Everything about singer Keke Wyatt is big–her hair, her voice, her family, her career, her personality. The former R&B Diva star just released an album, Keke Covers, is starring in a play called Preacher’s Kid Resurrection alongside Angie Stone, and recently joined the cast of Bounce TV’s hit drama Saints & Sinners–all while expecting her ninth child.
While the Indianapolis native is always cooking up something to take her career to even higher heights, things haven’t always gone according to plan. In 2002 she was arrested for stabbing her ex-husband, who Wyatt claims was abusive. And throughout her life, the award-winning singer has dealt with not quite fitting in because of her unique personality and biracial background. Still, as she’s gotten older, Wyatt has learned how not to listen to her critics and pay attention to those who matter most.
Recently, EBONY caught up with Wyatt ahead of the premiere of her episode of Being to talk about how she deals with her critics and expecting her ninth child.
EBONY: Why did you want to be on Being?
Keke Wyatt: They asked me to do it, so I did it.
EBONY: Being is more intimate, so a lot of people share things they’ve never shared before. Was that a consideration for you?
Wyatt: Not really, they asked me to do it and I said ok, and I’m glad I did it. I felt free to speak my mind and it’s always good to have that feeling, especially when people don’t know you and they think they know you and they judge you and say all kinds of things that aren’t true. It just feels good to say, “Girl you don’t know me. This is what the tea is, so go find your own tea and drink it.”
EBONY: What do you think the biggest misconception about you is? Because you have a big personality and some people don’t know how that take that.
Wyatt:I think that people think I’m crazy, like really mentally crazy. People think I’m uncouth and trashy, but I’m not. I grew up in a saved home, where my dad was a pastor and my mom was the first lady and my dad is a very classy man. I wasn’t raised around trash, I wasn’t raised around a ghetto. I don’t think that I’m any of the stuff people say that I am and I know that I’m not.
This whole mentally crazy thing, if I was mentally crazy I wouldn’t be allowed to have all these children and take care of all these children without it being an issue.
EBONY: When you hear those types of things does it ever weigh on you, or do you brush it off because that’s not who you are?
Wyatt:It used to weigh on me because I was a teenager when people was first saying that stuff. But now, honey, they can think whatever they want to think because I’m steadily taking my checks to the bank, steadily putting food in my babies’ bellies and raising them the best that I can. I’m really getting to the point where I honestly don’t care what people think because they probably wish they were in my shoes.
EBONY: Speaking of babies, you’re having another one. Congratulations!
Wyatt:Yeah…people keep saying I’m six months pregnant and I’m not. I’m not even close to six months. But yes, I am expecting my ninth child.
EBONY: How do you manage to balance all of those things. You have your music career, you’re doing a play, and you’re having your ninth child. You’re probably a pro at it by now, but what is that like for you?
Wyatt: It’s a breeze, I don’t even think about it. I just go. I have my family, my husband, my Aunt Phyllis–she comes and stays with me for months at a time. She’s part of 18 kids, she grew up in a house full of people, so she understands chaos. I have her help and I do what I gotta do.
EBONY: When you were younger, did you want to have a big family?
Wyatt:Oh, yeah. From the time I was five-years-old, I said I was gonna grow up and get married and have eight or 10 kids.
EBONY: Well, you hit the mark.
Wyatt: Yeah, I’m just after eight and just before 10.
EBONY: Are you guys going to try for 10?
Wyatt:I wasn’t trying to go for eight and I wasn’t going for nine. So, I guess the Lord gave me the desires of my heart.
EBONY: After watching your episode of Being, what do you hope people take away from it?
Wyatt: That I’m not the crazy chick that they think I am. I am truly a human being, I’m not just this suspicious character in a magazine or book; I’m a real person. Be a little more gentle, be a little more kind.
I also hope that little girls–who are biracial and may be growing up like I grew up– appreciate themselves and love themselves, no matter what, whether people have a problem who they are or not. I just want other little girls who don’t really understand themselves to find a way to try and understand themselves.
EBONY: Was that a difficult process for you growing up?
Wyatt: Very difficult. Very difficult, very hard, very emotionally draining. It was really hard for me.
EBONY: What was difficult about it? Trying to figure out where you fit in?
Wyatt: By thinking you fit in everywhere, and everywhere you go people are like, “What are you doing here? Why are you here? You ain’t part of us.”
People still do that today and it’s 2017. My own people spread lies about me, saying I’m bleaching my skin. Honey, I don’t have to bleach my skin to look like this. It’s so irritating to me. For my own people to say rude things like that, it’s really hurtful. It just needs to stop.
We’re supposed to be out here uplifting each other, but instead we’re tearing each other down. Aren’t we being torn down by regular, everyday society? To be tearing each other down and spreading rumors and lies, I thought when you got out of school all that crap came to an end, but I guess not.
EBONY: What advice would you give someone who’s maybe a younger version of you and having this difficulty trying to find their place?
Wyatt: Just pray and seek God. He’ll be your friend. You ain’t gotta worry about all these people. The good thing about it is nowadays it’s more people like myself being born everyday. Everybody should be accepting of each other no matter what.
Being airs Saturday nights at 10 pm on Centric. Catch up on EBONY & Centric’s entire interview series here.