In part one of this series we discuss Kelly’s new single “Tired” which is receiving some well deserved buzz across radio, the net and wherever else great music is heard.

GFM: The message of “Tired” sounds to me like an anthem… I wanted to get your thoughts on that.

KP: Well, you know what it’s amazing when I hear someone say that it’s an anthem to write a song that would be considered one is an achievement, just by definition of the word anthem period. But what my primary goal was… was to just put out the truth. Not about just my own life and what I was feeling, but what so many other people are feeling.

And just a quick recap of how the song came about I was sitting in the studio with R. Kelly one night in Chicago after doing a show in Chicago and we were talking about my career and what’s been going on and I was just winding down from promoting the gospel album I had just put out. And you know he got to talking to me about what are your trying to do and where are you trying to go with your career, it’s been too long since you put out a record, and funny that you say anthem because I’m quoting him when I say this, he said “It’s been too long we need a Kelly Price penned anthem for radio, r&b music needs it.” Not only did I need to sing one but he also told me you need to write it.

And so… he said I just keep hearing you sing over, and over and over again “I’m tired”, you need to talk about everything in life that you are tired of. It can’t be pretty… it will work and the only thing that I can tell you is: if you tell the truth, if you don’t b.s. the people, they’ll hear it, they’ll feel it and they will sing along because there’s nothing that you’re tired of that half the world isn’t tired of too. That was about two years ago. I didn’t write the song until last year sometime.

It literally sat and the story goes: I was on my way to the studio to go and record some music and I started to hear the conversation that I had with him(R.Kelly) two years ago, playing back in my head and just as quickly as the conversation came into my head came the words to the song “I’m Tired”. I was riding in the car singing the words to this song I had never heard before and scrambling for the phone with one hand and driving with the other. So that I could move my phone so that I could record a memo to myself and got to the studio and was supposed to be doing something else and I kinda shut it down and said give me a minute don’t say anything to me.

I ran in the booth and told them to turn the microphone on and hit the record button. I recorded to no beat, no music, nothing. Laid it all down how I heard it in my head including that beginning part, I finished it up and walked out the booth and I was like ok, whatever we were supposed to do today is not happening we got to do this! And that’s how it happened… literally, literally how it happened. It was a very honest moment I let everything that I sang out of my mouth come from inside, what I really, really was feeling. To the point that when I listen to it after the fact as much as I loved it I almost questioned the fact whether I needed to scale it down a little bit because it is raw and just if I eliminate knowing that everybody else is feeling these same things, I told the truth about me. That’s where that song starts, that is Kelly.

Everything that you hear in that song is my life and so it’s touchy in some areas and I know that there are some things that people may take offense to, it was the most honest that I could be. And I had to remember what made me not go back and touch it: is he(R. Kelly) specifically said to me “You do this…do not b.s. the people, you have to tell the truth. If you tell the truth they will feel it. They’ll know and they will sing along.” Those were his exact words.

To be continued…

Ivan Orr is a multi-instrumentalist, composer, performer, and writer. A native of Charlottesville, Virginia Ivan was involved with the forming and nascent days of The Music Resource Center as its first Program Director. A graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University’s Department of Music, Ivan currently resides in Richmond, VA where he maintains an active performance and production schedule while serving as the Music Editor for Grown Folks Music, a position he has held since 2010.