Kelendria "Kelly" Trene Rowland
Tenetra "Michelle" Williams
LaTavia Roberson & LeToya Luckett
As one third of Destiny's Child, one of the best-selling female musical groups of all time, Kelly Rowland has brought the sound of her voice to millions of fans. She's graced videos, been featured in magazines and performed on television and concert stages worldwide. She's experienced #1 hits, multi-platinum albums, industry accolades, won Grammys and other awards, and felt the love of press and fans. And now, she's ready to show the world another side of Kelly Rowland with the release of Simply Deep, her debut solo album, on Music World Music/Columbia Records.
Featuring songs written by Steve Kipner, Billy Mann, Solange Knowles, and Kelly Rowland and guest appearances from Nelly and Joe Budden; produced by Rich Harrison (Amerie), Robert Smith, Damon Elliott, and Rob Fusari; executive-produced by Mathew Knowles of Music World Music, Simply Deep is an exhilarating glimpse into Kelly's heart and soul. Which was exactly her desire. "I wanted people to be able to see me as me, not just as that girl from Destiny's Child," Kelly says. "I wanted them to see someone who has gone through a lot of real life experiences and is so happy and so blessed. I wanted people to really see a side of me that they may not know." To reach that goal Kelly decided to go for her solo sound in a remarkably fresh and unexpected way. Simply Deep contains stinging electric guitars and gentle acoustic six-strings, atmospheric synths and turntable scratches.
Her thoughtful lyrics tackle everything from God to love to whatever lies in between while her musical joints will make you nod your head to the groove. There's rock 'n' roll, a confessional singer/song writer vibe, sultry R&B and an edgy undercurrent. Simply put, Simply Deep is not what you might expect from a member of Destiny's Child. Which was--according to Kelly--the point: "We wanted our solo albums to be different from Destiny's Child so that people wouldn't compare them to the group's work."
The albums are an opportunity for people to get to know our personalities. In my case, I'm sure that most of my fans didn't realize how much I have always loved rock. In fact when I first went into the studio and told the producers I wanted a mixture of Sade with really edgy rock, they looked at me like I was crazy! And honestly, about halfway through the recording process even I was wondering if you could mix off those influences together. But it all worked out wonderfully." Proof of which can be heard on the single 'Stole.' Written and produced by Dane Deviller, Sean Hosein and Steve Kipner, 'Stole' sets the tone for Simply Deep by being emotional, evocative, soulful and atypical in its subject matter and sound. A cautionary tale about life and its consequences, 'Stole' affected Kelly the first time she heard it ."I loved the lyrics and the melody," she says. "It's such a passionate song."
Equally passionate is 'Heaven,' co-written and produced by Alonzo Jackson, who also plays drums, bass and guitar on the track. The sexy ballad, one of several co-written by Kelly, draws its inspiration from real life. "I'd never been in love and then I met someone and he made me feel like heaven," she confesses. "This song is an expression of those feelings." Love is also in the air on 'Dilemma,' a collaboration with superstar rapper Nelly.
The infectious track, which burned up the radio this summer and stayed at #1 for nearly two months, takes Patti LaBelle's hit 'Love, Need and Want You,' to a funky new level, because as Kelly laughs knowingly: "we put our own stink on it."
During the video shoot, Kelly met Patti LaBelle and was thrilled when the legendary diva praised Kelly's rendition of her hit. "I started crying," Kelly admits, "because there's nothing like hearing that the artist who originally did the song likes your version." The album's title track, 'Simply Deep,' was written for Kelly by Solange Knowles, the younger sister of Kelly's Destiny's Child co-star, Beyoncé. Solange is featured as a singer on the track and arranged the vocals. "The song is amazing," Kelly exclaims. "Solange is so talented and she's so professional in the studio and the sessions were so much fun and so calm. Honestly, I thought it would be weird to work with her--because she's like my little sister--but it was magic." Recording her album gave Kelly a chance to shine on her own as a vocalist while exploring other facets of her talent.
In addition to arranging the vocals on several tracks, Kelly co-wrote three songs -- '(Love Lives In) Strange Places,' 'Heaven,' and 'Make U Wanna Stay' --for the album. "I love that Beyoncé writes," Kelly says, "and it's something I've always wanted to try. When Destiny's Child would be in the studio, I'd ask her questions. She really encouraged me and told me I could do it. I was nervous but when I was working on my album I collaborated with the other writers and they really gave me the courage and tools to put my thought on paper."
Yet another creative outlet for Kelly is acting. She made an appearance on the sit-com 'The Hughleys' and will soon make her big screen debut as 'Lori' in the horror film 'Freddy vs. Jason.' "Acting is great," Kelly enthuses. "It's wonderful to have this opportunity. It's a dream come true." Kelly has been working to pursue her dreams since she was a little girl in Atlanta, Georgia. By the age of 4, inspired by her love of Whitney Houston, Kelly was already telling her mother that she wanted to sing. "I used to drive my mommy up the wall trying to listen out for Whitney!" Kelly laughs. "I remember getting her first album it as the first record I ever owned. I played it every day." Kelly began singing in church though she was so young she had to stand on a chair to reach the mic. The experience of performing changed her life forever. "When I was singing I was in my own world, and everyone was looking at me," she remembers. "I was so happy and I thought "Oh, I like this." Kelly's love for music blossomed after her family relocated to Houston where she became friends with Beyoncé Knowles.
The two gifted teens started singing together in and, in the mid 1990s, formed Destiny's Child. The group released its first smash single, 'No, No, No' in November 1997 with the first platinum album, Destiny's Child, following in February 1998. Destiny's Child's follow-up effort, 1999's The Writing's On the Wall was certified 8x RIAA platinum in the United States and went on to sell more than 10 million copies worldwide. The success of that album was matched when Destiny's Child dropped the multi-platinum worldwide smash Survivor in 2001.
Ask Kelly if she's pleased with her new album and she beams. "I remember how happy I was when we finished The Writing's On The Wall and Survivor because each song was so great. I wanted to recapture that feeling when I made my own record and when I sat back and listened to the finished album, I felt so blessed thought, 'Gosh, God is good' because I was allowed to see my vision through and it all worked out so well. Yes, I'm very happy. " Simply Deep is about the full range of life and love in all its pain and joy and happiness. In it, Kelly Rowland communicates the depth and passion of her experience, sharing it all with her fans.
April 12, 2006 - Kelly's single, 'Still In Love With My X.'
July 11, 2006 - Kelly's self-titled new album, 'Kelly Rowland.'