Kelly Rowland is here, people. The sultry singer’s third solo LP Here I Am made an impressive debut at #3 on the Billboard 200 — her highest debut yet —and her steamy single “Motivation” keeps rising every week, currently sitting at #17 on the Hot 100. (Guess not everyone shared Jeff Bhasker’s opinion of the track.) We spoke to Rowland as she was knee-deep in her busy promotional tour, which happily still allowed the former Destiny’s Child member to spend some quality time with her “sister” Beyonce at her album release party (as well as on the set of Bey’s new video). Head below for our chit-chat with the one and only Ms. Kelly.
IDOLATOR: Can you explain why so many “buzz” singles didn’t make the album? Songs like “Rose Colored Glasses”, “Grown Woman” and “Forever And A Day” are loved by fans.
KELLY: They came out and I was very happy that everyone loved those records, because I loved those records. Before the new vamp of Here I Am, I wanted to put some new tracks that my fans hadn’t heard, and I wanted that to be an element of surprise… for “Rose Colored Glasses” and “Grown Woman”, I’ll still be performing those songs in concert and everything.
How do you explain the success of “Motivation”? What in particular grabbed you when you first heard it?
I was drawn to the sensuality of “Motivation”. Just how great it felt to sing the record, how chill it was. Even the feel of a party vibe was in the studio. It was really interesting the way everybody took to it. I remember telling [producers] Jim [Jonsin] and Rico [Love] I wanted to something just a little bit grimier, and we came out with “Motivation” and I’m just glad everyone loves it as much as I did.
You still keep in touch with Beyonce and Michelle Williams. What are the chances of ever teaming up with them again for a Destiny’s Child reunion? Even just for one song or performance?
It hasn’t been brought up in any of our conversations, just the three of us when we’re together, I think it was last week… We didn’t really bring it up, we’re talking about each other’s projects and how excited we are and different things away from music. And it didn’t come up in conversation.
Were you hesitant to drop Here I Am so close to the release of Beyonce’s 4?
Not at all, me and my sister are two different artists, and we support each other above anything. Its the rest of the world that makes it a “thing.” We’re very supportive of one another and each other’s projects and we’re excited for one another.
What do you think of 4?
I love it. As a matter of act, she shot the video for one of my favorite songs, “Party”. I was on the set with her. We had so much fun!
Do you have a cameo in the video?
Yes I do! Just the way she directed this video, it was nothing short of genius. I’m just so proud of her, cause now she’s directing videos!
Do you have any desire to direct your videos?
I’ve come up with ideas and concepts and I collaborate with my video director Sara Chatfield. We come up with different things – it’s a step!
You just announced that you’re going on tour with Chris Brown. How did that come about?
That Hollywood lingo: his folks reached out to my folks, and next thing I knew, we were trying to get everything together, because I just love Chris. He’s an amazing entertainer and I’m just really excited to be going on tour with him.
Can we expect a collaboration between the two of you?
We will see! I was in the studio with Chris a couple months ago just when the album was closing, so we didn’t finish in time for this record we were working on. Hopefully we’ll do something in the future.
We hear you might be returning to acting this year in an A&E mini-series, Bag Of Bones. Can you tell us more about the project?
That is actually a question mark for right now.
How about any other projects?
I definitely want to do more movies, but I want to take the time to study the craft, because I respect it. I want to be able to get my classes in and be able to go in and audition for roles and push myself to something really, really exciting. Something outside of myself.
What haven’t you done yet in your career you’d like to do?
Broadway looks fun. Michelle [Williams] makes Broadway look so much fun!
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Kelly Rowland’s Here I Am is out now. Go get it!