HHW sits down with K. Michelle, R. Kelly’s newest protégé, to chop it about music, songwriting and R. Kelly.
HHW: How’d you first get into music?
K. Michelle: I been singing for a long time, since I was a little girl. Been playing classical piano for years and just knew that it was something that was in me that I wanted to do.
When did you decide to pursue it as a career?
When I realized I didn’t wanna sit in no cubicle my whole life! I just had a lotta stuff happen to me, and I just felt like the struggles and the issues I’ve had to deal with, as young as I am, there has to be a reason. So I feel like I’m the face of a lotta different women and a lotta different struggles, but I feel like God made me go through things so early so that I could be a voice.
Do you put that into your songwriting?
When I go to the studio and I start writing, it’s about what I been goin’ through at that exact moment, so all my music is really true to me.
What is it like working with R.Kelly?
He loves music. I mean, he doesn’t sleep, he doesn’t eat… the music is his life, it’s his food. And he tells me every day, “This is not a popularity contest, K. This about the music. You need to not be so worried about what kind of shoes you got on, or nothin’ like that, or what somebody give to you. You need to be worried about getting’ in that booth and healin’ these women.” So, he’s amazing! One of my best friends; he made me find purpose in my gift again. So I thank God for him every day.
What is the album called?
My album is called Pain Medicine, and basically, this album is just that. I’ve had difficult things happen to me through the 2-years I been signed, workin’ on this piece of art for me, so you get to see my life, and you get to see a lotta women’s lives through this one album. All the healing that I had was music and God – it was my therapy. So, I’ma pass it on down, in hopes that it’s therapy for somebody else.
How else are you working with besides R. Kelly?
I’ve worked with great people. I’ve never went in the studio with anybody that I didn’t really have a great energy with. You might write hits, but I just wanted it to be very organic, and I wanted it to be a safe haven for me, so I got to work with Black Elvis, Little Ronnie, and recently I’ve been workin’ with Sean Garrett, who’s done my new single, it’s called “How Many Times.” You know, we ask ourselves, “How many times do we have to go through the same old bulls— before we get it together?” When we go though things over and over again, it affects our character and how we see life. It’s a line in the song where it says, “I become so hard to deal with because this part of my heart is tired…” So basically, that’s what it’s saying. It’s a very truthful record.
What else can fans expect from you?
I’ll probably try to go on tour with R. Kelly, and I’m a ballad singer, and a lotta times ballads aren’t really being played on the radio, so I’ma give’em an EP called The Balled EP. I’ma do 6 to 7 strong ballads on the lines of the Whitney Houstons, the Mariah Carey songs… the piano-based records before the album.
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