Singer steps away from group to show solo talents

With the debut of her first solo album, Simply Deep, on Music World/Columbia Records, Kelly Rowland steps away from the shadow cast by her “sister” Beyonce Knowles and away from the success of Destiny’s Child in order to show “the full range of life in all its pain and joy and happiness.

As it is phrased on her official web-site, Rowland “communicates the depth and passion of her experience, sharing it all with her fans.”

Well, perhaps Rowland does not have much experience in her 20-some odd years of life, but Rowland does make a valiant effort to create a new sound with somewhat intense lyrics that are entirely separate from Destiny’s Child. An innovative style of artistry has found Rowland reasonable success as a pop entertainer. Simply Deep has been Gold on the Billboard Charts since Dec. 4, 2002.

“Dilemma,” featuring Nelly, debuted as a single long before the album was released and was a hit single. Rowland’s angelic voice compliments the fast-paced rhymes of rapper Nelly. The song “Dilemma” has been nominated for Best Rap/Sung Collaboration at the 2003 Grammy Awards.

Yet, “Stole” is the single that truly expresses Rowland’s talent and represents the sounds of the entire album. “Stole” carries an important message about teen shootings, which is a little past due, but still has a powerful effect. “Stole” received constant airplay on major radio stations such as Z100. Likewise, the intense music video for “Stole” was a frequent favorite on MTV’s TRL.

“Haven’t Told You” is a song which is very representative of Rowland’s creative compositions. “Look in my eyes/What do you see/Only me/Got nothing to hide/Seek and you’ll find/what’s on my mind.”

The album attempts to reveal Rowland as a person and never tries to conceal the artist’s emotions.

Though Rowland has help from Solange Knowles, Nelly and various others with songwriting, Rowland’s inner self manages to rise from the lyrics and sounds to present Rowland as a strong solo artist.

The electric guitars, synthesizers and turntable scratches of each of the songs generates a new sound that highlights Rowland’s voice. Rock ‘n’ roll is combined with R&B to create a surprisingly new sound unlike much of what is currently heard amongst artists in Rowland’s genre.

Rowland performed some of her songs from her debut album at Z100’s Jingle Ball concert but is not scheduled for a solo tour at the moment. However, Rowland is scheduled to reunite with Destiny’s Child for a nationwide tour in the early part of 2003.

As of now, a new single has not been announced since “Stole” is still very successful on the radio station play lists and the Billboard Charts.

Whitney does not need to be afraid of Rowland being competition in the realm of celebrity divas; however, Rowland definitely proves herself as a strong woman with a magnificent voice that can stand alone and away from Destiny’s Child.