"I mean, this is gonna sound so cheesy but I have the most successful marriage and I have the best kids ever and I just feel like anything is possible at this point," Kelly tells ABC Radio. "And I’ve always kinda been that kid, but I just feel like they make me so much more empowered. And I have a couple of other things in the works because they’ve been inspiring me, so we’ll see. It’s going to be a very different next decade."
Those "other things" might include a future stint on Broadway, a country album and more. But for now, Kelly is focusing on Piece by Piece, the album she recorded while she was pregnant with River. Unlike her previous albums, Kelly didn't co-write the bulk of the material, because she had such a difficult pregnancy and was constantly sick. Instead, she recorded songs written by others, and she's pleased with the results.
"This is the first album I didn’t write too much...I just was feeling so down," Kelly tells ABC Radio. "And so it was interesting. I mean, I have a lot of singer-songwriter friends, so that helped! And then, also, it was interesting just to tell people, 'Hey, we’re looking for these kind of songs,'” and to see what everybody submitted. It was a different process for this album, and I loved it."
As a result, Piece by Piece is an interesting mix of upbeat, danceable tunes, heartfelt ballads, a handful of very personal songs written Kelly, a duet with John Legend and two tracks co-written by Sia. "Yeah, it was just a lot of randomness on this album, but it all kind of fit together," Kelly tells ABC Radio. "And was very much just my mood while I was trying to climb out of the rabbit hole of pregnancy."
One unexpected benefit of recording the album while pregnant, Kelly says, was the way she was able to bring extra emotion to the material.
"It is a different thing, it’s hard to describe to people," she says. "Like, you just feel everything a hundred percent more. Everything is enhanced when you’re pregnant. And there are good and bad points of that, ‘cause when I was feeling sick it would be really bad, but when I wasn’t, you’d get these really raw emotional vocals, and they would just be even more vulnerable than normal, so I loved it."
Kelly jokes that she liked that experience so much that she might insist on being "knocked up" for the follow-up to Piece by Piece, too. "I probably will be while recording the next one, 'cause I do want another baby," she laughs.
Meanwhile, the singer will launch her Piece by Piece tour July 11 in Hershey, Pennsylvania. And how different will it be hitting the road with baby River in tow?
"This is gonna sound funny-slash-horrible but I already traveled with two dogs beforehand, so now I’ve just kind of switched out," Kelly laughs. "Dogs are harder! Like, I have a baby and I’m telling you: dogs are harder to keep up with than my baby!"
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