Keke Palmer to release So Uncool
Born Lauren Keyana Palmer in Robbins, IL, a small town just outside Chicago, Keke showed vocal promise as a five-year-old when she belted out "Jesus Loves Me" in her church choir. As a young girl, she honed her vocal skills practicing in her singer/mother's home recording studio.
Although music was her passion, Keke's first big break came via her 2004 screen acting debut in Barbershop 2: Back in Business, playing the part of Queen Latifah's niece. It was immediately apparent that Keke had star potential, so the Palmer family decided to give her the best chance to pursue her career and relocate to California, leaving behind a newly purchased home and the security of their jobs.
Artist: Keke Palmer
Title: So Uncool
Release date: 09/18/07
Buy at: Amazon
The move proved to be inspired. Within six weeks, Keke had booked an episode of the critically acclaimed CBS series Cold Case, a national K-Mart commercial, and was chosen from a nationwide search to play opposite William H. Macy in a TNT Original movie. Palmer's performance in Wool Cap was so outstanding that it earned her a Screen Actors Guild Awards nomination. To date, she is the youngest actress (then age ten) to ever receive a nomination in a Lead Actress category. Pretty good for a kid who has never taken acting lessons.
In 2006, Keke appeared as the lead character, Akeelah Anderson, in the critically acclaimed, award-winning film Akeelah and the Bee. Shortly thereafter, Keke appeared in Tyler Perry's Medea’s Family Reunion, which was number #1 at the box office for two consecutive weeks. She next lit up the small screen with her starring role in the Disney Channel hit movie, Jump In!
Palmer won the 2007 NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actress in a Motion Picture for her role in Akeelah and the Bee, as well as receiving a ShoWest Award for Most Promising Actress.
Shortly after Akeelah…, Keke signed with Atlantic Records. "Honestly, there was a time when I didn't think about acting at all, because singing was my first love, and I never knew I could act," says Palmer. "Now, I love acting and singing, but music will always be my first love."
Palmer contributed her first recording, “All My Girlz,” to the Akeelah and the Bee soundtrack, and followed that up with "My Turn Now" on the Jump In! soundtrack. She was also asked to sing "Tonight," the end title song from the smash Ben Stiller movie, Night at the Museum.
Keke's Atlantic Records debut album, “SO UNCOOL,” is jammed with the kind of music that Keke loves, ranging from uptempo R&B tracks to inspirational songs to youthful, fun material that kids can relate to. Bottom line, Keke Palmer is a unique talent who lives her life to the fullest without regard to worrying about what is cool and what is not. In fact, Keke thinks that being uncool is very cool indeed.
The album’s first single is an ode to her Chicago roots. "Footworkin'" is a fresh R&B dance track celebrating the native Chicago dance craze by the same name. The mid-tempo "How Will I Know" begs the question of how one can identify true love through various signs and feelings. Keke expresses her vulnerability over syncopated beats that mimic the urgency of her dilemma as she sings: "I know there's something I'm feeling / But I can't quite put it into words / Does anyone truly understand what real love is about? / Could it be the butterflies I feel whenever I'm with you / Or when I'm at a loss for words /I can hardly keep my cool / How will I know I'm in love?"
Another aspect of love that Palmer explores is the alluring beauty and power of infatuation on the ballad "First Crush," exploring the intense feelings that one experiences during love at first sight. The album takes a change of course with the pop/rock track "Skin Deep," which features a rap interlude by the songstress. An ode to the old adage: love yourself, "Skin Deep" expresses the belief that true beauty shines from within. "I wrote that song for those people who are truly beautiful, but they just don't see it. I wanted to tell everyone who might have insecurities that each of us is beautiful in our own way."
Citing her musical influences as Aaliyah, TLC, Brandy, and Beyoncé, Keke enlisted the help of A-list writers and producers including Rodney Jerkins, The Clutch, Focus, Toby Gad, Mischka, Stone Stafford, Troy Johnson, and Sauce and Soli. Palmer and her sister, Loreal, also wrote songs together for “SO UNCOOL.” "I think the younger community could use some more inspirational music that makes them feel happy," says Palmer. "I don't want to be considered a fake singer-actress that folks think just happened to do an album. Instead, I hope when people listen to my music, they feel my passion for singing and songwriting. I want them to walk away feeling something."
"So Uncool" by Keke Palmer - release date: 09/18/07..