NEW YORK (AP) – Kelly Rowland says her new single â€œCoffeeâ€ and its accompanying music video is her â€œode to the beauty of black women.â€
Rowland debuted the breezy R&B track and video featuring black women across a spectrum of shades and colors two weeks ago.
â€œI just wanted it to be an expression of black beauty and the different variations and tones and body shapes,â€ said Rowland, who shot the video in Miami late last year. â€œI was really inspired by black women.â€
The Grammy-winning singer said she first started working on â€œCoffee” in 2017 but held on the track, which was co-written by Syd of the alternative R&B band The Internet.
â€œI was very particular after I had my son about what I was saying and how good it was because I wanted to make him proud,â€ said Rowland, who gave birth in 2014. â€œI was extremely hard on myself.â€
In an interview with The Associated Press, 39-year-old Rowland talks about coffee – the song and the drink – as well as signing with Jay-Zâ€™s Roc Nation company for management and life in quarantine.
AP: Thereâ€™s been a really warm response to â€œCoffeeâ€ and its video. How does that make you feel?
ROWLAND: The morning that it came out, I had this really big weight on my chest. I literally got to my closet and I cried because I was like, â€œThis is what I remember the anxiety and everything feeling like,â€ but this one felt a little different. Itâ€™s because Iâ€™ve been in business for 20-plus years and it was like an overwhelming sense of gratitude. When I started seeing, whether itâ€™s my fans or new people, or Iâ€™m seeing dancers put movement to the song, thatâ€™s really something to take in and celebrate and be grateful for. It could be completely different. I feel this overwhelming sense of gratitude that literally gives me a ball in my throat. You just donâ€™t take anything for granted. You really donâ€™t.
AP: Are you a big coffee drinker?
ROWLAND: Iâ€™m a coffee ice-cream girl. Whenever thereâ€™s affogato close, it has my name on it. I like it when itâ€™s iced. I like iced coffee and I drink it with whiskey.
AP: Howâ€™s the album coming along?
ROWLAND: Iâ€™m very excited about this album. Iâ€™m excited for the fact that the years that it took me to find tempo. …The whole albumâ€™s not up-tempo, but Iâ€™m excited to share my tempo. I feel like I always had mids and slower records but yeah, Iâ€™m ready to dance. Especially when we come out of all this, we need to dance.
AP: Have you finished the album?
ROWLAND: I have at least one more record to do. In my gut, I feel like I have like one more record to do.
AP: And youâ€™re technically an independent artist now?
ROWLAND: Yes, for now. There have been really cool calls. At the same time, itâ€™s such a different space and time in music now. I think in my head itâ€™s just navigating it all. Iâ€™m definitely independent. Itâ€™s something about it that Iâ€™m really, really loving and thereâ€™s something about it where youâ€™re just like, â€œOh I need a little bit more of some budget money to execute some of this.â€ I always say that dogâ€™on Destinyâ€™s Child set me up because we had visuals. People are like, â€œYou gonâ€™ release a song with no visuals?â€ Now that I released â€˜Coffeeâ€™ people are like, â€œOK, what are we going to get next? What visual are we going to get next?â€ So I do feel that pressure, but I just want to take it a little easier on myself.
AP: Is this album through Roc Nation?
ROWLAND: Roc Nation is my management company.
AP: And thatâ€™s new?
ROWLAND: Thatâ€™s new.
AP: How did that come about?
ROWLAND: Itâ€™s family and it just happened. It just really happened to work and itâ€™s working out really well so far. My team, I have a great team. Itâ€™s not to say I didnâ€™t have a great team before, I had a great team before. You evolve, you move on and thatâ€™s really it and Roc Nation is home now.
AP: What have you been doing with your time at home?
ROWLAND: I wish that I would have learned how to work ProTools. I think now, it makes you definitely want to learn. You watch artists like, I heard Ariana Grande does it. I heard Trey Songz does it. So many different artists are like, â€œYeah Iâ€™m going to do that over,â€ and theyâ€™re operating their own sessions. Iâ€™m like, â€œWhy didnâ€™t I learn how to do that?â€ Thatâ€™s probably my next goal is to learn how to record myself because I could have gotten so many things done. Iâ€™ve been sent songs since being quarantined and Iâ€™m literally waiting for my engineer to come out of his quarantine.
AP: Did you have a goal date for getting the album out?
ROWLAND: No. The thing is, before quarantine, we were at the close of the record. Thatâ€™s when youâ€™re like turning records in, talking to writers and producers, starting that whole process of the ending process. Itâ€™s not that itâ€™s slowed down but definitely made things a little more challenging to navigate. We got this. We got this, but definitely, definitely this year. Iâ€™m not waiting anymore. Iâ€™m not wasting anymore time. Iâ€™m doing it this year.