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Kelly Rowland: Past Dialogues

SEB LAW tells all about his brief encounter in a luxury hotel room with one third of Destiny’s Child. 

It’s two minutes into my interview with Kelly Rowland, and I’m burning through my questions much more quickly that I’d anticipated. I’m sweating slightly (having managed to get lost trying to get from the W hotel’s lobby to the seventh floor, and still feeling the stress), while she looks intermittently between me and my Dictaphone. I’m dimly aware that I’m blushing and don’t really know why.

Kelly gives me a reassuring look as I brush my fringe for the fourth time in 20 seconds. She’s curled on an enormous circular leather sofa, skyscraper heels casually kicked off beside a bottle of Fiji Water, feet tucked under an expensive-looking blanket. She talks quietly, slowly, deliberately. She’s done this a million times before. Dressed down in comfy-looking jeans, a whisper-soft mohair jumper and utterly flawless makeup, Kelly looks like perfection itself. I continue to blush.

I ask her about the X Factor, how it relates to her own career, the oddities of mentoring artistic growth when she’s still growing as an artiste and her infamous collabs with Guetta. She bats my questions back concisely and courteously. When I ask her what she’s taken away from the mentoring process, she tells me that she “used to feel a little bit uncomfortable to hit a note, but now it’s like ‘what have you got to lose? Just go for it!’”

I’m not good at playing it cool. I ask her about her new single, ‘Down For Whatever’, and without really realising, I say that it’s quite raunchy. “Raunchy?!” she says in her seductive Southern accent. “Yeah”, I mumble, realising that I’m probably embarrassing myself, “don’t you say something about having sex wherever you want?” she laughs, somewhere between dismissively and knowingly, looks me in the eye and says “you’re being way too literal my darling.”

Blushing even more, I quickly change the subject once she’s corrected me about the single. We rattle through the rest of my questions without further incident. The interview wraps, we do the double-air-kiss on the cheeks thing, and I head back to the lift. I sit myself down in the lobby and scribble in my notebook, kicking off with a hilariously melodramatic ‘OMG-WOW.’

I compose myself. I realise I don’t feel like I know much more about her, but I can’t help liking her. Though the meeting almost felt like a royal audience. I suspect that when she’s behind closed doors, she’s got a lot more interesting things to say. Then I look at the Dictaphone; it’s flashing 08:29 at me. I realise that the whole experience lasted less than ten minutes. I exit the lobby onto the street, feeling that weird thrill that you do when you know something amazing has just happened and no-one else around you knows about it.


Field Notes

  1. The W Hotel in Leicester Square is part of an American chain of uber-luxe design hotels, and is very glamorous place to spend time
  2. Kelly’s third solo studio album ‘Here I Am’ and new single ‘Down For Whatever’ are out now.
  3. Kelly really liked my golden Converse with the diamante detailing on the side.

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