Kehlani Talks Her Moose Knuckles Campaign, Growth, and OnlyFans

Before Kehlani and I can even start our conversation, a baby coos into the phone and the line goes completely dead. Adeya, the singer’s one-year-old daughter, accidentally slapped the end button on the call. Kehlani calls me back and apologizes. “My baby just woke up from a nap,” she tells me. “I’m reading a book.” Anyone who knows Kehlani knows she has a knack for multitasking – performing entire dance routines while singing live on stage, writing and producing her own songs simultaneously, breastfeeding her daughter in the studio – so rocking her baby for sleeping while giving an interview and reading is just an ordinary day for the hard working mom. Today Kehlani is adding another task to her plate, presenting the Moose Knuckles Bring the Heat Fall / Winter 2020 collection. Ahead, Kehlani talks about her new campaign, motherhood and her journey to growth and acceptance.

How did quarantine treat you?

Honestly, it was fun. I am able to do a lot of things, like this campaign, that I never really had the time or the patience to do. I never had the patience to sit down and be still, and I learned a lot.

moose phalanges kehlani

Courtesy

Winters are different on the west coast. How does the Moose Knuckles campaign reflect your own style?

Usually I would be on tour right now. I would travel to a lot of cold places so the collection has a lot of really fun pieces to keep me warm. I like to have a jacket, but if it’s too hot or if I have to go somewhere really hot, I can still wear the jacket. I could just take it off and keep it in the same cabinet, like the jacket with the inner suspenders.

The campaign aims to celebrate and showcase the people who motivate and inspire their audiences. How do you do this these days?

It is being transparent that I feel and that I cross the times like them. It’s finding little moments to share words with them or how I’m doing things from scratch, all the same. I constantly remind my fans to stay grounded and pay attention to what is theirs and what is not. Being on the inside has put the emphasis on social media where we don’t realize that we are picking up thousands and thousands of thoughts and feelings that belong to other people at such a high rate. [I’m] reminding myself and my fans every day to take these moments to focus and try to remember what you really think, what you feel, what you see. It takes practice.

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Courtesy

What inspires you the most at the moment?

My baby, Adeya. I have a lot more patience than I thought. I’ve always been pretty patient, but it takes a whole new level of patience to raise a little kid who dives headfirst out of things and touches things and pulls things off the shelves, and every time you feel irritated , you recognize at this point, she is just a baby. So it allows you to bring that same level of patience and understanding into other situations with humans you interact with. I have a real opportunity to raise her in this new world in a way that I am now learning to navigate. I am constantly evolving and improving so that she doesn’t have to wait until she is 25 to learn the things I am learning now.

You recently posted on Instagram about unlearning old habits and learning new things about yourself. How educational was this trip for you?

It is a daily process. It is about being able to separate. Even simple things like when you look at yourself and start to separate things on your face, or think your toenails aren’t done well enough or your feet need to be done, you need to take a step back like, Whoa, was that mine or was it because someone else was going to walk down the street and point it out? Will anyone else point it out in a photo? I’ve spent a lot of time recognizing when I have these moments, even when I’m looking at a situation with the rest of the world and have to step away from the genre, How can I really see this? Or am I regurgitating a thought I read from someone else? It starts with that initial moment of recognition.

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You released It was good until it wasn’t in May. Where would you say this album is in your journey?

When I was recording the album, I was learning to write and to be present in the space of darker emotions or feelings opposite to what I was writing about. My old job was to get over things and be strong. I jumped straight into singing about my feelings and started working on my strength straight away. With IWGUIWI finally learned to write in the present tense, sitting in those moments being upset and hurt instead of skipping them.

It was good until it wasn’t [Explicit]

You paid tribute to sex workers in the video for “Can I.” What message were you trying to send?

We’re in a time when it’s cool to say you fuck sex workers, but people don’t follow through and pay, or follow through and educate themselves . It’s easy to say you’ll pay for pornography and pay sex workers the right way, but do you know what they are fighting for? It is about their protection, their rights. Even the craze for OnlyFans right now when they’re being pushed by influencers and artists who are already making a lot of money from what we do, these celebrities are outmoding the people who literally led the way.

There is a lot, a lot, a lot of fighting in the current battle that sex workers are waging at all levels. I wanted to do something festive to grab everyone’s attention and added a message at the end to cheer people on: Here’s some information you can take away. Also, everyone in the video is a true sex worker and the majority of them were trans women of color and black trans women as well. I wanted it to be super festive and to help them feel inspired, happy, and cheerful.

How is 2020 Kehlani different from Kehlani 2019?

Twenty twenty Kehlani is completely different. I am committed to growth in a very serious and organized way that I have never had before. I’ve theorized and idealized a lot of healing work and my practice over the years, and this year I really had the faith to engage in things that I’ve always wanted to engage in. It has completely transformed my life. I’m finally growing up in a very healthy way, especially in the way I deal with the industry. I’ve always struggled to exist, having been so sensitive publicly over the years and sharing a lot.

Do you regret the excessive sharing?

I have no regrets in life. I think I have grown to love all of these moments. I am truly grateful that these moments of vulnerability have brought me open and kind people. These days I take everything with a grain of salt and take every boring little thing with gratitude and remind myself how blessed I am. Sometimes i’m like Dang, I wish I hadn’t been so public about some things, but on the other hand, that’s why a lot of people feel like they can connect with me. I am grateful for it.

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