Interviews

Published on May 12th, 2020 | by MuzikScribe

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Kelly Price: Life After…

Now let’s hop right into this “What I Need” single — Tell me about this particular composition? How did it come to fruition?

“What I Need” was written several years ago, and was inspired by a prayer in a church I was visiting one Sunday morning a few years ago in Los Angeles. My longtime writing and production collaborator, Shep Crawford, was was actually one of the associate Pastors and Musical Director at this church, so he was there and on the organ playing this beautiful melody. The Pastor started singing along to the melody “Give Me What I Need.” He just kept repeating that one line, and it just kind of saturated the room. Shep called me later that evening and said, “Let’s write it. Let’s finish it!” The timing was great for where I was at emotionally, spiritually and in life overall, so it was easy to write the song with that one line as the foundation.

“What I Need” comes courtesy of your exceedingly overdue, still forthcoming seventh solo collection — First things first, why such a lengthy delay between projects?

You know what’s crazy is that because of when this song was written I’d say not necessary, but because of the way it falls in life with EVERYthing happening in life right now I’d have to say maybe so. It ain’t intentional in the way that I could’ve NEVER known what the world would be facing right now with the song coming out. And the delay…the last album was released in 2014. It’s been (a) long time. ‘Sing. Pray. Love’ came out in June 2014. “It’s My Time” was the single. I was so excited about (it) for many reasons. Then life happened. My youngest sister died April 20th 2014. Her funeral was April 27th, and I left for promo tour that Friday May 2nd. I was pretty much on auto-pilot. My head wasn’t in the game, but the record was coming out so my body showed up but my soul wasn’t there to promote the album. Life changed for me drastically after that. Drastic, but intentional. After losing my sister, I made the decision about life overall. One was to leave a 27 year relationship that was also 24 years of marriage. That alone needs recovery time, but to add to the weight of it my ex-husband was also my manager so I had to do (a) total life make-over. Body, mind, soul, spirit, music and career. The music was being written as I was walking out the new chapters of my life. Once I was settled into “life after,” I was free to write about it. I’m still living and writing new chapters of “Life After” for myself, but there are more than enough pages in this new book called my life to release some new music! *Kelly giggles*

And, what all exactly can be expected from your eagerly awaited next solo outing?

The world; me as (a) singer, songwriter, producer, preacher’s kid, wife, mommy. Everything prior to this work is Kelly in ALL of those roles. I am still walking out most of those roles, but I’m doing it as an older, wiser, more confident, empty nesting, single woman after being married for 24 years to my very first boyfriend. New life and and new way of life, but all happening in a new day with new normals that  I had to adapt to! Dating was the worst! *Giggles again* I had NO experience with dating, and I think the guys looked at me just as strangely as I looked at them. My dating life looked like a reality show! *More giggles*  If I had to give it a name, it would be Punk’d with Ashton Kutcher and Kelly Price! *Still more giggles* So the new music will have everything you know and love about Kelly, and everything you didn’t know you could love about “new” Kelly!

How then does this new solo entry either differ and / or compare to previous KP bodies of work?

This time I’m releasing R&B and Gospel music at the same time. No restraints (or) boxes. I’m writing what I feel and releasing what I feel. The biggest thing that’s changed is what I’ve experienced between projects. The last album was released weeks after the death of my sister. I was still married and very unhappy. My heart was not in the project by the time it was time to release it. I was a zombie and moving around the country on auto-pilot. I know the songs so I sang them. I know how to move the audience, so I did what I knew how to do. I went back to my hotel room and cried every night. Cried and drank. Drank a lot. Something I’d never done regularly, other than wine at dinner and for celebrations occasionally. It got bad. I was anesthetizing, and I had (to) decide to quickly make hard and intentional life changes.

All of that being said, what all had / have you been up to, both personally and professionally speaking, over the course of the past nearly six long years?

Life changes. Acting. Embracing the content creator in me. Living. Dreaming…and doing both out loud! *Giggling* It’s great for the music and overall creativity  by the way…

Switching gears here, how has not only the industry itself, but even more-so you as an individual, either changed and / or evolved since your whole inception into music?

Bigger than anything, I LOVE what I do and for a long time I felt that I needed to win awards to be validated. I believed that no matter how great a singer / songwriter I am, if I don’t win then maybe I’m not as great as I believe or the industry still didn’t believe I deserved the same shot. I no longer feel that way. I am intentional about acknowledging the contributions I’ve made to the culture of black music for nearly three decades now. I never gave myself credit that way. I did my job and kept it pushing. I allow myself to acknowledge myself now. It’s necessary. It’s healthy. No awards needed to feel validated. I’m dope! God made me that way.

Longevity, what do you attribute yours to?

Patience, committing to excellence ALWAYS, refusing to dumb down my sound for the comfort of others and the trends. Continually being a student and willing to learn from the new generation, while being readily available to be a teacher and a guide for the new generation.

What do you want people to get from your music?

I always want them to hear my heart while hearing their stories. I want them to hear that we are more alike than we are different. I want my music to be healing, soothing, exciting, thought provoking and memorable to the degree that it leaves an imprint that takes you back to a time, a place, an era, a smell, a moment. I want my music to be the soundtrack of a generation, and the movement of a lifetime!

Is there a hidden meaning / message in any of your music?

No hidden messages at all! It’s pretty straight forward! HE LIED!!! CHEATED!!! *Giggles ensue*

As a brilliant songwriter with a sterling pen, where do you actually draw inspiration from?

Seriously my art imitates life ALWAYS! It’s the life. I have written about my life, the lives of those around me where I was deeply affected by what happened to them. It’s always about life. Either the life I’ve lived, the life I’m living or the life I aspire to live.

Please explain your overall creative process…

Once upon a life I had a process. As I’ve lived more life and had more experiences, I let the songs come when and how they want. They often wake me out of my sleep to be written. I let it happen.

Do you have any other outside / additional aspirations, maybe even completely away from entertainment?

I wanted to be a lawyer from the time I was 6 yrs old. Music was what the family did. Law was going to be my way out of the projects and out of poverty. Going to school for Law would take a lot of years. Now that some states are allowing internships with firms in lieu of law school, I want to get one and take the bar. I would love to be a practicing lawyer in the next 5 years. I would be an amazing lawyer.

What has been your greatest career achievement(s), at least thus far anyway?

I believe the greatest achievement is still being here over 28 years later. Still working. Still in demand, still expanding and growing, and still making music that matters.

What’s an average day like for you?

I don’t have average days. No 2 days are alike *Giggling*

Please discuss how you interact with and respond to fans…

Respectfully, compassionately, intellectually and always remembering that they don’t have to love or support my music. For the confused cheerleaders who follow and comment with dumbness, my general rule is to ignore and block. I’m not big on clapping back because honestly it’s exhausting, and most times the people asking the most crap have nothing else to do with their time so they have ALL DAY! I don’t have all day, BUT I do allow myself about 2 good clap backs a year! Just had one, and it was worth shutting down the dumb and shining a light on the ignorance.

What is your favorite part about this line of work? Your least favorite? Why?

Favorite: I get to do what I love for a living. Least favorite: People don’t always see what entertainers do as a “real job.” They expect you to show up and perform and make them feel good, but there’s still some people who think, “Well it’s just singing, how hard can that be??” The road to the stage is a job ALL in itself and way too much to explain, but yeah…that would be my least favorite part. That and the politics. The political choices in this business usually don’t leave much room for the work and / or the talent of some deserving creatives to be celebrated.

“Friend of Mine” is a bona-fide R&B classic — How did this song actually come about? Who came up with the concept? And, please describe for me the studio vibe on that fateful day?

No studio vibe at all. The track was on a cassette with a bunch of tracks I’d received from several of The Hitmen at Bad Boy. I was at home going through the music, and when that track came on produced by J-Dub / Anthony Dent and Stevie J, I couldn’t write fast enough. I knew the song was a smash when I was writing it. I wrote every track on the cassette, and told  J-Dub that was THE song. I didn’t have a deal and none necessarily in the works but I knew that song was MINE to sing, so I asked him not to turn it in to be sold to a label and he agreed.

You also semi-recently teamed up with Wale for his latest, “Sue Me” — Talk to me about this stellar collabo…

“Sue Me” is a dope dope record that I was elated to be a part of. It took us almost 9 months to get our schedules close enough to being in the same room to get “Sue Me” and “Set You Free” recorded. We still missed each other because I had a flight to catch back to the East Coast, and I finished before Wale got to the studio. We plan to make more music together, definitely for my new project, and this time we will be in the same room!

And, lastly, what’s next for you, Ms. Price?

More acting roles. Producing my own content for television and film. And there has been some interest shown about a Kelly Price biopic…we’ll see. It may be too soon. WE’ll see…

Is there anything I left out, or just plain forgot to mention?

New season (two) of American Soul begins May 27th. Sunday Best season 10 is coming back later this year.

Any “closing” thought(s) for our readers?

Thank you for rockin’ with a sister all these years! I plan to continue to deliver music that matters, as long as you want to get it from me. “What I Need” is out now, “UnSung” is out now, please go get it! New EP’s in the works in both Gospel AND R&B, and both slated to release by the end of 2020!

Connect w/Kelly Price Online:

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