K Michelle Doesn’t Want to Be the Next Mary J. Blige + Talks Azealia Banks Feud

Photo Credit: Instagram

Photo Credit: Instagram

R&B singer and reality star K Michelle is known for her strong personality, but in a new interview, she makes it clear that she often feels like she’s misunderstood as an artist.
In a recent interview with Rolling Stone, K Michelle once again addresses her disappointment with the politics of the music industry and just why she’s not trying to be the next Mary J. Blige:

Your music has gotten increasingly diverse from Rebellious Soul to More Issues Than Vogue in terms of the sounds and the songs you sing, particularly your recent embrace of country music.

For me, it’s always been diverse. It’s just been what the label has allowed. I grew up on country music. I didn’t grow up singing R&B music. I got a music scholarship to Florida A&M University for yodeling. That is my passion. That’s what I sing. That’s who I am. The first tape I ever got was the Judds. It’s Love Can Build a Bridge. “Rompin’ Stompin’ Bad News Blues” was my favorite song from that album. I also incorporated that song into my new stage show. I took it back to the very first country that I had ever heard. When I pulled it out, people thought I was absolutely crazy, and then they started to love it because they saw that the Judds song had this blues feel to it. “Rompin’ Stompin’ Bad News Blues” is a song I used to run around the house singing when I was a little girl.

Bob Westbrook — he’s a voice teacher in Memphis, Tennessee, he trained Justin Timberlake, Britney Spears and a lot of Miss Americas — when my mother took me to him, he said, “She’s this little black girl, and people are going to expect her to sing Whitney Houston when she goes to these pageants and contests. Let me teach her something else.” It was crazy, because my mom said, “We’re already on this Judds thing.” So I felt like everything worked out.

So when you see this girl on this ratchet TV show called Love & Hip Hop, and she’s basically fighting for her life, you saw me at the worst, and you saw me at the point where there was anger. You saw me at a point where there was a song in me, and that song wasn’t necessarily the song of who I was, but that song was what I was in that moment. So people took that, and people wanted that, and people want the next everything so badly. For me, everybody wants the next Mary J. Blige. As much as I love Mary J. Blige — and she is a phenomenal woman and someone that I look up to greatly — that’s not who I am. At this point in my career, I’m somewhat tired of it. I’m tired of people telling me who I am. When you talk about the diversity of my music, I can only sing the songs that God places in me.

K also addressed her fallout with Azealia Banks:

What happened to the 2015 tour with Azealia Banks that got canceled?

I definitely admire and love her music. I think she’s a very courageous woman. I do feel like Azealia can be misunderstood at times; that’s something that happens with me. So I don’t take her recent jabs to heart at all. But it wasn’t time. It was time for me to focus on my album. When I was going out on this tour, it was because I was just going to repackage Anybody Wanna Buy a Heart? But when I went in, the label decided it was time for me to do a whole new album. So it was a unanimous decision that it just wasn’t time to go on tour. I needed to focus on this album that I have now.

By: Amanda Anderson-Niles