VIBE: One of your ﬁrst solo looks was “Dilemma” with Nelly. That song was huge. Were you prepared for that level of success without the group?
KELLY ROWLAND: No, I really wasn’t. And I was the ﬁrst one from the group to have that level of success outside of the group. That bugged me out. I was very… I wasn’t ready.The song blew up and Columbia decided to rush out your solo record.Yeah. The plan was for Beyoncé to drop a solo record ﬁ rst. But with the success of the song, they decided to put my album out ﬁrst. They gave me 90 days to do an entire record.
The album didn’t do well in the States. It did better overseas, particularly in Europe. Do you feel more appreciated in Europe?
No, not really. People still compare me to B over there. I said in an interview recently, “You know, if you guys would be a little bit more intelligent and ask me about myself we’ll have a much better interview.” You can’t want a story from me and keep asking me about the past.
What do you think people want you to say?
They want me to say that I can’t stand Michelle. That I can’t stand Beyoncé. But that’s not the case. It’s real love. Sorry, it’s a boring story. I take that back. I’m not sorry. We can support each other. That’s the way it should be. You hear too many stories about women bickering. And that’s not the case with us.
The main reason why people don’t believe that is because of Mathew Knowles. He was your manager. And he was a father ﬁgure to you. And you got rid of him as your manager. There had to be some tension there.
No. It was just a feeling of growing and wanting to call my own shots. That was it. I thank Mathew for everything he’s done for me. He made me a millionaire at 18 years old. And then I felt like, “Well, I’m an adult now and I want to do things this way.”
Was it more difﬁcult because you lived with him since you were a kid?
Yeah, it was more difﬁ cult. But I needed to be selﬁsh for a minute. I had to reclaim my power.
Did he try to talk you out of it?
Well… He just wanted me to be certain of my decision.
Do you think what happened with Columbia was connected? You left Mathew and a few months later you were dropped by Columbia Records.
I can’t speak on what I don’t know. I will say that it all worked out in the end. I have nothing to complain about.
When you walked away from that last meeting with Mathew, did you feel an “exhale” moment?
I did, but I also felt like, Oh my God, what have I done?! I stayed in the house for two days. I was sad. It was like a funeral. I had to deaden that situation in order to start fresh. That’s a very long time to have the
same manager and the same label.
What about your personal relationship with Mathew Knowles. Do you still talk to him?
Mathew sent me ﬂowers for my birthday!
But do you talk to him?