The world has marveled over Kelly Rowland‘s legacy in the music industry for over 20 years and in 2024 she’s ready to share so much more with us. From starring in the steamy thriller Mea Culpa at the top of this year, to working on new music, Kelly shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon. We sat down with the iconic star to discuss her work over the years in music, fashion and film, motherhood and what she has coming in the future.  


Like many great vocalists throughout the years, you discovered your love for music in your church choir. You’ve spoken about your choir director realizing you could sing at about 6 years old. What feeling do you remember having the first time you sang a solo at church?   

It was a very “aha” moment. Knowing what an a-ha moment means now, is and feels like, is exactly what I felt when I realized how much I love to sing. It was a knowing, a joy, a rush, a certainty of exactly where I stood in that moment was exactly where I belonged. 

When we reminisce about the Y2K movement, it’s impossible not to mention you. How does it feel to see Gen-Z bring back many looks from that time, many inspired by you and Destiny’s Child?   

It is so wild because I remember being 16/17 and hearing about fashion and style cycles, and how it comes back around every 20 plus years, and it is happening right in front of me. It is making me want to pull the Independent Women Pucci dress out of my closet and squeeze into it! 

Bolero – Jean Paul Gaultier 
Bra – Guess 
Jeans – Khaite 
Shoes – Kurt Gieger 
Jewelry – Androhmeda 

     We’ve watched you explore different beauty trends over the years. From the short black pixie cut in the 90s to red hair highlights with a short cut to mid-length style in the early 2000’s all the way to big curly hair and braids towards the end of the decade. Out of all these styles, which era was your favorite? What did you love most about this style?   

I love the bob…. I love the curls. don’t make me choose!

    You recently celebrated your 43rd birthday but don’t look like you’ve aged much in the almost 30 years we’ve known you! What is your current skin care routine?   

I am kind of a product whore. I love trying different products, seeing which one’s work. I know I got that from my mother. We couldn’t even see the counter tops because of all our products.  So, now I’ve figured out a routine and products that work for my skin. My go-to products are Shani Darden, IS clinical, Dr. Nigma, The Things We Do, and Relevant.   

 In 2003 you released your debut album “Simply Deep”, which features 14 songs and is mixture of rock and r & b. The single “Stole” did particularly well overseas. Did you expect this album to be loved so much overseas and to chart higher than it did in America? How did this affect your creative direction going forward?   

My DC days laid so much groundwork for opportunities overseas and they would come in one after another. I am so grateful for my international fanbase!

Turtle neck – Versace 
Shorts – Diesel 
Boots – Stuart Weitzman 
Earrings – 8other reason

 Fast forward two years you were ready to release your sophomore solo album “Ms. Kelly” to the world. The lead single “Like This” featuring Eve was not only a hit in my household but did exceptionally well on the charts. While recording this album how did you decide to pick this song as the lead single?   

It was a party in the studio, and because it was a party in the studio, I felt like people would feel the same way. So that’s why I wanted it to be the lead single. 

The 3rd single off Ms. Kelly “Work, is an up-tempo party song that has a funk and go-go vibe, was very successful in America. Once the track was remixed by British DJ Duo Freemasons into a Bhangra – infused dance pop remix, you said it gave the song “new life”. Without realizing, you were entering your Euro-Pop era as an artist which was unique and different from all the music you had created up to this point. Take us back to this time when all of this was happening and talk about this moment in your life.   

To be honest, I was finding my way. I saw there was a current with that song. It was making its own space; I didn’t know that was going to happen. It just happened! 

 You spent a year in Europe following this and collaborated with European artist, recorded additional music for the Ms. Kelly deluxe album and heard French DJ David Guetta live in concert, who you’ve built a strong working relationship with over the years. What was this experience like creatively and when you reminisce about this time, what is your favorite memory?   

It was all so organic meeting David and being inspired by the energy and the space in which I was also in at that time. I remember going to eat at 11pm and getting to the club at 1am and walking home to the sun at 7:30 am. That was the life. 

A few years later your career had many drastic changes. You got new management, left Columbia Records and wanted to create more dance music. Prior to leaving the label you had already recorded international dance pop hit “When Love Takes Over” with Nervo & David Guetta but were unable to release it at the time. When you first heard this track, did you ever imagine your vocals over it? Talk about working on this song while living in Europe and exploring pop dance music.  

David had me listen to the track from his computer on headphones, and when I heard it, a switch went off. I had this incredible experience in Europe. I felt very empowered and independent, and it shifted my thinking. When all these changes were made, that was the season. It was tough but necessary. 

Top – Bent Kahina 
Underwear – Honey Bridette 
Accessories – Shedean Jewelry 
Jeans – Ottolinger 

When Love Takes Over was #1 all throughout Europe and is one of the first dance/r & b crossover tracks to have this huge impact and commercial success. Billboard later named it the #1 dance-pop collaboration of all time! How did it feel succeeding so well when your previous label didn’t believe in the track enough to let you release it on your own? Especially with it being your first time doing a song like this?  

Amazing!!! It felt good to bet on myself. That’s exactly what happened, I bet on myself. And I fucking won! 

 You later signed your next record deal with Universal Motown and continued to make great EDM music while inspiring other urban artists like Usher, Will I Am & The Black-Eyed Peas to do the same. During this time, you continued to create dance and r & b music stating you “refused to be put in a box”. Why was it so important for you to stay true to your musical desires regardless of how your American audience received your EDM music?   

I was still making R&B music. I was still making R&B records, but people gravitated towards “When Love Takes Over.” Dance music in that period was also big. But I did it because it felt good. It felt good being a part of starting a trend. 

By 2010 you were ready to get back to your r & b roots for your next album. You worked with great producers like Dark Child, Rico Love, Tricky Stewart, just to name a few. Your lead single for the U.S. market was “Motivation” featuring Lil Wayne. It became your highest charting billboard solo single since dilemma in 2002. How did your Euro-Pop era help create motivation and influence your third album “Here I Am”?   

Miami inspired motivation. Rico love, Jim Johnson and I had great synergy in the studio, and they were just ON ONE.

What was so unique about “Here I Am” is that it featured multiple genres that were specifically targeted towards different markets. This album reached #3 on Billboard, making it your highest charting album in 2011. This was your last project where we see a heavy influence of dance pop music throughout your album. Looking back, what do you think the reason for ending your EDM era was? Would you ever consider a full-length dance album?   

You can’t end an era; you make an era. There are no rules in music. You do whatever feels right in your gut. 

Your last studio album to date, “Talk A Good Game” was released in 2013. In the past you’ve referred to this album as your best body of work. Are you actively working on new music?

Yup. I’m working on music. I am having fun being creative in the studio!

Denim jacket – Balenciaga 
Skirt – Versace 
Necklace – 8other reasons 
Shoe – La Marque 

Being in the public eye for half of your life and remaining graceful through all life’s ups and downs in the process can’t be easy, no matter how easy you make it look. What are some ways you take care of your mental health?   

My faith and therapy. My faith because I know how just as quick as God can bless us with something, things can be taken away just as quickly. So, when there is a moment to create art, whether it be music, film, tv or whatever it is, having a space to be creative and people still even caring is a blessing.  

Therapy. The part of me I am still working on, sometimes you want to go off on people, but I realized their own shit has nothing to do with me and I refuse to have somebody have power over me to where what they say would dictate my thinking of myself or my dreams. And they can speak negative about me, and I realized that has nothing to do with me. They feel powerless. And that’s sad. You can’t argue with someone who is hurting. 

 You recently sat down with Victoria Monet for a conversation about the music industry where you offered her advice and friendship. Why is it important to you to help the new generation of artists navigate through the industry? Did you have anyone while you were coming up in the industry to do the same for you?  

I know too much. And I feel like it’s a part of my responsibility that if I have some sort of wisdom in the 20+ years of being in this business, I’m supposed to give some of that away. You’re supposed to help. 

What advice would you give to anyone reading this who hopes to follow your path as an entertainer?   

I would ask them “Do you love it?” Why are you doing it? And if you do it, do it with passion, do it honestly,” AMEN. 

A year after releasing your final album to date, your personal life changed forever. You got married to your husband of now going on 10 years! You’ve also become a mother of two beautiful children Titan and Noah. In this past decade, what have been some of your favorite moments as a mother and wife?  

As a mother, learning and relearning the world through their eyes and them forcing me to walk the walk and talk the talk. I can’t teach them to dream big and to think big if I don’t do it myself. I always feel like I’m learning from them. 

As far as a wife, my husband is dope, but I have to be honest, being married is so awesome. To be able to have a partner to go through life with is one of my biggest joys. When life is life’n I really think I hit the jackpot with Tim. He still gets on my nerves and I for damn sure get on his. But it’s all worth it. 

Top – Bent Kahina 
Underwear – Honey Bridette 
Accessories – Shedean Jewelry 
Jeans – Ottolinger 

What advice do you have for any first-time mothers who may not have anyone in their life to get advice from? Any tips or tricks to adjust to motherhood?   

Give yourself some grace. You’re going to screw it up, chill out. Pace yourself.  

Mea Culpa (which means through my fault), is a new erotic thriller film written and directed by Tyler Perry which you are the star of as criminal defense attorney Mea Harper. You’ve mentioned that Tyler Perry had to convince you to take the role due to its steamy context. Tell us about this new Netflix film and why you ultimately decided to be a part of it.   

It scared me. I mean, when you think about erotic thrillers, I think about the ones that just blew my mind like “Basic Instinct” and “Unfaithful” and how steamy they were. I can’t lie. I got nervous. I spoke to a friend of mine who told me it was good that it scared me, and it would push me, so I took it. 

Your co-star in the film is Trevante Rhodes and although your chemistry is off the charts in Mea Culpa, you all met the day before filming! Even though you are both seasoned actors, how were you too able to get into get comfortable with one another in such a short amount of time?   

He made me feel comfortable and safe from the moment I met him, and that was all I needed.   

How did you prepare for the role of Mea Harper? Was it challenging getting in the mindset for this role since it’s different from any other character you’ve played?   

It is totally different from anything I’ve ever done. I have thought about the lawyers I met from Houston Texas, how classy they were, how stylish they were, how brilliant they were. And I talked to a couple of lawyers I knew as well, who gave me all the lingo. 

Dress – Jean Paul Gaultier 
Jacket – TLZ 
necklace – Givenchy

 What was your experience like working with Tyler Perry on Mea Culpa? You are also a producer for the first time on this film, do you plan on producing more projects in the future?   

It was an amazing experience working with Tyler. I think we made a great team. I remember being very nervous, and asking way too many questions, and with wisdom, kindness and grace, he answered every single one. And I absolutely plan on producing more in the future, I am having so much fun with it. 

Mea’s husband Kal had a co-dependent relationship with his mother and lacked many qualities to be considered a good husband. Do you think his lack of ambition and allowing his family to walk all over him affected the dynamic of his marriage?   

Duh! Jokes aside, very much so. 

 What do you think initially drew Mea to Zyair?   

Mea felt seen by Zyair. Zyair was a distraction from her home life. 

Mea Culpa shows the dynamic of art, sex and fashion throughout the film. When it came to cultivating Mea’s wardrobe, talk to us about what this experience was like and how hands on you were with creating this character’s fashion sense. What was your favorite outfit that Mea wore?   

One of the best experiences I’ve had was cultivating Mea’s looks. My favorite outfit was the one I was wearing in the scene where I went to visit Renne Carter, the gallery owner. 

Top – Bent Kahina 
Underwear – Honey Bridette 
Accessories – Shedean Jewelry 
Jeans – Ottolinger 

From watching the film, I noticed Mea doesn’t easily bow down to Zyair. She makes him work for it and chases her. If Mea’s private investigator never gave her bad information, do you think she still would have been intimate with Zyair at some point? 

Apart of me feels like Zyair wouldn’t have been into Mea so much if she had made it easy for him, what do you think?  I do think Mea still would have done the same thing, with or without the bad information. Their chemistry was too strong. 

Let’s talk about Mea Culpa’s soundtrack. The first time Mea and Zyair are intimate we hear Sabrina Claudio’s “Unravel Me”. Throughout the film we hear Issac Hayes rendition of “Walk on By”. The movie also has an original soundtrack cultivated by Amanda Jones that features 16 original songs. What are some of your favorite songs from the film?   

My favorite song was definitely “Walk On By,” but I love the entire soundtrack on Mea Culpa. Each song has a meaning to a particular scene. 

If you could pick your dream movie role, what would it be?   

Donna Summer! 

What’s next for Kelly Rowland? Is there anything you can share with us that we can expect in 2024 and beyond?   

More music, more tv, more producing! 

Top – Bent Kahina 
Underwear – Honey Bridette 
Accessories – Shedean Jewelry 
Jeans – Ottolinger 


Editor In Chief: Prince Chenoa (@princechenoastudio)

Feature Editor: Taylor Winter Wilson (@taylorwinter)

Photographer: Steven Gomillion (@stevengomillion)

Cover Art Design: Carlos Graciano (@sadpapi666)

Production: Devon Speckman (@devon_speckman)

Lighting Tech: Tyler Chick (@itstylerchick)

Digital Capture: Marvin Cortez (@marvincortes1)

Hair Stylist: Jared Henderson (@jstayready_

Makeup Artist: Ernesto Casillas (@ernestocasillas)

Stylist: Wilford Lenov (@tunnelmediagroup)

Assistant Stylist: Gethsemani Sanchez 

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