How hands-on are you with this talk show? Are you responsible for the hiring and managing of staff? Will you be choosing segment topics, etc.?
I’m not in charge of hiring people, but I’m definitely involved with the creative process – every part of it, especially suggesting what we should we talk about. But as far as putting a format together, I’ve never done that before so it’s pretty much I’m the raw information and they kind of just shape it.
Are there some things you feel talk shows today are missing that you will incorporate with Just Keke?
[Talk shows] are lacking to a certain extent but it’s more so my generation’s voice is lacking today. There’s not a show out that really allows us to have a conversation that we need to have. It’s either one extreme or the other; we’re either not talking about it or just taking about the ratchet side of it. We’re not talking about the in between.
This talk show is certainly a career turning point for you; not only is it your first time hosting, but you’re the youngest talk show host ever. Do you have any nerves or trepidations going into it?
I think people definitely saying that makes me a little bit anxious, but I always take pressure and embrace it because when you embrace the pressure you come out with diamonds. I think it’s a good thing.
Because you were a child star, that’s often been your brand, however, since becoming an adult you’ve come into your womanhood and shown a more sexy and outspoken side. What kind of an impact do you think the JustKeKe talk show will have on your brand?
I think it’ll definitely change my brand, but not in a way that I know of. I definitely know because it’s something so different it’s another thing added to the things that I do, but I don’t think it’s something anyone expected, not even me before when I started acting and entertaining. It was definitely something born from my experiences and what I learned along the way. But I’m not sure what type of effect it will have, but I know it will have a good one.
From a business and brand perspective, you seem be very strategic in what projects you align yourself with…is that so? And can you explain what are the things you look for when making such business decisions.
I’m really actually not that strategic. I just follow my heart, and I think that’s my strategy because everything that I’ve chosen, everything that I’ve gotten, everything that I wasn’t going to get but ended up getting or got put off for a while, it all aligned itself to appear at the right time. That’s why I always tell people to follow what you love to do, hold on to your morals and do what makes you happy.
I’m sure you often find yourself in many business meetings. Have you ever experienced people making assumptions about you or discrediting you because you’re young?
Oh yeah, all the time in the entertainment business. I know that I lack experience, but sometimes it about how people approach me about it. But at the end of the day I know I don’t know everything. Most of the time I just shut my mouth and just listen long enough to hear if they have something worth me taking in or if they’re just being ignorant.
It looks like you’ll be balancing other projects simultaneously while taping of the show. How do you find balance?
I really don’t know how I find balance. My schedule has been like this before when I did True Jackson VP, but now it’s even more. My mom always does my schedule because she’s my manager as well, so it comes to a point where I don’t know what I’m doing until the day I’m doing, and I just go. I’m a workaholic. Working and entertaining has always been my life, it’s been my hobby, it’s been a release, it’s been my everything in one. This talk show I don’t think is any easier, but it’s so relieving because I’m just being me. But in some ways it can also be nerve wrecking too because I am just being me (laughs). However, it’s not to say that it’s something I’m not ready for.
As a millennial, you’re also very active on social media. What kind of impact has it made in your career? Do you often feel like you’re misunderstood?
Social media has impacted by brand in a way that I feel people sometimes think that I think I know everything. I’m a regular young woman who’s learning and just trying to share something that might help somebody else. And a lot of things that I tweet are not always things that I go through. One of the main things that annoy me the most is when people start doing the name calling and stuff like that. It just irritates me because people can’t hear how I’m saying stuff [on social media], so they assume that I’m in the bed crying my eyes out when I write something deep, and it’s not always like that.
Sometimes there are times when I’m going through something and tweet to my followers because I know somebody out there is going through that too, and it may be an emotional moment for me. But a lot of times the things that I tweet that get people the most revved up I’m really just talking in a normal tone. I’m really just talking about what I see, what I know girls gp through, what I watch, what I know to be true because I’ve seen it happen. A lot of it just me expressing the wisdom that I’ve acquired over the years, but I always remind my followers that wisdom does not exempt you from experience.
And that’s why I’m so excited about the show because I’m a very bubbly person. I’m not the angry type. Every now and then I get revved up, but it is a very sensitive thing to me and I know it’s a very sensitive thing to other people who are very passionate. When people misinterpret my passion for anger, I hate it because everything I’m saying is coming from such a loving place. I’m just so excited to get it out.