Photo by Randee St. Nicholas
R. Kelly is hard at work on his upcoming album, Buffet, and it seems the singer intends for his 13th studio project to serve a bigger purpose than just entertainment.
In an interview with Rolling Stone, the singer says that he feels responsible for pushing the R&B genre. “If there was a person that had a job keeping the sun coming out and keeping the moon coming out, if God appointed somebody to do that, then they have to be there doing it every day, and every night,” says Kelly, “and that’s who I am. I have to keep the music going.”
The 48-year-old adds that part of his longevity stems from his ability to keep up with music trends. “I just stay in tune. It’s like a piano that’s been around for 30, 40 years. If you continue to tune it, it will continue to sound as fresh as any brand new piano,” says Kelly, “Music changes and you get in line or you get left behind. If Auto-Tune … if that is what the people like, that’s what you do! You got to get with the times and quit whining about Auto-Tune.”
But don’t expect just catchy tunes on his next set. The singer’s set has everything from Chicago stepping music to a country song, “Barely Breathing,” as well as a a duet with his once-estranged teenage daughter on “Be There.”
“I am what I am; I’m a writer. Every one of my hits was something that was a reality,” he says. “I’ll write the song that other people want to say but just don’t know how to put the words together.”
Kelz adds that this time around he’s making a statement: “I’m not in no lane. I’m music and I just want people to know me as music. Not some R&B guy.”
The Buffet, which was recorded at his Sylvester studio in Chicago over the past two years, is scheduled to arrive November 20.
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