Alongside Lorde, HAIM, Say Lou Lou and BANKS and each of its four covers, V Magazine has enlisted R. Kelly and swimsuit model Irina Shayk as the models in a new Spring/Summer 2014 editorial. The R&B singer and Sports Illustrated model gel quite nicely in the shoot which features R. Kelly sitting comfortably between Irina’s legs. Check out an extract of the accompanying interview with the Kellz below, and pick up a copy of V Magazine to see the full story.
You described yourself as a survivor. When critics try to bring up certain things from your past, how do you weather that?
R. Kelly: The more a soldier wins, the more the other soldiers want to take him out. You have to know how to metaphorically and spiritually use your gift to be your shield. So I shield myself with my gift. I stay behind it and I continue to make music. And when the music is sharpened, I shoot it out there. I’m not a master, but I learned a lot from my teacher Lena McLin. She was basically my Ms. Miyagi and I was her Daniel-san. I would listen to everything she would tell me and I’m still doing that today.
Was it a strategic decision after 20 years to return to the original R. Kelly sound?
R:Kelly: It was really for my fans. Everyone has been asking me when I’m going to do another baby-making album, because that’s what started me out. I’ve been all around the world musically, in every genre. I can write “I Believe I Can Fly,” and I can write “Bump ’N’ Grind.” Now is the time to bring it back around.
Is it true you’re planning a sequel to the record?
R.Kelly: Absolutely. It’s called White Panties. And you can expect a whole other level.