MALIBU, California — Given his rise from backup dancer to Britney Spears' husband to tabloid fodder, it's an understatement to say aspiring recording artist Kevin Federline has an uphill battle ahead of him in the credibility department. Fortunately, Kevin doesn't much care.
"I don't think it's gonna be all that hard," Federline said Wednesday in an exclusive interview and album preview at a studio near the couple's SoCal mansion. "The more I talk, the more I come out and people get to know who I am and what I'm about, it's only gonna help. And if you don't like me, hey, cool. Everything in life is 50/50, I accept the good and the bad and just move on."
Although his professional experience has so far mostly consisted of dancing in videos and on tours for the likes of Justin Timberlake and Pink, Federline's been a bedroom rapper for years and actually got into dancing through hip-hop. Still, when he first stepped into a studio he worked on rock and alternative music before going back to his first love.
The fact that hip-hop is probably the toughest genre for Federline to crack doesn't concern him much.
"I believe that no matter what, if it's real and people feel it, that's what it is, it doesn't matter," he said. "They'll look past what I look like if they know I'm pouring my soul out on this and I'm serious about it. It's not like I think this is a joke. It's not a joke to me. This is my emotion, this is everything, the past two years where I haven't said anything or came out and talked to anybody, I held it all in here so I can do this."
Federline hasn't signed a record deal yet but has already released his first single via the Internet, "PopoZao," which is apparently slang for "nice ass" in Portuguese.
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In the recording studio with Kevin Federline
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Get a taste of Federline's music — and choreography — in this clip.
So far, K-Fed has chosen to work with two relatively unknown producers, Disco D and Notes, rather than capitalize on his wife's connections.
"I don't want to go that route," he said. "It's not that I don't respect those people. I'd love to [work with them] and I'm sure one day I will end up working with a bunch of big producers, but right now I want people to know I did this. The people coming out with me are new people. I'm trying to bring a new scenario to the game. They'll have to respect me more for doing this."
Federline and Spears have collaborated on a few tracks, but Federline is sitting on them for the same reason. "I think people need to get to know me a little bit more, and that way when we do something, people will respect it that much more," he said.
As for his marriage to Spears, Federline dismissed all the tabloid reports of trouble in paradise. "It's like I have to look every week to see how my life is going, but it's not true," he said.
Federline called Britney a "wonderful mother" and said he ignores the tabloids entirely.
"This is me, that's all you need to know," he said. "I'm cool, I'm a laid-back person, I don't read into all the BS out there. I know where I'm at and where I'm going and I don't get sidetracked from that. I won't allow that to happen. That's failure."