[INTERVIEW] K. Michelle Talks "Love and Hip Hop Atlanta"

For years, K. Michelle has been in the grind, trying to get something to strike for her in the R&B music game.

She’s been linked with some of the best – a guy by the name of R. Kelly once took her under his wing, and she was featured on his 2010 album, Love Letter – but for whatever reason, she hasn’t made her name household. Yet.

The 26-year-old singer – her real name is Kimberly Michelle Pate – has worked with several of hip-hop’s marquee names, including Trina, Gucci Mane and Rick Ross, and now she’s reeling from a recent breakup with her former record label, Jive. The Memphis-born single mother is hoping that by being apart of VH1’s hit-reality franchise, "Love and Hip Hop", she’ll be able to find herself and figure out what’s next.

EBONY: What should we know about K. Michelle?

K. Michelle: I’m not really difficult. I would want people to know is that I’m a single mother, and that I am just kind of in my own world; in my own bubble.

EBONY: Why did you agree to be on this show?

KM: I had a lot of things happen to me within my record deal, and I wanted the opportunity to tell my story to people. When I was approached about Love and Hip Hop it just was something that felt right for me.

EBONY: How’s Atlanta going to differ from New York?

KM: New York is known for hip hop -- and there were other options for them to take the show elsewhere -- but I just felt like Atlanta is what it’s about as far as hip hop right now.

EBONY: Who are you on this show?

KM: I’m not too caught up in everybody else’s life. It is what it is. A lot of the girls, I really love them. I actually think I have a very amazing cast of women. Some of them I don’t like. I’m just me on the show. I’m focused on my business and what I need to do. I don’t take mess from anybody, but I don’t start it either.

EBONY: What’s your storyline exactly on the show?

KM: I’m in the process of getting myself together with music. I was on Jive, I was R. Kelly’s artist, all of that. I’m just in the process of trying to figure out what I want to do next. I don’t put a lot of pressure on a lot of things, because I just got out of a really bad label situation. So it’s more important to me to not only get the right team around me first, but to get my life in order before I try to go and run into a record deal. Because all that does, if you have issues anyway, it only makes them greater. So the main thing for me right now is doing the music, because people keep asking me for it and just try to figure out what K. Michelle really needs in the whole grand scheme of things with her life.

EBONY: Love or hip hop?

KM: Love. The most important thing is my son and my family. I’m all about family right now, and I just feel like I lost a lot of me being in the music industry. I was miserable. I’m just trying to balance this situation, because people are interested in giving me a deal.