While Keyshia Cole elbowed her way into the crowded R&B field several years ago with heartbreak songs such as “Love” and “I Remember,” the singer says she can’t stand to listen to them anymore – which explains the title of her new album, “A Different Me.”
Currently on tour with Lil Wayne and Gym Class Heroes, the 27-year-old diva — who is also a big reality star thanks to her successful BET show “Keyshia Cole: The Way It Is” — recently sat down with the Associated Press to discuss just how different her life has become since releasing her debut album in June 2005.
AP: On the opening track of the new CD, you introduce your “sexier” side. What does that mean exactly?
Cole: Just the mood of some of the music, and also the pictures that I took for the album packaging were a little bit sexier than normal. It’s a lot lighter and sexier, you can listen to it and it’s not so heartbroken and painful.
AP: Do you feel sexier now than before?
Cole: I just think that sexier is, I guess, the clothes that you’re wearing. I’ve always been a young lady but I just chose to do certain things or look a certain way before. I really did like the fact that I work really hard to make it here. It’s just a sexier or softer side of myself that I chose to put forth and show the world. I think it’s always been there, it’s just the point of bringing it out and being comfortable with yourself.
AP: Talk about the songwriting process when recording the new CD.
Cole: With “Love,” after I wrote that song, I couldn’t listen to it, I still can’t listen to “Love,” I just can’t. Like I don’t even listen to my own albums, which is bad because I really need to do that because I perform them all the time. It’s just that after I write it, and I felt that way and I remember that way, it’s hard for me to go back and really listen to it because I hate feeling that way. But I perform those songs almost every night so it’s something that I have to take myself back to and remember that feeling and project that feeling to the world. But that’s why I went with the “A Different Me” title because I am a traveling performer and a growing entertainer and I wanted to switch up the music and change it up and give it a different vibe because I don’t want to be on the same vibe every night singing the same type of song.
AP: Is it going to be easier to perform the new songs because the material is lighter?
Cole: I’ll see. Hopefully it brings a wider base of a crowd for me to perform in front of. To get that arena audience, I felt like I had to switch it up just a little tiny bit, and touch (on) different (subject) matters in relationships, just on a worldwide basis.
AP: What else are you doing differently?
Cole: I definitely changed choreographers, I switched by band up, I revamped my whole staging and just rehearsing and working at that because I never really incorporated a bunch of dance moves or choreography on the stage, but now I’m trying new things. I just want to live up to the title “A Different Me.” I just want to become a headlining entertainer at arenas and do it that big.