By: Samantha Hunter
Kelly Rowland has achieved quite a bit of success with her music career, acting, TV projects (X-Factor and Chasing Destiny). Sky’s the limit for this fly femme, but she makes sure to use her platform to inform and inspire. To that end, Rowland partnered with Ulta Beauty and the Breast Cancer Research Foundation (BCRF) to bring awareness to breast cancer research and prevention. On Wednesday (October 26th) she treated eight women undergoing breast cancer treatment to a special day of pampering and relaxation. Rowland was gracious enough to take a break from the day to talk to us about why this cause is important to her, being a working mom and how her “forever sisters” Beyoncé and Solange have influenced her new album.
VH1: Why are you so passionate about promoting breast cancer research, prevention and awareness?
Kelly Rowland: Well for research, of course we haven’t found our cure yet; for prevention I feel like we do have so much information right at the palm of our hand with our phone, but I think that we sometimes spend time looking for useless things when we should know what’s going on with our bodies. I think that’s what we should be focused on, especially as women. There’s early detection that you can actually experience for yourself if you just do your own body checkup or go to the doctor if you want more information. But I do think that it’s my job and my responsibility to not just use this platform for one thing, but also for information for other people who I can reach and touch. For me this day is dedicated to my aunt Louise, it was actually my husband’s favorite aunt, and just when my husband and I first started dating he introduced me to this big beautiful energy with love and laughter and jokes and she just would’ve been a soul that I would’ve wanted my son Titan to meet, and today is dedicated to her. I’m just happy to be apart of it and listen to these women’s stories and their background. They were telling me about their families and that’s who they’re fighting for – they are fighting for themselves, but they want to be here for their kids and I admire them and am inspired by them and their stories.
How are you juggling motherhood, creating your own music, working with your girl group June’s Diary and more?
I’m still learning to be honest, because I think I have days where I probably do come down a little hard on myself and I’m like, 'You only saw Titan this morning,' or 'You only saw him for lunch,' or 'You didn’t even spend time with your husband.' Then I’m thinking, have I even spent time with myself? For me, it’s important to spend time with myself, my husband, my son...Sunday I took the afternoon and I went to a little place around the corner, and I had a glass of wine and a little meal to myself. I sat there and wrote down my goals, thoughts and lyrics. I just felt really restored for my week. If anybody can do that I really encourage them to. It just reminded me of my power and how we have to give power to ourselves first before we can give it to anybody else.
You’ve been spotted on social media hanging with your former Destiny’s Child members LeToya Luckett and Michelle Williams. Is there a Destiny’s Child reunion in the works or are you just determined to keep these friendships alive because they are so important to you?
It’s so crazy, LeToya and I just happened to run into each other at Disney. We have a mutual friend as well, and Michelle is my sister forever! She came into town and I was going to this Elle event and I was like 'You want to come with me?' and that’s exactly what happened. So my stylist dressed her and we just had a blast! And I think that’s how spur of the moment and spontaneous it is with all of us.
Your two other “sisters” Beyoncé and Solange and have had a phenomenal year musically with Lemonade and Seat at the Table, driving home a powerful message about Black pride. How have these two albums influenced what your musical message will be on your next project?
I think that what their projects have shown me and the rest of the world is authenticity. They are so authentic and vulnerable and honest, and that’s what I want to contribute to my record. I think that after I had my son it was a process that was really hard for me. I had people that were telling me what I should say and what I should talk about for so long, I was just like, F that, I’m gonna talk about what I want. I’m just in a place right now where I don’t have a label, I have so much freedom and it’s so exciting, and that’s what I bring to the studio. [Beyoncé and Solange] have taught me authenticity and to be completely true and honest with myself on my next record.
How are things going your babies June’s Diary and what are their next steps?
Things are going great! They’re actually out on tour with R. Kelly right now and they have been killing all of the shows… I’m so proud of them! They’re at that very beginning new artist phase where they are just building the awareness of who they are and the style that they bring – they’re still building that. I’m very proud of them because they’re super humble to be new artists. You basically have no choice, but there are some people who come out here and get on a television show and they think that they’re just really hot stuff, but that isn’t these girls. They have something to say, they want people to know who they are, they want to make women feel powerful and empowered. I’m very proud of them.
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