K. Michelle on R. Kelly and Being Memphis-Tough: ‘If You See Me Fighting A Bear, Help the Bear’

K. Michelle on R. Kelly and Being Memphis-Tough: 'If You See Me Fighting A Bear, Help the Bear'

K. Michelle is ready.

The sexy Memphis-born singer is outspoken and honest — and she mixes that brashness with a sweet side that one can only find in the realest ‘round-the-way girls. She credits her hometown for shaping her into the woman she is today.

“I am from Memphis, Tennessee,” she says with a wide smile. “I love it and rep it all day long. Being from Memphis made me as strong as I am. People in Memphis have an edge about them — they can get through anything. If you see me fighting a bear, you better help the bear!”

With a voice that echoes Monica and Mary J., K. Michelle counts Whitney Houston and R. Kelly as her biggest musical influences. “I love Whitney Houston. I always wanted to be like Whitney,” she shares. “I’m on tour with R. Kelly now. He is just so diverse with his music. You can tell he breathes it and he loves it. For me to watch him every night on stage is so exciting.”

K. Michelle has recorded singles with Missy Elliott, Rick Ross, Trina and other industry heavyweights and acknowledges that, with her star on the rise, it’s been difficult making time for relationships. “… I don’t have a lot of time to date, but if I did I would make time for them.”

And she refuses to settle for anybody. “I had my daddy around and there’s a certain type of man that I require and I won’t accept anything less!” K. Michelle admits. “Until he gets UPSed from God down to me, I’m just gonna keep singing!”

How Memphis has shaped her musically and … (ahem) … physically:

Stax soul music and the blues is why I’m so soulful. And that barbecue is why I’m so thick in the hips! (laughs).

The personality traits an up-and-coming artist must have to succeed:

They have to be tough. They have to know how to pick their battles and know how to fight them well. But be humble.

The joy of recording vs. performing:

I love going in the booth and recording, it’s a release for me. If somebody pisses me off — yes, I’m going to sing about you. But being on stage is the time for me to show out. This is my stage and this is my time to get it! I’m going to try to bring you my entire life in my 20-minute show.

todd williams

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