Nickelodeon has changed a lot over the past couple of decades, but one thing it still incorporates is incredibly talented teenagers!
KeKe Palmer is currently one of the stars on the popular kids channel, and she is about to prove her vocal talents to viewers in her new movie Rags.
From landing her own show, True Jackson VP (previously on Nick), to starring alongside Queen Latifah and Dolly Parton as a singing sensation in Joyful Noise earlier this year on the big screen, the 19-year-old is back with the Cinderella-esque musical movie.
The movie, also starring Max Schneider, premieres May 29th on Nick!
We caught up with KeKe to talk about making the movie, her love for Tupac, and dealing with the pressures of being a role model for young ladies.
Check out our interview below!
GlobalGrind: What was your favorite part about making the movie Rags?
KeKe Palmer: My favorite part about making this film would have to be all the rehearsals in the beginning and things like that. I really enjoyed it. I love singing and I love performing and just making things perfect.
You’re putting out a mixtape soon. If you could remix one of Tupac’s songs, which song do you think it would be?
That’s an amazing question because I love Tupac so much! I like so many of his tracks like “Dear Mama,” “Picture Me Rollin’,” “Ain’t Mad At Cha,” and “How Do You Want It.” I think I could see myself doing something to “Picture Me Rollin'” and then I think I could do something cool with “How Do You Want It.”
Pac rapped about some pretty adult topics. Being in the world of Nickelodeon, how do you deal with the temptations surrounding young stars such as drugs and alcohol?
I kind of just know. My mom has always educated me on that stuff so I never wanted to make a fool of myself. Anything that controls my state of mind, I never really want to do because I always want to be under control. That might be part of me being a Virgo. I never want to do something that stops me from being in control of who I am and my actions. I’ve been very educated on a lot of the drugs, and I make sure that I know what I’m talking about when I’m telling someone,‘I don’t think that’s a good idea.’ When someone tries to get me to do something, I know how bad it is for me because of what I know about it. No one can try to come to me and manipulate me on anything. My mom has always taught me to be knowledgeable of everything that’s surrounding me. So no one can tell me. I’ll know.
You also got to work with Nick Cannon, who was a major part of the film. He’s such a relaxed and playful person, but seems like a great mentor. What was the best piece of advice he gave to you while on set?
I’d have to say more by example, because he’s just developing stuff. He’s always moving. He never waits for anything, so he definitely tried to teach me to be proactive just by his actions. I was always motivated. I’m definitely looking to do more projects with him.
So many girls can look up to you as a role model not only as a star, but also as a woman. Do you ever feel pressure to be a role model?
Not really. I just try to do my best and not try to be perfect, ever! I always try to learn from my mistakes and to let other people be aware so they can learn to not make the mistake again. Whatever my situation is, I want to show that I’m not perfect, and perfect isn’t real. The youth need to know that especially. We all make mistakes, especially in this age. I feel a good pressure, but not a bad pressure. It’s a pressure that has me continuing to do my best.
Earlier this year you starred in the movie Joyful Noise and you sang a rendition of Michael Jackson’s “Man In The Mirror.” What do you think of a MJ hologram?
I don’t know. I really wanted to see the Tupac hologram, and I’d love to see a MJ one as well, but then I start to think about it and I think that it’s too much. I kind of feel like we need to let them rest in peace. I don’t think it’s fair to be making all of this money off of someone that can’t even defend themselves.
With all of the music that’s coming out these days, who would you say you’re feeling right now?
I like Meek Mill and a lot of Maybach Music. I really like YG and the mixtape he just put out. He’s definitely giving you that old OG California vibe that I love and is great to come back since it’s summertime. His music is really good for that. But then I also like One Direction too. Their music is more on the pop side. I love that song “What Makes You Beautiful.”
You also just shot a video for your song “Love You Hate You.” Did you ever have a moment where your love for someone turned into hate?
I think when you like somebody it goes back and forth. Like if a guy doesn’t call me back you just think, ‘Oh, I just HATE them!’ but you really don’t. You just hate how up and down they make you feel. As you age, you start to realize that your emotions are in YOUR hands, and not someone else’s. Once you put them in someone else’s hands, that’s when you give them the power, and you can’t change it. Only they can change it. So that song is definitely perfect for teenage girls.
A member from the group Audio Push, Price Tag, has said that you’re his celebrity crush. How do you respond to that?
I know! I thought that that was so sweet. He’s actually one of my friends. As soon as I saw that, I actually hit him up and I told him how sweet he was. I don’t know why, it’s just so weird because I remember when the group was just getting started. I worked with the same producers they were working with, and I used to see him all the time. I never really knew he had a crush on me. I never really got a chance to really explore it because I can’t juggle more than one guy at a time. I’m not a good player!
Who would your celebrity crush be right now?
I’d have to say Michael Ealy! He’s AMAZING looking! It’s so weird for me to be saying this because I did Barbershop 2 with him when I was 9. He was so sweet to me. He used to pick me up and swing me. He used to hug me all the time! I could never be with him because he looks at me like I’m a little baby!. I think I’d still like him even without his eyes, because he is fine!