Kehlani wants her fans to know that she and other musicians are passionate about things outside of music too.
On the latest episode of Sunday Gems on Apple Music’s Beats 1, with Kehlani and co-host Reyna Biddy, Kehlani talks about the pressure of managing multiple careers and passions, and also shouts out Rihanna for how she navigates her career. Kehlani discusses how Rihanna is changing the game by making history in other industries.
Despite not releasing any solo material in 2018, Rihanna has been everywhere — namely exploring new avenues in the makeup and fashion industries. Kehlani commends RiRi for branching out into these fields since she created diverse and inclusive avenues for many women who were otherwise not being included.
“[Rihanna] took over the fashion game. [She] took over the makeup game,” Kehlani said during the show. “Like [she] became single-handedly like a voice for women of color, especially black women, especially dark-skinned black women, where there wasn’t a space for in lingerie, in makeup, where the shades didn’t even exist.”
In 2017, Rihanna’s successful release of her “Fenty Beauty” makeup line broke down barriers and forced the beauty industry to finally acknowledge the spending power of people of color. Fenty’s accessibility and 40 shades of foundation made the brand one of the most inclusive, as well as one of the biggest black-owned beauty businesses in makeup. Although Rihanna recieved praise for making history in these industries, other fans still wish that she would focus less on makeup, and anxiously anticipate nothing but new music from her.
I’m so happy that you still remember that you’re a musician pic.twitter.com/CA1QAbSSro
— Fenty (@riabood) January 29, 2019
As Rihanna recently celebrated the three-year anniversary of her album ANTI via Twitter — which is on the Billboard 200 albums chart three years after its release — she acknowledged some of the backlash from fans, saying that “music is, and always will be” her first love.
— Rihanna (@rihanna) January 29, 2019
“I think that the pestering she gets from her fans is so annoying,” Kehlani says, being able to relate to fans constantly demanding music from her. “People are very, ‘Shut up and make your music. Shut up and sing your song. Get one stage and sing your little song and then go to studio. Where’s the mixtape? Where’s the mixtape? Where’s the album? Drop the album. We need the album.’ Blah, blah, blah.”
The Oakland R&B artist hasn’t released a full album since SweetSexySavage, which dropped in 2017. But despite not releasing any new music, Kehlani says she’s been experiencing life. In 2019, her fans can expect more than just music, her baby is also due this year.
Kehlani discusses in the episode how fans can sometimes make artists feel guilty for having a life and pursuing things other than what they initially recieved recognition for, but emphasises that it’s perfeclty OK for artists to explore multiple passions and new interests. “I just gave y’all a 19 track album in January 2017, and then y’all watched me tour it until mid-2018.”
The 23-year-old singer wants fans to know that: “I have passion that lies outside of music and it’s a passion for life, and it’s a passion for experience.”