Friday, February 5, 2010

Exclusive Interview: Keke Wyatt talks 'Who Knew', new music project with Avant & rumors

Keke Wyatt returns with her forthcoming album Who Knew; her first complete LP in 9-years.

The singer successfully made a name for herself during the earlier half of the 2000’s when she sang alongside R&B crooner Avant in his song “My First Love” – winning over the hearts of R&B fans that melted at the sound of her soulful vocals. 

Keke later released her first album Soul Sister that spawned the hits “Nothing in This World” and her impeccable cover of Patti Labelle’s “If Only You Knew.”

After experiencing a few setbacks and a much publicized personal life, Keke is ready to satisfy the appetites of her fans that have been waiting patiently for new material, by serving her new album on a silver platter all the while leaving enough room at the table to welcome in new fans.

Keke recently participated in an interview where we discussed rumors, her new album and an exciting new project with Avant.

Samantha G.: You have a new project, Who Knew, which is coming out on the 23rd of this month. Tell me a little bit more about the project.

Keke Wyatt: Who Knew is basically surrounded around Keke for all my non-fans that I’m trying to get. It’s surrounded with my heart. Basically things I’ve been through in my relationship and in my life; the happier times, the sad times, the in-between times and the sexy times. This album definitely exposes me, but it’s exposing me in a way I don’t mind.

SG: What prompted you to want to release a new album?

KW: My fans. I mean when I tell you they would come up to me and literally question me. They’re like “What the hell are you doing? Where have you been? What’s going on?”

SG: So you did it for the fans?

KW: Yeah, and of course I have a passion and a love [for music]. So there is never a time that I would turn away the opportunity to do an album.

Keke Wyatt is no stranger to the disappointments that the music industry sometimes deals – which is seldom told. After releasing her first album, 2001’s Soul Sister, and departing MCA Records in 2004, the singer struggled with getting two other albums released; Emotional Rollercoaster (Cash Money Records) and Ghetto Rose (TVT Records). Unfortunately, both albums were not released due to separate situations. This later resulted in the albums being shelved.

SG: Many had no idea that you were working on new material until the premiere of your video for your lead single “Who Knew”, is there a reason why you chose to complete the album first before you announced the release date?

KW: Well, because it seemed like I jinxed myself the last few times I did it. I was with Cash Money and then the Hurricane [Hurricane Katrina] came and wiped everything away before I could even finish. And then TVT, they went out of business and literally went bankrupt. This time I was like you know what, I’m just going to finish everything and then just come out with a bang. I can’t take that disappointment again.

SG: Do you feel the sudden announcement of the album and its release date will help in the anticipation for Who Knew?

KW: Yeah. I think all my fans will be surprised and happy and I hope to gain new fans from it. Because if you think, when my first album came out, it came out in 2001 and all the kids that were like 10 are 18 and 19 now. So that’s like a new generation and I’m trying to get them all…because I’m still young, I’ll be 28 in March, I’m an 80’s baby. I was a baby when I first came out so let me gather all the people that were pretty much in my age realm and a little younger and bring them to where I am now.

SG: Did you write any of the songs on the album?

KW: Yes I did. Out of 10 songs, I’ll say I wrote 6 or 7 and co-wrote all of them. Nobody knows my life and nobody knows my pain better than I do and I feel like nobody can write for me or speak on what I’m going through or what I’ve been through. It has to be through my eyes, through my mouth and through my words.

If you are among the many fans that fell head-over-heels in love with Keke and Avant’s “My First Love” (a song originally sung by R&B duo Rene & Angela) there will be more of their duets to come. Keke says that she and Avant are planning on completing a duets album that will be due out later this year.

SG: You and Avant make great music together and sound great in duets; would you be interested in working with him again in the future?

KW: Oh yeah. We’re going to do a duets album. We plan on doing a bunch of cover records together. He’s a great writer his work shows that he’s a great writer and I’m a great writer, so we are going to get together and collaborate on writing also. So it’s going to be a really good one…but of course, I got to put out Who Knew first and do my thing. Then we are going to come back and do that.

SG: What other artists would you be interested in working with in the future?

KW: I love Joe, I love Shania Twain. I wouldn’t mind doing something with Tank. He has this crazy vocal ability and range. He reminds me a lot of myself.

Keke also took the time to address certain rumors and people’s thoughts about her personal life, urging them not to place judgment on her. She is most interested in people being opened to the good music she wants to provide.

SG: Is there anything you want people to know about you or rumors you would like to clear up?

KW: Stop judging me because I’m biracial because it’s really starting to get on my nerves. Just because that woman said that lying mess in that Essence article…you can’t always believe what you hear. Love me, don’t hate me.

SG: Are you over people associating the stabbing incident with your husband with you every time your name is brought up?

KW: I wish people would stop making jokes about it. I’m able to move on, why can’t everybody else. I’m not out here for you to meddle in my personal life. I’m out here for you to be inspired and be happy, to hear good music and good singing. I wish people would just appreciate good music.

Keke Wyatt’s newest project Who Knew is scheduled for release on February 23, 2010.

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