Black Twitter loves to create fantasy castings for biopics about our living legends and this time social media was spot-on. Over the last few months, fans have been advocating for a Donna Summer film and already have a leading lady in mind — Kelly Rowland.
Worldwide superstar Kelly Rowland has been in her disco bag recently, releasing tracks like “Crazy” and her rendition of Cece Peniston’s hit single “Finally” with musical producer Amorphous. The musician has tapped into this genre before with tracks like “Down For Whatever” with The WAV.s, “Commander,” and “When Loves Takes Over” with David Guetta.
Back in April, REVOLT hit up the “Arnold NY Presents: The Listening Lounge Featuring Kelly Rowland hosted by Damien Escobar” event in downtown New York City. While there, we were able to speak with the famed singer who discusses the possibility of embodying Summer in a biopic as well as her new book “Always With You, Always With Me.” She also lets us know how she manages to balance motherhood and fame.
Get into our exclusive chat with the one and only Kelly Rowland below.
Is your children’s book “Always With You, Always With Me” a gift to yourself, in a sense, as well as a gift to other families?
I think it’s a gift for everybody, to be honest. It’s really a gift for all parents and their kids since alot of us are parents and a lot of us are kids. For me, when I say that, we’ve all had these moments where we see how hard our parents are working, we’ve had the moments where they can’t come here or there — we’ve had some sort of disappointment. I’ve never seen a book that had what the parents are feeling and the dynamic of what the kids are feeling. It’s usually one-sided. I wanted my sons to understand that this is hard for me. Two weeks ago, I was on my way to South Africa — I had a flood of tears streaming down my face because I spent so much time with my boys. Noah is so new and he’s like, ‘Wait, where is she going?’ Titan’s in this space right now where we’re like Frick and Frack. We make silly jokes and he’s a silly boy.
How do you balance time for both Titan and Noah?
Thank God for naps. I’m so grateful for my support system with my husband, his mother, our nannies, and our home team. We’re so grateful. So it’s like being able to say, ‘OK, well, you get Noah for this bulk of time and I’ll take Titan out for sushi.’ Or, I’ll take Noah and spend backyard time with him or Titan is on a playdate — you make time for the things you want to make time for. I love my boys and I love hanging out with them, but I also need some time with daddy, too (laughs).
Let’s talk about mental health because it’s so important. How do you manage being a mom and wife and still maintain your individuality?
Everyday is a struggle. I’m so serious (laughs). Everyday I’m learning. I’ll know when I need time with my husband because if I’m being honest, sometimes I can be kind of a jerk (laughs). Like, ‘You didn’t do such and such,’ but he understands that in that moment I can be a tad bit needy (laughs).
What’s a piece of advice your mom gave you? And what have you learned on your own as a mother that you will teach Noah and Titan?
My mom has taught me to communicate and I’m still learning that. I’m learning it through her wanting to learn better because she didn’t have the tools to. With my boys, I want them to know how to communicate. Before I had them, I asked the Lord to help me learn how to communicate before they get here and to be transparent when I don’t know so I can apologize. I can say if I’m wrong. Titan did this thing the other day when it was that time of the evening when I was done for the day and I asked Titan to just please get in the tub. He goes, ‘Mommy, you said please but you could’ve said that a little nicer.’ He said, ‘You could’ve changed your tone’ and I said, ‘You’re right.’ So I said, ‘Next time that happens because I am human, just say tone.’ I said to him, ‘If I need to do the same for you, I can say tone and you’ll understand right?’ He told me, ‘Just tell me tone.’ When it gets too ridiculous and we can’t decipher what it is, we say ‘tone.’
You have a new film coming out soon with Marsai Martin and Omari Hardwick about a young girl who controls her football-playing father using a video game. How excited are you to participate in this film and what drew you in?
I am nuts about this film. One, because I feel like an all-Black cast has never gotten an opportunity like this in the sports world. You think about Big and Freaky Friday — you never see us in films like this. And the fact that Marsai Martin is producing this film with Omari Hardwick and Rome Flynn starring in the film and our director Antwon Cooper is so amazing. It’s so cool and I’m just delighted and grateful for this opportunity.
When things are hectic, we sometimes lose a little bit of control in our personal lives. Think of your life as a game. Can you recall a time in your career when you were losing control? How did you find the strength to kick things back into gear?
Hmph, that’s a very good question. It would have to be a time where my schedule was getting the best of me and I probably didn’t know how to say no. If I were in the game, I would say no (laughs) — just for a little more peace of mind. Thank God I was able to get through it and that’s just the school I was built off of. I’m also grateful for that, too, because it made me tougher. Even in the times I wanted to say no, I was grateful for the times I didn’t say no because whether it was the right person I was talking to, the opportunity that presented itself, it trusted me for the future.
Now, the conversation about a Destiny’s Child reunion is never-ending. Let’s say you did announce a tour and you had to handpick an opening act. Who would you choose to open for Destiny Child?
Handpick an opening act? (laughs). I don’t know honestly.
We have so many people like H.E.R., Jazmine Sullivan, Lucky Daye…
See, but if Jazmine Sullivan goes on before us, I’m going to be out there watching her. I’ll be singing and by the time it’s my time to sing, I would be hoarse. I would be a fan and actually have a moment. She’d be like, ‘Isn’t she going on in like 30 minutes?’ (laughs). I love her though and I’m so happy for her. It took a while for her to get her Grammy and she should’ve gotten it way sooner. I’m happy for her and the space that she’s in — how honest and authentic she is.
Twitter is dying for you to play Donna Summer in a biopic. Would you play the late legend if asked and has the opportunity been discussed?
The opportunity has been talked about. I would do it in a heartbeat.