Kelly Rowland entered the gleaming glass doors of SIR Stage 37 in New York City on a recent Thursday to celebrate a few things. One, her upcoming album, Talk a Good Game. Though due in June, this seasoned music industry veteran knows its never too early for grassroots promotion. Two, her single, Kisses Down Low, which she performed that night to a packed house of spectators. And three, the sponsor of the happening, Courvoisier, which co-mingled its fate with Rowland’s — just like the elements of a fine cocktail — to launch its Courvoisiology Lab series that night.
This continuing series of free events featuring fabulous people, spaces, and of course cocktails will soon be replicated across numerous cities. But that night Ms. Rowland brought her smooth vibe to complement the sizzling atmosphere prepared for those lucky enough to gain admittance to what was an extremely hot ticket.
Diva meets the press
Wearing the same sleek hairstyle with blunt bangs that won over many fans during her Super Bowl half-time performance, Rowland quietly progressed past hopefuls still clamoring for late admission as she continued her entrance. She was then rushed by a gaggle of journalists eager to know: Why did Jay-Z and Beyoncé go to Cuba? What did she wear to her prom? Does she feel like she has to compete with younger artists today as she releases her latest solo album?
This last question she answered carefully. Perched at a statuesque height on YSL heels, wearing a Wolford top buttoned down to reveal a sexy La Perla bra, she responded in a gentle voice. Delicately adorned with Lorraine Schwartz diamond rings, Rowland appeared powerfully in control with her dress shirt tucked into Rachel Zoe tailored pants.
“I feel there’s space and there’s opportunity for everybody,” Rowland responded to a Black Enterprise reporter. “As the times change, it’s important that you adjust. Incredible artists like Tina Turner have done it for years… It’s just important to have a team to help you with the growth as well.”
The team behind Talk a Good Game
She praised the “young team, and innovative team” that has helped her develop Talk a Good Game. Huge names such as Pharrell, Wiz Khalifa, Michelle Williams, and Beyoncé will contribute to her first studio album since 2011. Soon Rowland would give the live crowd a taste, along with a rousing medley of Destiny’s Child and personal hits ranging from “Jumpin’ Jumpin’” to “When Love Takes Over” — but first, the media gauntlet.
Next topics? Fashion and beauty. After sharing how her style has evolved, Rowland shared some of her favorite brands, such as Givenchy — “They just kill it!” — and her own plans for fashion branding.
Finding her own style
“I think for a minute I was searching for my own style,” she said. Now? “I just do whatever I feel… It is the best thing that I could do as far as embracing who I am as a woman.” That same inspiration was the creative impetus behind Talk a Good Game, a creative fire also expressed in Rowland’s watch collection with TW Steel.
“I designed the watch, and the company let me have the freedom to put my own colors and design to it, and they’re wonderful,” Rowland told theGrio about the collaboration. “And the watches have sold really well. I’m very happy.”
We can be on the look out for more co-branded designs from the singer — just not too soon.
“I definitely want to do an accessories line, a shoe line — because I love shoes — but only attach myself to something I’m excited about,” she said. “I think things should happen organically. There’s no need to just jump into everything.”
On to the main event
But it was time to jump that night. Jump onto the stage, and pump up that audience, waiting eagerly for her arrival while sipping specially-prepared Courvoisier drinks, such as the Golden Bellini and the Ginger C.
As Kelly was swooped away by her entourage, looking effortlessly feminine and focused, with her signature glowing brown skin, I had to ask — what’s her most surprising beauty secret?
“Vaseline under my eyes,” she laughed, “I got that from La La’s mom,” she added referring to reality TV star and fellow jet setter La La Anthony.
And then she was gone.
Out past the press and beyond a wall of security, onto the stage to bring everyone a stellar good time.
Follow Alexis Garrett Stodghill on Twitter at @lexisb.