Kelly Rowland Talks New Music & SoulCycling With Lee Daniels

Kelly Rowland is having a comeback. After a year of laying low after giving birth to her son Titan last November, the former Destiny's Child has reentered the entertainment world in full force. She surprise-dropped a new song, "Dumb," on Monday night, and is currently guest-starring on the second season of Empire. The new mom also paid Newark, NJ, a visit yesterday to help M&M's give out free candy and costumes to local kids. "It’s all about celebrating a good time and putting that back into the community," Rowland says. We chatted with the star about her next album, balancing work with motherhood, how she got involved with Empire, and those perennial rumors about a reunion with the other children of destiny.
You surprised everyone by dropping a new song Monday night. What made you decide to go that route?
"It isn’t necessarily a single, but it’s been almost two years since I’ve released anything, so I really wanted to do it for my fans. Because I remember looking at some of my social feed and they were like, 'We’re waiting!,' or, 'We love Titan, but for God’s sakes, put something out! You know, I don’t care if you hum to a guitar, just please!' "So I was like, you know what, let me let them know. I’ve probably recorded over 50 songs, just to make sure that I’m getting it right for them. I feel like so many things have happened. From having my son, to losing my mother, to experiencing womanhood, and feeling like I am Superwoman! There’s so many things to talk about, I feel like the substance is all right there, I just need to hit it right on the nail." Will we get to hear some of those songs on a new album soon?
"Abso-freakin'-lutely. Sooner than later. I mean, I’m so excited about the music myself. It’s going to make me feel really good when I’m able to release it, because I’ve been holding onto it forever."

How is the music-making process different now that you’re a mom?
"Sometimes if I’m really missing Titan, I’ll either have my husband bring him to the studio or I’ll sneak home. But the problem with sneaking home is I stay home! So I just have to pace myself and make sure I get my Titan time in, because I don’t want to miss anything! I don’t want to miss the walking or him noticing a color. It’s really amazing to watch a baby’s progress. That’s inspiration." There's so much nostalgia for the '90s right now. Do you and the girls ever talk about getting Destiny's Child back together?
"I remember the last time I was with the girls, I was playing them my new music. And they were playing me their new music. So it’s all separate projects. So we’ve just been lifting each other up, supporting each other’s individual projects." It’s great how you guys have managed to stay so close.
"Absolutely it is. It really is. That’s the greatest blessing from Destiny’s Child I think, the friendship."
Right now you're guest-starring as young Lucious Lyon’s mother on Empire. How did you get involved with the show?
"It actually happened in SoulCyle! Lee Daniels and I ran into each other at SoulCycle and he was screaming across the room, 'I know who you are! I know who you are!' And I was like, 'Huh?' And so afterwards, he pulled me to the side and told me his incredible vision and I thought it was such a bold story to tell. I just wanted to tell it correctly and I followed his lead. I held onto the integrity of Leah — I wanted to make sure that she came across the way Lee and his team have written her to be." [Editor's note: Lee Daniels is Empire's creator and executive producer.] Did you and Taraji get get to hang out on set at all?
"We actually missed each other by seconds on set. Taraji and I were able to sit in glam [i.e., hair and makeup] with each other. And she’s just one of those people that you meet and she’s such a light. Naturally funny and naturally charming. She’s really sweet." Would you like to do more acting?
"I would love to! I really would. The opportunity is there. I just have to make sure I balance it all with everything I’m doing. You never want to pull yourself into too many directions — that way, you’re not giving your all and something is falling short." So does Titan have a costume for his first Halloween?
"Of course he does! I have a little Mickey Mouse costume for him. And also a little skunk costume that’s so cute. So I can either put a little bowtie on him and make him Pepé Le Pew or I can just dress him up as a little skunk and he’ll be Flower from Bambi." And what about you?
"I have a Minnie Mouse costume! We’re in the Disney theme this year."

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