NEW YORK - Heartbreaking, emotional songs like "Love" and "I Remember" helped make
one of R&B's most popular stars. But while those songs resonate with millions of fans, the soul sensation says she can't stand to listen to them anymore.
Cole says she's tired of singing those same old sad love songs. So on her new CD, "A Different Me," released this month, Cole has introduced her "sexier" side.
Currently on a tour with Lil Wayne and Gym Class Heroes that brings her to the Susquehanna Bank Center in Camden Sunday, the 27-year-old diva - who is also a reality-TV star thanks to her successful BET show "Keyshia Cole: The Way It Is" - say she's changing up her stage performance to broaden her appeal.
Q: On the opening track of the new CD, you introduce your "sexier" side. What does that mean, exactly?
A: Just the mood of some of the music. And also, the pictures that I took for the album packaging were a little bit sexier than normal. It's a lot lighter and sexier. You can listen to it and it's not so heartbroken and painful.
Q: Do you feel sexier now than before?
A: I just think that sexier is, I guess, the clothes that you're wearing. I've always been a young lady, but I just chose to do certain things or look a certain way before. I really did like the fact that I work really hard to make it here. It's just a sexier or softer side of myself that I chose to put forth and show the world. I think it's always been there, it's just the point of bringing it out and being comfortable with yourself.
Q: Talk about the songwriting process when recording the new CD.
A: With "Love," after I wrote that song, I couldn't listen to it. I still can't listen to "Love" - I just can't.
Like I don't even listen to my own albums, which is bad because I really need to do that, because I perform them all the time. It's just that after I write it, and I felt that way and I remember that way, it's hard for me to go back and really listen to it because I hate feeling that way.
But I perform those songs almost every night, so it's something that I have to take myself back to and remember that feeling and project that feeling to the world.
But that's why I went with the "A Different Me" title, because I am a traveling performer and a growing entertainer, and I wanted to switch up the music and change it up - give it a different vibe, because I don't want to be on the same vibe every night, singing the same type of song.
Q: Is it going to be easier to perform the new songs because the material is lighter?
A: I'll see. Hopefully it brings a wider base . . . crowd for me to perform in front of. To get that arena audience, I felt like I had to switch it up just a little tiny bit, and touch different [subject] matters in relationships, just on a worldwide basis.
Q: What else are you doing differently?
A: I definitely changed choreographers. I switched my band up. I revamped my whole staging and just [have been] rehearsing and working at that, because I never really incorporated a bunch of dance moves or choreography on the stage.
But now I'm trying new things. I just want to live up to the title "A Different Me." I just want to become a headlining entertainer at arenas and do it that big. *