of her current hit single.  The track
“Workin’ Girl” is wrought with
interpretation.  She smiles and winks
at the deliberate irony in the song,
which narrates the trials and
tribulations experienced in the urban
jungle by one particular working girl
doing her best to make ends meet
and get ahead in this world.  “Stay
ahead with your high heel shoes/You’
ve got your work cut out for you,” she
sings.  Kelly admits that the song
does have all kinds of meaning.  
“When I get any song, I have to figure
how I relate to it -- what feeling I get
from it message wise, so there are
several reasons behind that song.”  

Playing the game in the early days of
her career, battling her way through
the label system, King admitted she
often found herself facing
compromising decisions.  “I’ve been
put in situations by horrible men in the
music industry who’ve wanted nothing
more from me than to be their arm
candy,” and of course they would
suggest much more.  “I’ve always
accepted that in my career there is a
line that I’m not willing to cross...if I
cross that line, then I’m not meant to
be
www.ambiente.us    MARCH | MARZO 2010

Kelly King | This Girl is Workin’ It!
by JC Alvarez

Kelly King has been hastily hitting the pavement!  

She’s in the midst of a promo tour for her latest release: the lead single from her
forthcoming album is appropriately called “Workin’ Girl”.  Performing recently one night
at the infamous New York City hot spot Splash -- the same stage where Britney
Spears surprised nocturnal revelers with an impromptu appearance, King appeared
poised for the challenge.  “New York City audiences are tough!  They are the crowd to
impress,” she admitted, but “the minute the heads started bobbing and the hands
went up...I knew it was all good.”  This independent artist is making waves on the
music circuit just as ambitiously as her leading contemporaries Lady GaGa, or that
upstart Ke$ha --  but Kelly King is doing it on her own, on her terms, without the
backing of a powerhouse label...and the girl is working it.

She’s a two-time Billboard AC Chart Topper.  Kelly King has opened for Michael Bolton
and Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds, and she’s even gotten the attention of Ryan Seacrest
who knows a thing, or two, about aspiring music idols.  She’s aesthetically charming;
raven-haired with a set of sparkling eyes that you’d instantly wish you could swim in,
and a welcoming
Southern grace that instantly warms you up to her.  
There’s a fragility to her very lady-like appearance, but
make no bones, King can hold her own.

I caution the subtlety demure King about the content
.
.
.
doing this.”

And hailing from Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn (the Atlanta native
transplanted to NYC in her early 20’s), near the same
stomping grounds as Hip-Hop impresario Jay-Z, King
observed first hand what life on the streets was like for
those other working girls.  “The things that I saw were
life-changing; my Southern perspective was drastically
altered -- and I wouldn’t have had it any other way.”  But
the song is about all working girls -- and King can
identify with the struggles of having to make her way in
an often times male-dominated society, certainly
typical of the music industry.  She emerges unscathed,
yet battled-hardened and prepared to take on every
obstacle.  “I’ve watched all sorts of women in all kinds
of occupations, and the struggles they go through -- to
not get the respect that they’ve earned...it’s tough!”

Even with her impressive ability as both a singer and
performer, King is just as capable of putting on a highly
charged and choreographed set piece and sing her
tracks live, she is complacent to work her craft by her
own means, and her own standards.  “What I can do is
give new talent (song writers, producers, remixers) an
opportunity...everyday I have to put on a new hat as an
independent artist.  I’m in a fortunate position to
collaborate with the people I do.”

“Workin’ Girl” with it’s clearly defiant and very liberating
message has given King a greater sense
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Featuring re-workings by such notable remix producers as Twisted Dee, Jayito, Mendy
and Vibelicious, King’s pop-infused original is given all new life again and again.  “It’s
so great to hear these faster-paced versions of songs that I’ve recorded before.”  King
hand selected her producers, one of the benefits of being an independent artist, but
that’s as far as she went with the remix process.  “I stepped back and I thought of it as
someone using their gift -- I said, be creative, have free reign and see what comes out
of it...and that’s the magic of the world of DJ remixing!  They’re geniuses at what they
do.”  “Workin’ Girl” is one of the first tracks that King recorded for her upcoming new full-
length album project.  The next single “Gravity” is already generating buzz and will soon
be given the remix treatment as well.

In the same way that Madonna hasn’t been able to shake the titular shackles of her 80
‘s hit “Material Girl”, Kelly King isn’t ever going to escape the association that will come
with this current single.  I felt I had to warn her, that it will more than likely become one
of her signature songs.  She laughs, commenting “are you kidding?  I would love that!”  
It seems she couldn’t be happier.  So long as it’s what her fans want to hear, who is
Kelly King to argue with her subjects?

She is after all...a queen.

For more on the inspiring Kelly King including upcoming live appearances check her
out on the web at: www.kellykingweb.com.

You can also pick up her current release the EP The Real Definition -- Workin’ Girl
Remixes on most digital download stores including iTunes and Amazon.  Kelly King
will be performing in March at the Night of a Thousand Gowns in New York City to
benefit God’s Love We Deliver.


CLICK HERE for more JC Alvarez

Copyright ©  AMBIENTE MAGAZINE.   Do not reproduce without citing this source
of accomplishment and certainly the drive to follow in the footsteps of some of
her role-models.  She cites Cher as one of the icons on which she intends to
pattern her career, “Cher’s the master -- I’d love to be in her shoes.”  But it’s her
other inspiration that I find truly gratifying.  “I clearly remember the moment that
Oprah unveiled RuPaul -- I was mesmerized and absolutely in awe of him.  I
thought: this person is amazing and larger than life!  That’s what I want to be!”  It
was not only the drag icon’s amazing visual presence that caught King’s
attention, but RuPaul’s clearly positive and inspiring messages in his music.  
“Imagine from my perspective this overly beautiful and glamorfied image and
singing such a fun dance song -- I was smitten!”  So the little girl from Nashville,
by ways of Atlanta (where she is originally from) picked up her things and in true
classic story fashion headed to the big city to pursue her dreams!

“I thought it was a novel idea, but it worked for Bette Midler,
so what I did was I started working  the gay bars.”  King made
the rounds of all the city’s talent shows and tested her pipes.  
“I entered talent competitions and would win about $500
dollars a night -- it was awesome!  The most you would get at a
straight bar was a free beer.”  Her more than impressive multi-
octave range made her an instant fan favorite, but it soon
became apparent that King was in a league of her own.  “I
eventually got banned from the contests, and was like you can’
t ban me...I’ve got bills to pay!  Fortunately they thought I was
that good and gave me my own show.”

Although confident in her vocal presence, admittedly King felt that her image
could use an overhaul.  “I didn’t even know how to put on fake eye-lashes!”  As if
her idol and inspiration RuPaul had sent her a series of guardian angels to look
out for her, King found support from the multi-talented drag queens in the club
community.  “I’ve learned everything
I know about my performance elements
from drag queens -- nobody works
harder for their artistry.  They are to me
the true workin’ girls.”

There’s an exhilaration to what Kelly King
has accomplished thus far in her career.
“I’ve always made a living as a singer.  
I’m very proud of that.”  It’s truly defining
of her commitment to being the best
kind of artist that she can be, as well as honest about her devotion and desire to
never give her audience anything less than what her gift, her instrument -- her
amazing voice, her ultra-charismatic appeal, and those eyes of an angel -- are
capable of delivering.  “Sometimes I can get my head so wrap up around the
dream, that it can slow me down.”  In all earnest she is like all independent
music artists: the future of the music industry -- a group tailoring their careers to
distinctly appeal directly to their growing fans.

And there’s no mistaking, King understands the importance of maintaining and
nurturing the gay fan base that she’s begun to accumulate.  “I’m probably more
proud of that than anything else,” she says.  She often donates much of her time
to various community related charities and appearances, and speaks out
against the more recent inequality issues facing our country.  “To be embraced
by an audience that way..that’s like the highest complement.”

I must admit, that I now put Ms. King up on that shelf alongside artists who’s
music I listen to almost every day.  “Workin’ Girl” is part of my workout playlist.  
The song is an instant dance floor classic -- the remixes easily work to shake
the lighting fixtures off of any club house.  It has an infectious beat and a hook
that you can’t let go of.  The track would be the envy of Britney, Rihanna or
Christina...or even Lady GaGa.