On Sunday (June 26), Keke Palmer wrote a very revealing and vulnerable post on her website to introduce a secret album titled Waited To Exhale, which she wrote at the age of 16 while she was still a Nickelodeon starlet on True Jackson, VP.
True Jackson is a sassy and confident teenage trendsetter who is never afraid to take a risk. It was surprising to hear in Palmer’s own words that her mental health was so strikingly different from her character at the time. The Scream Queens star says at the time she was pursuing her music career, and her inability to fit into the boxes record labels wanted to put her in left her depressed and anxious.
“It was almost as if I was ‘divergent’ (which we all are) and I was being ridiculed and not supported because the industry couldn’t understand it,” she says. “I swallowed my voice for so long felt that I would not release this music because I was sick of the music business turning its back on me!!!”
So, why now?
It has been five years since True Jackson, VP stopped filming, and Palmer has finally taken the time to reflect on the music she wrote from that dark place she was in so long ago. When Palmer was suffering from anxiety, she developed the habit of holding her breath. The title, Waited To Exhale, is a tribute to her newfound self-acceptance and confidence.
“You must believe in the dark so when the light comes on everything is seen clearly,” she says.
Check out Waited To Exhale on Soundcloud: