When Network Ten’s new talent show Everybody Dance Now debuts this Sunday night it will mark the fulfillment of one of singer, dancer and actress Kelly Rowland’s life-long dreams: to give dancers the benefit of her years of hard-won experience and knowledge.
Rowland is a Dance Captain on the show, alongside fellow musician and dancer Jason Derulo. Like him, she’s both a singer and a dancer, as well regarded for her dance prowess as her musical abilities.
Rowland came to prominence, of course, alongside pop superstar Beyoncé Knowles, in Destiny’s Child, the Grammy Award-winning all-girl group who sold more than 50 million records worldwide between 1997 and 2002.
A solo artist in her own right, Rowland has released three albums – 2002’s Simply Deep, 2007’s Ms. Kelly and 2011’s Here I Am – and name-checks Whitney Houston, Janet Jackson, Sade and Donna Summer as her biggest musical influences.
She’s also no stranger to powerhouse collaborations, having teamed up on record with musicians as diverse as rappers Lil Wayne, Nelly and Tinie Tempah, Italian singer 8Tiziano Ferro* and superstar French DJ David Guetta, whom she also credits with inspiring her to record dance music.
Still, as committed as she is to singing, Rowland happily concedes that dance is not just a passion but also “something that holds a special place in both my heart and my memories.”
She traces that love back to her childhood, saying that “the chance to work with dancers, to really help them be their best” was the reason she decided to relocate to Melbourne for three months and appear on the show.
During her Australian sojourn, she’ll also find time to escape into the studio and record her forthcoming fourth solo album. She’s good-naturedly cagey about what direction the album is going to take but says fans won’t be disappointed.
“The process of actually writing and recording each of my records has been so different. It all works in the way it’s meant to work, I think, and I am just trusting in that process again. I’ve locked in a concept, an idea, and I think it’s all building up really beautifully,” Rowland says.
“Songwriting is so hard to predict. I mean, I wrote ‘Love Takes Over’ in an hour or so. We all worked together, sitting around and humming melodies, coming up with ideas as we went around the room and an hour later we had a song. Other songs take a long, long time to happen. Like I say, I just have to trust in the process and trust that it’ll all come together as it’s meant to.”