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August 19, 2011

Kelly Rowland Heats Up 'Monarch' Magazine's Summer Issue 2011

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It’s Friday afternoon and Kelly Rowland is in London taking a short break from filming UK’s The X Factor, to get her nails done and to talk to us folks at Monarch. She can’t help but be giddy over the surprisingly beautiful London weather which reminded her of the beach.

She just started the first two days of filming The X Factor and “they were awesome” she says. “It’s so amazing how there’s so much talent out there just waiting to be discovered and waiting to be groomed the same way someone took a chance on me.” While she’s no stranger to television, she made her debut with guest stints on sitcom series such as The Hughleys, and in 2009, she served as the host of the first season of the Bravo competition series, The Fashion Show alongside Isaac Mizrahi. Now, Rowland has eagerly joined the judging panel on the eighth series of the British reality television competition, The X Factor.

Kelly Rowland

Her new gig as a judge is something she’s pretty excited to do. “I was excited about the opportunity above anything; to find new talent and to be a mentor.” She says, “Of everything that I’ve learned in the industry, I’m ready to pass that on to someone who really wants the opportunity.” And you better believe she is taking this opportunity seriously by doing her homework. “I went back and I looked at Destiny Child’s tapes on YouTube, ‘cause they have everything on YouTube [laughs].” She also looked at artists like Brandy, Christina Aguilera and Justin Timberlake to see how they all did it at such young ages. “Look at Adele,” she says, “she started when she was 19 and that means that she was singing like that at 17 and 16 years old. So I’m kind of critical because I want that.” She is not there to just collect a check.

This is something Rowland is really passionate about, “I would love to find a new artist and not just somebody who will stay in the UK, but I want a worldwide hit!”

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While Kelly Rowland started out in her teens as a member of the Grammy award-winning, mega-group, Destiny’s Child, today she is all grown up, on her third solo album and definitely not afraid of doing things her way. “I just didn’t want to pigeonhole myself,” she says of her most recent work.

Seriously, you have to be living under a rock to not know that Rowland’s latest single, “Motivation,” is on fire! It’s quickly becoming an anthem for the woman who is not afraid to command what she wants. “I felt it was special and my manager felt it was special. Ricco and Jim felt like it was special because it started when Ricco came into the studio and I was like ‘Ricco I want something very sexy’ and he was like ‘Ok!’ I told Jim the same thing.

Next thing we knew we had a record and we all fell in love with it.” The popularity of the song is unmistakable just by all the remixes of it that other artists are putting out and Rowland can get a little more “Motivation” from Trey Songz, Fabolous and Busta Rhymes with their latest “Motivation” remixes. “It’s a really good feeling especially to get compliments from your peers – you really feel like you’re doing something right, you know.”

kely rowland

So now Rowland is on to her third album which she appropriately titled, Here I Am. In this album, “I just did me.

It was nothing too specific. I just had fun in the studio.” She says, “It started with Ricco and then I worked with Tricky and Rodney—everything was just so natural nothing was forced. Everything just happened. It is such a great album. I think of all my albums I’ve done and I’m most excited about this one,” she stated. “I was able to take time and finish and be me. There are no limits, not even limits that I put on myself. It really is a beautiful album as a whole.”

As far as what we can expect, she says “The record is definitely R&B.” She furthers notes, “But the great thing about all the records – when I sat back and listened to them, they all could be dance remixes.

I was thinking that’s the same thing I did with “Commander,” and after I finished the track with Davis, Ricco went back and made an urban remix production-wise. It was so hot!” She says, “Mariah used to do this when she would put out one album and then have another album of remixes. That’s something I would love to do.”
When talking about the music industry as a whole, Rowland seems pretty pleased with the fact the so many artists are taking risks and playing around with so many different things in their music style while seemingly maintaining their foundation in music.

“I love the fact that nobody is putting their selves in a box,” she says. “I love the fact that you can be Rihanna and do an “Umbrella” urban record and then go to a more Pop sound.

The sky’s the limit!” She says, “I got Sade’s album because I love Sade, but on the ultimate collection I was like oh my god Jay [Z] is on this record, I’m so excited!” That collaboration was one that Rowland would have never put together she admits. “So I love the fact that artists aren’t putting themselves in a box and that’s what I didn’t do in this album was put myself in a box. At the same time, all these artists keep their foundation, they just try something different and it still works because you are in control of your sound.”

While Lil Wayne appears with Rowland on the original version of “Motivation,” she tells Monarch about some of the other musical collaborations that she’d like to do, “I would love to work with Drake; I’m still trying to make that happen. I would absolutely love to work with Fergie; I love her energy and her sass on records. I would love to work with Kanye. I just love him, I think he’s so witty.”

So what artists does Rowland have on her playlist? She says, “It’s very different because my list is actually Sade and Rick Ross [laughs]. Rick Ross makes me feel like I can kinda conquer the world when I’m listening to him.”

In addition to her success as an artist, Rowland is also getting recognized as quite the fashion icon. Like in music, Rowland takes risks and has fun in fashion, and it is definitely paying off! For her, the most important thing about style and fashion is “Class [laughs].” There is nothing like finding that classic piece to add to your wardrobe. “I love the fact that I can see a piece that I can wear now; I can wear ten years from now; I can possibly give it to my unborn child [laughs].” She says, “Fashion has to be something you love and a reflection of you.” While, she recalls “I’ve hired stylists before and it’s hella expensive [laughs] or sometimes it just doesn’t work.

I have found some that work, but sometimes it’s just better when I’m kind of by myself.” As for designers that are on Rowland’s radar, “Oh my god I love D Squared and I love Alice and Olivia…I’ve been wearing a lot of their things lately.

Oh and BCBG Max Azria.” She says, “I like to mix and match stuff like the other day I had on a really cute Top Shop top on with these Alice and Olivia bright coral pants and Fendi shoes and everything was just really pretty and I paired it up with a vintage Gucci belt. Everything was fresh! I have fun with fashion.”

Perhaps it comes with growing into womanhood and getting comfortable with yourself and your personal style, but it seems like Rowland went from girl next door to a major sex symbol overnight. “I didn’t know I was. That’s cool I guess [laughs]” she says.

While Rowland tops the charts and makes the best dressed lists, she hasn’t lost sight of the importance of giving back and paying forward all the blessings she’s received.

Her I Heart My Girlfriends charity is something that she is extremely passionate about. She says, “I Heart My Girlfriends started a long time ago in my head and only two years ago did I tell myself that this was something I needed to start immediately because of all the fan mail and different things that I would talk to young girls about when I would go visit schools, and thinking about how good it made me feel.” She notes, “Music is a high, but helping out young people – it’s an outrageous high!”

When she started going to the schools and talking to the girls, it was unbelievable how many girls were dealing with different issues that were bothering them on a daily basis from teenage pregnancy, to sex, to suicide, to molestation—it’s just so many things. “I just wanted to be there to listen, to bring people to listen and to help.” Her goal is basically just reaching out to girls and bringing them together to break down walls and clichés of women supposedly not being able to get along.

She thinks it is so significant for young girls to just say I heart my girlfriends and for these girls to recognize that “We share the same things; we have the same feelings and emotions.

Instead of being against each other, I’m going to love her.” While the charity is still in its infant stages, Rowland says she “would love to do a camp or like how T.D. Jakes does these huge conferences with seminars. Talk about the deeps stuff that breaks them down to their core.”
So what is it that we don’t know about Kelly Rowland? “I absolutely love to cook,” she says. “I’ll try different things out just to see if I can do it and if it’s a mess then I may try it again just to build my confidence back up [laughs].”

Even after all these years of success, Rowland still humbly gives credit where credit is due. When you ask her about whether she ever imagined her career going the way it has she says, “You can pray. When you ask God for something he gives you ten times more. I’m just thankful the he trusts me with the responsibility of this all. To whom much is given, much is required and I’m just thankful that he trusts me. I won’t let him down.”

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Source Monarchmagazine

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