There are few filters on R&B singer K. Michelle. The Memphis native, 30, chased a fiery stint on VH1's Love & Hip-Hop with an R-rated debut album, Rebellious Soul, in 2013, debuting at No. 2 on the Billboard 200. That straight-shooter attitude may be tamer on her sophomore LP, Anybody Wanna Buy a Heart? (Atlantic, Dec. 9), but she's still not holding back -- rumor has it that she wrote her single "Maybe I Should Call" about actor Idris Elba, who directed her Rebellious Soul musical earlier this year. With her reality show, K. Michelle: My Life, currently airing on VH1 and three more series in development, Michelle discusses her love for marijuana, documenting her liposuction procedure on TV and her upcoming tour.
In comparison to Rebellious Soul, what was the process like for Anybody Wanna Buy a Heart?
It's completely different. You can hear through the sound, the feel, the energy... I did Rebellious Soul in a different place in life and I also did it in New York, which is a very aggressive city. I feel like your environment plays a big part in your writing if you're a writer. For me, I feel like every album, I want to be in a new place. So I did the album in L.A., which is a different vibe: very chill, very beautiful and edibles are legal. [Laughs] So I ate these edibles called Happy Bites, which I'm now going to do my own flavor of called K. Bites because I love them so much, these chocolate truffles. I went in the studio and I said, you know what? We're not going to focus on a genre-based album. We're going to focus on what feels good in the music. If I felt like singing country for the day, that's what I did. If I felt like mixing R&B with rock, that's what I did. And then vocally, this album is a vocal step up. The vocals are absolutely amazing, and the people that hear it are shocked and say, I didn't even know you could sing like that. This doesn't even sound like the same artist.
I'm curious about you going into the studio high. Did it help your creativity?
I didn't go in like that, because I had to drive. I usually sit there, eat a chocolate truffle edible, fix me a glass of wine and I'll have tons of water, because you need it for your voice, and I just sing. I don't take beats from people either, so that makes it better for me. I don't go into a fixed process. So, I go in and I have a piano player there and I start to sing.