Being an artist is about fearlessly breaking the boundaries. K. Michelle takes pride in that part of her job. Her first full-length album, 2013’s Rebellious Soul [Atlantic Records], flipped the script for R&B and enjoyed staggering success in the process. Arriving at #1 on Billboard’s “Top R&B/Hip Hop Albums” chart and #2 on the Top 200, it made history as it became the highest Top 200 entry for a female R&B singer’s debut since 2001. In addition to yielding the hits “V.S.O.P.” and “Can’t Raise A Man”, the record spawned the Rebellious Soul Musical directed by Golden Globe-winning actor Idris Elba. She also solidified her place amongst music’s elite, garnering a Soul Train Award for “Best New Artist” and an NAACP Image Award for “Outstanding New Artist”. Still, when it came time to work on her sophomore effort #AWBAH, K. Michelle wanted to pave a new path once again. “I’m a very musical artist,” she declares. “This is a statement that I don’t let genres define what I sing or who I am. I wanted to merge everything I love into something exciting. That was my vision here.”
“It’s a mix between R&B and rock,” she goes on. “It shows the diversity to come on the album. Lyrically, ‘Love Em All’ is about how I’m going to keep dating until I find the right man—and I’m going to love ‘em all. I love each of the guys I’ve dated for different reasons. One might be compassionate, while another might be tenacious. It’s all of those qualities.” Also on the album, “Maybe I Should Call” gets real, recounting the true story of an old flame. Of course, K. Michelle’s expansive vocal range also takes the spotlight. “It’s the full story of this situation I had with a guy I dated,” she recalls. “He had a child on the way, and he didn’t want to be with the mother of his child. It’s a lot of drama. I’m a tough cookie, and I can be very stubborn. Some days, I think, ‘Maybe I should call him and try to work through it’. Other days, I say, ‘I should let it go’.” Meanwhile, the gorgeous “God I Get It” directly reflects her passion for country music with its traditional instrumentation and captivating harmony. “That’s my country song,” she smiles. “It’s just saying, ‘God, I get it. I know I do wrong. I know you’re trying to help me and send me signs. I have to do better’.” Outside of music, K. Michelle also continues to turn heads.
K. Michelle: Time
“I wanted to show a different side of myself,” K. Michelle adds. “People know the turn up side, the aggressive side, and the loud side, but they don’t know that I laugh a lot. They don’t know what it’s like for me to make an album. They don’t know what it’s like for me to be a mother and do all of this. They’ll get to see the realness of who I am.”
Listening to #AWBAH is the best way to get to know K. Michelle. “I put everything I could into this,” she leaves off. “Quality music always finds a home. I hope people feel great when they hear this, and they know good music is alive. You can identify so many situations within this album. I want everyone to be able to live with it for a long time.”
K. Michelle: Time Lyrics: