Keke Palmer’s Lauren dropped earlier this month and the EP sees Palmer reflecting on relationships, love, and vulnerability.
Palmer talked to ESSENCE about the new EP, the inspiration behind it, and the work that went into it.
“Everything is a process you just have to go at the speed that you are growing at, expressing yourself along the way, never being afraid to be who you are, just believe in yourself. These are all of the things that I learned as I was discovering who I am in the world,” Palmer said when asked about the lessons she learned along the way to creating the album.
The singer and actress hoped to express these lesson through her songs on Lauren, which focuses on the ups and downs of love. “I put myself through experiences both good and bad, but it is not so much about the labeling of our experiences, but the lessons that we learn from them, that’s what I wanted to display.”
Palmer confesses that some of the songs were tough to write with each depicting different relationships. Speaking specifically about “Doubtful,” a slow R&B jam on the EP, Palmer says, “I realized I had a real vulnerability issue, I was ultimately picking people who had the same issues that I did, it kept me safe and never having to be honest about how I truly felt because that person wasn’t being honest either.”
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The Scream Queens star expands on “Doubtful” a little more when addressing the visuals for the new album.
“Pretty much the idea in Doubtful was just to express the vulnerability that I lack. We see these couples in their underwear and they are fighting and even though it can look tumultuous, the idea is no one said that love is supposed to be great all of the time, and if you hold yourself off from love you will be free from pain and arguments, but you will also be protected from being loved. Ultimately, you have to allow yourself to be vulnerable to even get to the point of understanding what love is all about, that is why me and my guy in the video are displaying fully clothed, in the middle of all these people who are not.”
Palmer adds that the songs inspired the visuals, which she worked on with her friend Rosero McCoy. Palmer speaks highly of the team she surrounded herself with to create the EP and the collaboration that went down in the studio and behind-the-scenes, which you see a lot of in the visuals for the album, an idea she and her digital collaborator came up with.
Palmer also revealed that working with Sean Garrett helped push her to make the songs what they are. “This was definitely a collaborative effort and very old school in a sense. When you think of a music producer back in the day coming into a session and listening to the artist first, then talking directly to the artist finding out what makes the artist tick and then starting the process of creating amazing records, that is what this was like working with Sean.”
How the actress and singer found time to get the EP done with her busy schedule remains a mystery, but Palmer has more on the way — she’s currently working on a book. “I cannot wait to share that with the kids, for sure.” And, we can’t wait to read it!