March 26, 2014


Keyshia Cole on New Album, Going Independent & State of R&B Today

Bennett Raglin/Getty Images for BET
Bennett Raglin/Getty Images for BET

As R&B diva Keyshia Cole preps her sixth studio album, the singer is combating divorce rumors and dealing with family "chaos." When an Atlanta radio DJ pried a little too much into her relationship with estranged husband Daniel "Boobie" Gibson—asking if Keysh considered herself "wifey material"—the singer announced she was "done with interviews for a minute." 

Just before that incident, the songbird spoke to Fuse about her new record, the state of R&B today and more. Here, we set drama aside and keep it all about the music. Read the exclusive Q&A below while we await Keysh's return to the interview circuit.

The lead single from your last album was a nice return to the hard-hitting Keyshia we know and love. Your new song, "Rick James," is hard in a similar way, but more feisty. Can you tell us about your goal with this song?

I helped write it with a few other people; collaborating with my friends is always fun in the studio. They already had the hook and I helped with the verses. Juicy J is my people so I went to get him on it as well. It's always fun to let people hear what you're going through, what you're experiencing and how you feel and all the different emotions you’re going through. This album is very personal.

We've heard a couple different things about it. We've heard it's a male-bashing record, and we've heard it's about how to keep a man. Can you tell us about the album overall?

First of all, child, you can't keep a man. A man has to want to be kept himself, you know? It starts there.

But there's definitely more sexy songs on this album than I've ever done. I'm excited to see what the people think about that, so we'll see how receptive they are to the album. I think it's a great album and I feel like it's one of my best albums to date. I'm really excited just to see what they feel.

There are rumors that Wale and Future are on the record, as well as producers like Mike WiLL Made It. Are all these people confirmed?

Yes, for sure. Juicy J is, definitely. We have a few producers I've never worked with, Mike WiLL is one of them, DJ Mustard is one of them as well. My homeboy Amadeus did the first single off the album and it's just a good time recording it. It's very exciting.

Can you tell us about any other tracks on the album?

There's [First single] "Rick James," "No Complications" and we have another one called "She." That's pretty dope, it's a very sexy record. [I'm] working with Chink Santana, as I did on the first album. We just had a great time collaborating with all these people and producers. 

This is the first time I actually went in the studio and worked with these producers. This is also my last album on Interscope and I don't know what's to come after that, so that's also kind of exciting.

We're hearing a lot of male names and we gotta ask—because we love your Monica duet "Trust"—any females on the record?

Not this time around. Maybe we'll do a remix or something with a female. We can always explore those options. I thought about that, but as far as just being on the album, no

This is album six for you. R&B has certainly changed since you debuted. There's alternative guys like the Weeknd, Drake, etc. As a veteran in the business, what's your take on the state of R&B today?

I like it. It's more fun with the music and everything, but also incorporating who I am, my lyrics and how meaningful they are. I think that it's a good mix together and that's how we came up with these records. 

Johnny Nunez/WireImage
Johnny Nunez/WireImage

Speaking of that, would you ever consider going independent? 

I would. I would love to actually.

Not to draw comparisons, but Ashanti did that and her album went Top 10.

No, that's dope, she's my girl and we talk a lot. I'm really proud of her for making that step on her own. She's been in the game for a long time. I'm very proud of her. Great accomplishment.

Going back to this new album, do you have a title for it yet? 

Not yet, I usually come up with that once we have the body of work.

So it's still in the studio?

Yeah, we're still adding pieces to the puzzle. It's never done until it's done. Always trying to make it better.

On another note, we've also heard you're filming a movie about your life. What's the status on that?

We've been working on it for a very long time. We already have the script for the movie and we're just putting all the pieces together. This is my last album on Interscope, so we definitely have to see where that goes and that movie is going to follow for sure.

Read what Keyshia had to say about her new single "Next Time (Won't Give My Heart Away)" right here.