and Atlanta-based Polow Da Don, who contributed the single “Like This.”

Singersroom: With your first album “Simply Deep” you went with an Alternative R&B sound, which was pretty signature to you; I was wondering if that was the route you took for Ms. Kelly?

Kelly Rowland: This record is a Pop/R&B record. I remember approaching this record with the mindset of making sure I made a feel good record where every song felt good. I remember listening to songs like old early 90s Brandy records, Whitney Houston records and how good they made you feel. I wanted my album to feel like that. I wanted a feel good record.

Singersroom: It’s good that you mentioned that because a lot of R&B that’s coming out right now they are trying to bring back that old school feel. It’s pretty cool that you are going with that. You have a lot of different producers on ‘Ms. Kelly;’ Scott Storch, Tank, Sean Garrett, Is that also going to help out with the old school sound?

Kelly Rowland: Definitely! I told them what I wanted and some of them wanted to try out different things because I never want to limit a producer because I like for them to have their freedom. We basically just went into the studio and we had a party. It felt good.

Singersroom: What’s weird is that you had a lot of producers but few collaborations; you only have songs with Eve, Tank, and Snoop.

Kelly Rowland: I wanted to keep the collaborations to a minimum.

Kelly Rowland Singersroom: You’ve said that this album was very personal. When you first recorded it was it too personal that you had to revamp most of it?

Kelly Rowland: You know what! The album is still personal but more so it was a lot of mid tempo’s and ballads on the record and that’s what really lead me to go back into the studio. I had to look at myself and say “You know what? Kelly you’re young. You need to make sure that comes across in this record.” Especially because I was saying “I want this album to reflect me!” (Laughs). I want it to reflect me and I have to make sure that it does in every way.

Singersroom: So you also wanted something your fans could dance to in the club?

Kelly Rowland: Definitely! I had to bring that element in on there, too.

Singersroom: I was feeling the song “Like This.” That was an awesome track. What’s interesting about that one is that you and Eve basically coming back in the game together. Was this collaboration planned for that very reason or was it by chance?

Kelly Rowland: No! It just happened! “The stars were aligned and everything came together beautifully.” Everything happened for a reason and I’m happy that it did because Eve is one of my favorite female MCs so doing that together was really hot.

Singersroom: Yeah and that song was produced by Polow Da Don. He’s getting huge right now and some say he is the next Timbaland.

Kelly Rowland: Polow is great and he’s very creative. I remember when Sean Garrett played me the track and it had the cowbell in it. I was like “What kind of sound is this?” He was like “No Kells. You gotta listen! You gotta listen, Ma!” So I said “fine.” I listened some more and then he started singing “I told y’all I was gonna bump like this.” And I thought he was crazy but I tried it out and it worked.

Singersroom: It was shocking almost because no one really expected that sound out of you, especially because you already had your own sound going on. Alternative R&B and slow ballads. I wanted to ask about the King Magazine shoot. It was a very sophisticated shoot for the magazine. Was that you saying “hey. I don’t want to be up there just wearing anything?”

Kelly Rowland: That was just me saying that I want a cover that reflects me. You can’t get on a magazine and be somebody else. They asked me to be on the cover and I couldn’t be on the cover and not bring them my element.

Kelly Rowland Singersroom: That’s good that you had your say so and they didn’t force you to do something you didn’t want to do.

Kelly Rowland: I don’t do anything that I’m uncomfortable with. I always have boundaries and I always set limits so that I’m comfortable.

Singersroom: You’ve been seen in the front row of tons of fashion shows lately. Will you be pursuing a career in fashion design in the future?

Kelly Rowland: I don’t know. I think anything is possible. I am very grateful to God that he’s given me in the opportunity where the sky is the limit and I can do whatever I set my mind to. But I’m going to leave the fashion to Beyonce and Mama T. (Laughs)

Singersroom: Are you going to start acting in films again?

Kelly Rowland: I would definitely like to do more acting because I did have a lot of fun on the set of The Seat Filler and Freddy Vs. Jason. All of those were great opportunities for me and things that I would definitely want to explore again.

Singersroom: You have recently been added to the line up for The Essence Music Festival and that’s pretty huge especially because this is the first festival they are doing in New Orleans since Hurricane Katrina. How does it feel to be apart of that?

Kelly Rowland: I’m so excited about that. What I’m really excited about is that now they call it “The party with a purpose.” We get to build the city of New Orleans back up again and I’m just happy that I could be apart of that. —— By: Interview by Erin Lang


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