WRITTEN BY: SHELLY BELL
ORIGINALLY PRESSED BY: Brightest Young Things (BYT)
February 25, 2013
All photos courtesy K. Michelle
K. Michelle – An artist most comfortable in her own skin as evidenced by her getting completely nude during my backstage interview following a phenomenal performance at the Howard Theatre, DC. She has been noted by media as dramatic, ratchet, and nonsensical even. However, she is a classically trained pianist, a guitarist and walks in an honesty that most are afraid of. She’s Tennessee’s finest crazy, sexy, cool star most known for her appearance on VH1‘s “Love & Hip-Hop Atlanta.”
Fans were onboard and ready to ride the “K. Wave” from the first note of opening song “You Gonna Learn Today.” She was the same sincere authentic character from the reality show cracking jokes with catchphrases like “F*ck the haters, they make ya roots itch.” With a salute to R&B singers she performed her rendition of her favorite songs by Monica, Mary J. Blidge, and Brandy. Her way of showing love for Go-Go music was an unsuccessful attempt at Jill Scott’s “Love.” Without congas a cowbell or some instrument to give a Go-Go sound – It’s not a Go-Go song! DC appreciated the attempt.
The highlights of the show included a bold yet entertaining serenade of “Can’t Raise a Man,” to pictures of her ex-lover and NY Knicks player J.R. Smith on the LCD screens. The show took an emotional turn with her teary-eyed heartfelt somber performance of “I Don’t Like Me” while sitting in front of a vanity mirror. “No matter how many wigs I put on, or how cute I think I am there are always those days where I don’t feel so pretty” she uttered. The crowd cheered in agreement. The “K. Wave” climaxed at an operatic performance of “The Coochie Symphony.” Even though this was a satiric ditty about “her coochie being broke” her vocal range was impeccable. The most awkward moment in the show was a beautiful tribute to God with gospel song “Yesterday” by Mary Mary which was followed by a song that repeated the lyrics “f*ck love, I want the sex and the money.”
Nonetheless, K. Michelle’s vocals are a force to be reckoned with. Her vocal ability is far too advanced to minimize her to being just the next “R&B queen.” Her personality coupled with extraordinary talent place her in a category yet to be created by the media. Before the singing the last song she announced that she would no longer be a cast member of Love & Hip-Hop after the coming season. Fans were disappointed but at this point it doesn’t matter. At the beginning of the show the audience may have been divided between fans of her music and fans of her personality on the show. However, at the end of her charismatic performance the audience left as fans of K. Michelle specifically. Aside from blowing me away with her performance interviewing her erased all skepticism of her as “just another ratchet fad.”
What do you want people who have not been exposed to the reality show nor your music to know about you?
I am a musician. I started playing the piano when I was 9 years old. I am a very outspoken person and a mother. They have to get to know me not what they hear. I think media plays a big part in it. Media is going to create you to be who they want you to be and not who you are.
I’ve noticed that you don’t talk about your family much. What does your mother think of all of this?
I keep them out of it. People always question “where’s her son? you don’t have your son.” I don’t bring him up. I have help. That’s not their business. If it wasn’t for my mom I don’t know what the heck I would do. I flew my mom out for the first time (BB Kings in NY 2/19/20). We have been very private because you have to maintain something.
What advice would you give a young singer starting out and is wondering where to go?
Fight hard for what you want. If you know that’s what you want, fight for it. It’s not going to come easy. Everybody that it came easy for is not around anymore.
How do you think leaving the cast of Love & Hip-Hop will affect your career?
The fans know now (that I am talented) and that will keep them. The show introduced me to people, but the fans got me the deal (Atlantic). As a writer, you never know, I may change my mind. It has been very difficult as a mother. It’s been very difficult to speak positivity upon black women and then go pop one in their face. We all as people contradict ourselves. We’re human. I’m just at the point where I don’t want to fight. I just want to be happy.
What’s next for K. Michelle?
The album (Rebellious Soul), a single, some movie stuff. I am opening up my first store. I am executive producing my first show “Minnie Mona.”
When asked if there was anything she would like to say she replied humbly “I just want to say thank you.” All ratchetness aside I predict that K. Michelle is in a transformation that has the potential to render her undeniable.