Saturday, 18 December 2010
An interview with Kelly Rowland.
Adorned with a generous weave and shocking pink platforms, Kelly Rowland is channelling Donna Summer when I meet her in her Mayfair Hotel suite – not entirely inappropriate considering her recent conversion to high octane dance music. Kelly teamed up with French producer David Guetta for her single When Love Takes Over, and was rewarded with a Grammy, an international number one and a video on heavy rotation in GAY bar. Her new single Commander is 100% amazing.
You didn’t have a deal when you recorded the single, did that give you the freedom to experiment and try something so different from your usual style?
I used that time to think, what do I want to do next, where do I see myself in five years, where do I want to be, what makes me most excited? I needed to answer all of those questions. I think RnB is one thing, but for me, I was a little bored with where it was and I wanted a different flair. David was so gracious to open me up to this beautiful culture. A world where people just love the music. It’s not about glamour, or anything other than the music, and I appreciate that. I was recording Commander, and Sylvia Rhone the head of Motown Universal walked past the studio was was like “what’s going on here?” She ended up hanging out for a lot of my session and she loved the song, and asked me if I was signed and when I told her I wasn’t she signed me. I knew that I wanted my own sound. I felt like I wanted to try something new, and I did, and it worked. If it works, why not go for it?
We got a taster of things to come back when you released Work..
Yes, when I did Work it was a taste of dance, and then When Love Takes Over was just dance, and now Commander is DANCE!
You bought the Freemasons on board, were you aware that they have a reputation for gaying up the tracks they remix?
I knew that they were going to give me something special because they gave so many other people something special. And I wanted to be part of that! It was a great feeling to come to the UK and perform the song and be so well-received, and it opened my eyes more to dance music. I wasn’t as afraid of dance anymore, and that’s when I tried When Love Takes Over.
We have to talk about the Work lyrics. You’ve said they aren’t about sex, but clearly you were lying.
The lyrics are very sexy. They were out of the box for me. Destiny’s Child was so “hush, hush” about sexuality, but I’ve grown into my sexuality and I’m very comfortable with it. OK, yes, it means exactly what you think it means! I’ve never told anybody that, but yes, it’s exactly what you think it is! I give up. I remember when the writer was writing it and he was like “put it in, put it in”, and I said “this is a nasty record!” He said it could completely throw people off with it and “put in” could be about putting work in to get somebody…
Putting the work “all the way in”?
“Don’t come around if you’re gonna let me down! Put it all the way in!”
Lastly, can we talk about the Grown Woman single cover. It’s 70% hair! How much of that is yours?
Child, please! Puh-lease! You should see the way it is trying to wear that on an everyday basis. Not easy.
More Kelly Rowland