Kelly Rowland is proudly declaring Here I Am on her new album, which dropped Tuesday (July 26). And while she’s always been a soulful R&B diva, the past few years, she’s carved out a place for herself among the dancing queens of the world. And, she said, there’s room for both of those characters on this latest release.
“The personalities aren’t really different,” she explained to MTV News. “I think what I’ve grown to know about my voice is, just having a voice, period, as a woman, you mean business, period — whether that’s making people dance or that’s making people feel in an emotional way or whatever it might be when it comes to R&B.
“I think that R&B, of course, is where I’m deeply rooted, period,” she continued. “I’ll never go anywhere. I just happened to try something out [dance], and it worked, and that’s just the part of it. And I think that’s what I admire about artists like Chris Brown and Rihanna, who don’t mind putting it all on their album. Who cares? It’s music, and they’re making it: great music. And I’m proud of that, that we do have a generation that is just making great music, period.”
With features from the likes of “Motivation” collaborator Lil Wayne , Big Sean and Rico Love, to name a few, Rowland also got production help from heavy hitters such as Tricky Stewart, Jim Jonsin, David Guetta, RedOne and Rodney Jerkins.
“Above anything, I got to work with creative people. We were in the same pocket sonically,” she explained. “And I got the chance to go back in with Rodney Jerkins, and we were just in a pocket together that … blew me away, period. And with Red[One] too, everybody. It was so much fun. I’m so happy with the project.”
This album, for Rowland, was a balance of working with a new crop of producers and a familiar set of people. That combination helped her shape the many sides of herself. “Red didn’t meet me, but he was like, ’I don’t think you are singing at your full capacity,’ ” she recalled.
“We got into the studio, and when we finished the two records that we did together, I just looked at him and was like, ’You get it?’ He gets it.
“And Rodney’s been knowing me since I was 17 years old,” she continued. “Rodney comes into the studio, and he’s like, ’Wait a
minute: What’s happening [with your voice]?’ It’s really interesting how the two are not that far off, but they’re both great ears.”
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