KeKe made headlines shortly after the release of her debut CD when she & her then husband were involved in a domestic dispute where she ended up being arrested. Through the years since then, KeKe has been in the studio recording music as well as doing theater! Bad deals and her last label filling for bankruptcy, has kept KeKe from putting out an album since her debut.
Now in 2010, with a new label Shanachie! Finally, KeKe Wyatt is back with “Who Knew?”, the long-awaited and highly anticipated follow-up to her smash debut. Featuring several tracks produced by the hit-making Underdogs (Tyrese, Fantasia, Ne-Yo) as well as L. Young, Dream Team, Troy Oliver and others, KeKe has returned with a vengeance to re-establish herself as a voice and personality to be reckoned with on today’s R&B scope.
In this exclusive interview with UrbanBridgez.com, KeKe talked to Aries about her upcoming release “Who Knew,” that duets album with Avant we’ve been hearing about, the incident with her ex husband and what she wants her fans to learn from it, touring, the Destiny’s Child rumor and much more! Get caught up with the diva that’s about to shut the game down!
UrbanBridgez.com: Let’s start with the new album ‘Who Knew’, tell me about it and what was the best part about recording it?
KeKe Wyatt: I would have to say the freedom! And nobody breathing all down my neck. You know putting their two cents in and their two cents don’t add to amount of beans. Like being in a classroom and teachers breathing all down your neck and you’re like nah (laughs). So that’s the best part I would have to say.
UrbanBridgez.com: Who did you work with on this album?
KeKe Wyatt: This album is mainly KeKe Wyatt. I did alot of collaborations, but none of them quit made the album. All of the songs that made the album were KeKe songs and it wasn’t just me that was picking them. Maybe next album I’ll have some collaborations.
UrbanBridgez.com: Love the “Who Knew” video, were you nervous or anything when you got on set to film it, being that it had been awhile since you’ve done a video?
KeKe Wyatt: Thank you! You know, I never get nervous. The only time I get nervous is when somebody is getting on my nerves and I feel like I may have to jump on them (laughs in the background). That’s the only time I get nervous (laughs)! I never get nervous when it comes to music or anything like that honestly.
UrbanBridgez.com: I have the advance and “Without You” (preview in the media player to the right) is one of my favorite songs from the new CD.
KeKe Wyatt: Oh for real! Everybody says that! And you know, I know when somebody really has my album or is really a fan. Because they’ll say that song! Either that one or from my first album “Call on Me.” You know that one?
UrbanBridgez.com: Oh yeah, wow I love that song and that whole CD!
KeKe Wyatt: See, yeah! And it’s so funny because people be like (imitating voice) “oh girl I’m like your biggest fan,” I’m like really?! What’s your favorite song, they’ll be like “the one you did with Avant!” I’m like nigga, everybody heard that on the radio (everyone laughs). I’m talking about, what’s your favorite song. And then they’re like “ummm”, I’m like you’re not a fan! I’m just playing (laughs). So you like “Without You?”
UrbanBridgez.com: Yeah I love that one, I actually love most of it, but that’s a strong favorite!
KeKe Wyatt: Really, I did that with this guy named El. He’s from Kentucky too and he’s a new kat coming out. But it’s so funny because he’s written alot of songs for alot of people. You would be surprised and be like oh wow he wrote that? So I was excited when they choose that song to go on the album because I really like that song too!
UrbanBridgez.com: What is your favorite?
KeKe Wyatt: I would have to say “Daydreaming,” because I wrote it! I just really love that song and “Weakest” I did that one with Harvey Mason, from the Underdogs. It shows more of a sexual, sensual side of KeKe that nobody has ever heard before. You know, they’re so used to the sanging and the belting out. So this is different, it’s still KeKe Wyatt but it’s just a different part of me, that I’m trying to show everybody.
UrbanBridgez.com: How do you think growing up in Indianapolis prepared you for a career in music, if at all?
KeKe Wyatt: Oh people being rude! Oh honey, let me tell you (laughs). They don’t show me no love there! That’s just made me work even harder, I swear. Don’t nothing make you stride harder in life than somebody putting you down constantly! Of course my family was behind me 150%, but other people it’s like they’re so busy hating they can’t see the bigger picture!
UrbanBridgez.com: I still play your debut CD faithfully, take me back to when you were recording it, what was the best thing about that?
KeKe Wyatt: I would have to say, just being in the studio with Keith Huff. He’s stupid, I mean he is like funny as hell! So who wouldn’t want to go to work everyday to laugh. You know, I mean I know I was suppose to be working and stuff but he was so funny. I think that was my favorite part about recording the first album. It wasn’t anything else, because they didn’t let me do anything else! I didn’t get to write anything, they gave me two weeks to record that album and I did it! Ain’t no fun in that.
UrbanBridgez.com: Will fans ever get that Avant & KeKe Wyatt album we’ve been hearing about?
KeKe Wyatt: Yeah, I’m going to try to get that into motion sometime this year because so many people keep asking. Of course they ask about my project but then they ask about the two of us. I came out with him, so my debut on the scene was with Avant. So of course we gotta do something together, so we’re going to do like an album of covers and he’s a great writer and I’m a good writer & just make a hot album!
UrbanBridgez.com: People know you have one of the best voices of our time, but that was overshadowed by the incident with your ex husband years ago, is there anything about that situation that you would like your fans to know now?
KeKe Wyatt: I guess I’ll just say this, you know it did happen. But I was afraid for my safety, so I did what I had to do. But it wasn’t with a machete, it wasn’t with no butcher knife! It was with a little bitty knife and I wish people would stop judging me. Because if they were in the same situation they would of did the same thing. So stop judging me! You know, I mean it’s real life what people don’t see or understand, just because I’m a celebrity I live real life too! You know what I mean, I live in reality, I live on earth with everybody else. Stuff happens, period. People that don’t have anything nice to say, just don’t say anything at all! You know people come up to me and be like, move the knife, move the knife! Ha, ha, ha funny and it is funny, it’s funny as hell. But you’re being rude by saying that. You know what I mean, so I wish people would go on with their life and stop metaling in mine. Just simply love my music and love my voice for what it is.
UrbanBridgez.com: Amen, I agree!
KeKe Wyatt: You know, but I have to say through it all that I have learned alot and I’ve grown as a woman. I hate to say it, but it did put me on the scene a little more. Which is, whatever! You know I’ll take it in stride (laughs). I do hate the nickname crazy girl though, but oh well!
UrbanBridgez.com: Well I think with the new album, it’s going to over shadow all of that, so you’re good!
KeKe Wyatt: I hope so and thank you so much for saying that, I really appreciate it! Also, I just want to say to women. That if you can get out of a situation, that you’re put into like that, just get out! Because it’s no good to anybody, I stayed in a marriage for 10 years! And it never, ever got better. It literally got worse! And you know there is nothing wrong, I mean I’m a fighter and I love to fight for what is mine and I don’t like to just give up that easy. That’s why I stuck in there for 10 years. But at the same time, every year, was not a better year. The only thing that was making it better, was seeing the new little faces that I birthed! My Children, I’ll never take that back. I just want women to know that if you’re in your first year of marriage and stuff isn’t looking right, just get out of it! Because if it’s starts out crappy, it’s going to end even crappier! It does not get better and trust me when I tell you honey, I am a prime example that it does not get better! I don’t care how much you love a person, if it don’t work, it just doesn’t period! I want to be that woman who stands up for women who don’t know what to do. Just tell them, it’s okay if you love him and okay if you have children, but don’t stick around for the children. Because you and them end up hurt in the end, you physically and them emotionally! They end up scared and it’s not fair to them. I have two boys and I refuse to raise them in that and then they think it’s okay to do that whenever they get mad at their woman or wife. Like poking them all in the face or choking them when they get pissed off, no way! And I don’t want my little girl thinking it’s okay to let a nigga put his hands on her, hell no! That doesn’t work for me. She’s light skin like me, real yellow. I’ll be damned if a man tells my daughter what I had to hear, like you shouldn’t be so yellow and you wouldn’t have those bruises! You know, crazy! But God is good and I’m still alive! I didn’t end up like my best friend Miranda, she was murdered by her children’s father.
UrbanBridgez.com: Thank you for sharing that with our readers, I’m sure alot of people will get something out of that!
KeKe Wyatt: Well people judge what they think they know, and they just don’t know! You know what I mean, so I just wanted to clear it up and I want all of my fans who have stood by my side even when everybody else was calling me KeKe the crazy, they stuck by my side. And I thank them for that because I would probably be lost. I really appreciate that and I love my fans. Because without them I would not be KeKe Wyatt today. Getting ready to put out ‘Who Knew’ on February 23rd and shut the game down on these whores out here honey! (everyone laughs)!
UrbanBridgez.com: That’s what’s up!
KeKe Wyatt: You feel me! They better watch out, they better watch out!
UrbanBridgez.com: There’s always been some confusion about whether you were at one point in time in a group with Beyonce’ and Kelly Rowland, can you clear that up?
KeKe Wyatt: You know what, let me clear that up now! Because that rumor has got on my nerves! There was a group called The Dolls, I didn’t want to be in the group, my mama made me be in the group. And I heard over the years that they ended up being Destiny’s Child. I wanted to be a solo artists so that’s what I did. So through the grapevine, Dolls ended up being Gyrls Tyme and they ended up being Destiny’s Child. But no, I ain’t never been in Destiny’s Child, I ain’t never been in a group with Beyonce,’ no! I do think it’s funny that people compare the two, like we both light skinned, both have big voices, both have a little waist and a big booty, you know. But it is, what it is!
UrbanBridgez.com: Please tell me you’re going on tour soon?
KeKe Wyatt: Oh yeah honey, I’m going on tour real soon. I’m going to be touring for the ‘Who Knew’ project. And hopefully I’ll be touring later on this year with Avant! For our new duets album and modeling, singing, acting and doing plays. Honey I’m trying to do it all! I might as well, God gave it to me!
UrbanBridgez.com: Any last words for your fans?
KeKe Wyatt: I love them, thank you so much for staying with me! Go get your little brother, your little sister, your cousin, your mama, your uncle and all of them and tell them…to buy KeKe Wyatt’s new album!
New Album “Who Knew” In Stores & Online February 23rd!
Preview “Without You,” in the new music media player!