On the eve of her fourth studio album release, the singer talks about her budding personal and professional life.

Danielle Kwateng-Clark
Sep, 11, 2017

K. Michelle is an underestimated reality star. In a world of quick fame, many have Beyoncé ambition with zero work ethic (or talent). But K. Michelle has both talent and drive and is back with a fourth studio album to prove it.

The Memphis-bred talent debuted "Birthday" on Friday, which is a slow-sexy jam about celebrating her man's birthday. The song is the first to drop from her album Kimberly: The People I Used To Know set to hit stores this fall. Chris Brown (“Either Way”), Jeremih, Yo Gotti and Rodney “Darkchild” Jerkins are all featured on the project that's suppose to be her most personal yet.

"I definitely think Black women across various platforms get confined to a genre or character far too often; for me that’s been urban music," Michelle told ESSENCE. "For instance, I’ve never really been 'in the club' or done a ballad which really appeals to my voice and I explore that here on the new album. Up next, I’m coming for country which I love, grew up on, and even paid for college signing."

But making music is only one part of the 33-year-old's empire. In addition owning her own Atlanta restaurant, she has an endorsement deal with Jack Daniels and an imprint label within Atlantic Records.

"This is a tough business and I have to find that singer, rapper, musician who is not only talented on another level but who also eat, sleeps and breathes music because my label is for artists who want to do more than just be famous," she said about the three artists she's slated to sign to her label. "I do have something in the works though that I can’t exactly share just yet."

Work aside, K. Michelle born Kimberly Michelle Pate has major personal life plans ahead of her since she was recently engaged to Dr. Kastan Sims. She's been open about their fertility struggles and planning the wedding, but in the meantime, they're just making sure to see each other on a regular basis. 

"Ohhhhh, the love life question! Ha! Long distance is never easy but Dr. Sims is amazingly accommodating to my schedule and lifestyle; he likes to travel so we see each other pretty regularly actually," she noted. 

Adding, "You’ll often find him in different cities at weekend shows backstage and me back in Memphis whenever I get the chance to go home but, family is very important to me and I’m definitely ready to slow down a little bit, settle in to my new home, and have some more babies!"