Kelly King, singer and producer, has the most amazing energy ever! Besides having an incredible voice and artistry, she displayed a very special and unique way of answering my non-industry questions. I would consider her almost prophetic. She was also very humble and exhibited a sense of innocence and sweetness not often prevalent in the entertainment industry. She can currently be seen several times a week in the New York City nightlife scene and has won a competition for being the “Best Singer in the World.”
Definitely check her out! She will be performing at the Get Out! Awards on October 5 at Shadow Boxers Bar.
I’ve heard you on YouTube, watched your videos and you’re amazing! I’m wondering why you aren’t on the top of the record charts.
That’s a million dollar question. If I only had a nickel for every time I was asked that, I’d be rich. I don’t know that answer other than just the stars haven’t completely aligned yet. I’ve had real close shots. I’ve opened for Michael Bolton for a year and a half. So I was very close, just circumstantially it never budged it through the doors. So I don’t know if it’s just not my time or if I’m just being punished in this life, but somehow I haven’t cracked the top yet. I’ve been very close, and I’ve been very fortunate to be “around” the top with some amazing friends of mine who are at the top. If I had the answer I think I’d be there.
So what have you been doing since your last interview with Get Out! magazine?
Well, I had won a big international competition around that time solidifying being one of the best in the world, because I won the title of “Best Singer in the World.” The competition was on a world level, and that was really exciting and very validating for me personally. That was a big thing for me to hold the title for a year.
I have been performing in nightlife still in the NYC scene. I have formed two companies, a production company called Cover Girls Live, which I’m very excited about. It’s a roster of about 20 girls, including myself and my partner who started it with me. We basically provide very high-end, high-caliber performances, corporate events and world events. The talent we have is really cool, and we’re very humbled by it, that so many people would wanna be involved in our company. So that’s been very big on my list.
I also started a kind of management consulting company within this business as well, because often in this business people just don’t know where to start. So [I’m] working with young talent and people who are trying to become professional singers or actors. It’s just a way for me to sort of help and give back.
Both sound very cool and a lot of fun.
They are. It’s such a great release for me, because it can be very frustrating in this business as an artist, and I think it’s important to find other outlets when you hit walls and also utilize your talent that you’ve had your whole life and focus in a different direction to a certain degree.
Who in the industry inspires you?
So many people inspire me. You could probably guess that of the old influences of mine are Celine Dion, Barbra Streisand, Whitney Houston, Mariah Carey. Those are pretty obvious in the way that I sing, but I’m constantly inspired even by today’s music. Ariana Grande, who happens to be a personal friend of mine – I actually was her mentor, like a big sister to her, and now roles switched. A lot of stuff that she’s doing is so inspiring to me. I tell her all the time, “Like, wow, you inspire me!” And she’s like, “Me? How? You’re my big sister!” It’s really exciting to see the up-and-coming talent. They’re paving a different kind of road. One thing that is specifically very inspiring about her is she’s literally a social media mogul. She’s managed to control her own career based on social media. That’s just phenomenal to see it happen, and for some, like me, who’s a little too late – I’m in a generation of “little bit too much before” – it’s inspiring to see how powerful that can be.
What’s your favorite question to be asked?
If I really go back to when I was back in the top 20 and I was interviewed a lot, I think always the fun ones to me are a little more personal instead of like the obvious type musical, vocal. But any time that someone does a little background on me or some kind of context that’s not related to music at all, I’ve always been very excited to talk about either where I come from or my family. … Some people in the past had dug up some of my work as a child. I think that was clever, and I enjoy being challenged like that.
You were like a child prodigy, weren’t you?
I was, I was.
Like, you sang at 2 years old.
I sang my first church solo at 2, and then my first professional job as a singer was at 10. I grew up in the church singing, and then I acquired my first professional gig in Nashville at the ripe old age of 10.
You’re a superhero – and your powers are?
I’ve often thought about this. I really think that I would want my powers to be the type that could morph into anyone or anything, like Mystique. She has the most powerful thing out of everyone because she could turn into the president of the United States if she wanted, and that’s a very powerful position. In my case, it would be so awesome to morph into Celine Dion and just be her for one day. I often have said that I really do feel like the gift that I’ve been given of singing – it truly is like a superhuman power as well – I’ve often been in a situation where I’ve changed energy [in] an entire room or brightened the life of dying cancer patients – children in children’s wards in the hospital. It’s a very powerful gift to have, and it’s actually gotten me out of trouble. I was walking down the street in Brooklyn, and it was not safe, and I knew someone was following me. The only thing I could think to do was start singing as loud as I could, and it truly saved my life. I mean, it’s a superhuman power when you can do it and do it well. People are just drawn to it.
If you could pick two celebrities to be your parents, who would they be?
I really like Angelina Jolie. Father? John Boyd. He’s not your typical Hollywood guy. Parenting wise, I think he would have been great in the sense I would have had all the doors open that I needed entertainment wise. Oh gosh, this is a fun one! I would have loved Aretha Franklin as my mom. She’s like a good, church-going woman. She’s never been in the spotlight for doing bad things, but man, that voice and the soul behind it!
The story of your life has hit the headlines. What does it say?
“Just Barely the Wrong Place at the Wrong Time Always.” I’m always just right there, it’s within my grasp, and then it’s gone.
Who in history would you like to have dinner with?
I think I would have loved to have dinner with Mary Magdalene.
Also a very misunderstood woman, but also incredibly powerful in her own and was convincing, clearly!
Do you believe in love at first sight?
You know I didn’t, but then it happened to me. For the longest time I would have been like “that’s ridiculous,” but then it happened to me, so I can’t really argue it.
You’re a new addition to a crayon box. What color are you?
Some form of purple. “One-Eyed One Horn,” if I had to make up a name.
Tell me your favorite thing about humanity.
The ability to defeat expectations. When you see someone go the extra mile or go above and beyond. … You just think it’s absolutely impossible, or the fact that somebody was capable of defying the odds, the expectations of creating light in the world, things like that really fascinate me about humanity.
What’s the one thing you would want me to know about you?
I think that I have a really deep passion for animals, and I’m vegan. I’m really disappointed in humanity. It really seems that there is such a lack of humanity when it comes to other species.
So how many pets do you have?
I have a whole zoo in a NYC apartment. I have three dogs and a cat. One of my dogs is a rescue Great Dane who who weighs approximately, at a year old, 150 pounds. Then I have a rescue greyhound who weighs 70 pounds, and I have this little, tiny rescue mixed something – she’s the little “shit” of the house. And then I have a cat that wants to stay away from the dogs.
Couldn’t you rescue smaller dogs in a NYC apartment?
I know. I could, but I don’t.
Who else would you like us to promote for you?
My three shows a week that people can catch me at are Tuesday at Xes at 9:30 p.m.; Saturday at New World Stages, also at 9:30 p.m.; and Sunday I’m at Hardware Bar, and that’s at 10 p.m. And then the only other thing that I would love to promote is that people can find out more information about “Cover Girls Live.”
And where can they do that?
At firstname.lastname@example.org. All our social media handles are at Cover Girls Live.
I want to thank you so much for your time.
Oh, thank you! Your questions were so fun. Just so you know, I think my new favorite question is the celebrity parent question. It’s now forever going to be my favorite question!