Kelly Rowland: Is It Her Time Now?
By Kevin L. Clark
For some music fans, it may be hard for former Destiny’s Child member Kelly Rowland to get from underneath Beyoncé’s shadow. Despite being without a label for almost a year, Rowland has been recording songs for an as-of-yet-to-be titled album through Universal Motown Records. But don’t be mistaken—it wasn’t as if Rowland took a hiatus from music like Beyoncé has for the past year. Ms. Kelly has chose to grind.
But with the growing murmurs that B is coming back bigger, better and blacker than ever this summer, will all of Rowland’s work be in vain?
After collaborating to record the theme song for the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa, Rowland toured Europe, Asia, and Australia. She earned critical acclaim from the electro-pop community for her work with David Guetta, and as one of the headlining acts of the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Party with George Michael.
A year later, Rowland has crafted her own lane and is a force to be reckoned with. Armed with a bevy of “up-tempo tracks” that present a mixture of eclectic sounds for her new album, Rowland’s first single, aptly titled “Motivation,” is somewhat an anomaly of sorts. It showcases her sultry voice that could get a priest hot, and allows Rowland to step back into the urban circle on the Jim Jonsin/Rico Love produced track.
Although she’s getting spins on BET’s 106 & Park and linkage on blog websites, it seems that if one were to google her, you’d see she’s getting more flak in the rumor mill than being lauded for returning to the American music scene. Sex sells, and today’s mainstream market is ripe with after-hours content. The hoopla surrounding Beyoncé’s return could benefit Rowland as a trickle down effect of attention (and sales) from stans who have overlooked her in favor of Sasha Fierce. While the 30-year-old songstress is testing the waters with her Lil Wayne assisted track, she could be on to something as the overall hype of her comrade’s comeback could add a few new fans under Rowland’s belt.
How do you ask? By releasing her album in the summer, combined with her bikini bootcamp Twitter challenge, and hitting all the hot spot press markets, Rowland is setting herself up nicely to have a buzz that will reach further than just the urban stations.
In the end, if Beyoncé’s “hiatus” has taught the music industry anything, it’s that “time waits for no (wo)man.” Now that collaborations and openness are the keys to a successful venture (see Britney Spears and Nicki Minaj), the coup d’grace to this whole plot would be if Beyoncé extended an invite for Rowland to open up for her when the Knowles-Carter takeover starts to pick up steam, and a worldwide tour is planned.