Exclusive Q&A with KEKE PALMER on Release of NEW VIDEO, ‘Wind Up ft. Quavo’

by Sid Feddema

If you aren’t familiar with American superstar Keke Palmer, it's time to educate yourself. You can start with her catalog of movies, television shows, musical projects, and her appearance in Flaunt. Up to speed? Good. Now you're ready to appreciate Lauren ‘Keke’ Palmer's newest video, "Wind Up", featuring Quavo from the infamous trio Migos.

Her newest single has a fun trap vibe, but her lyrics are far from the standard references to drugs and partying – instead she goes for a deeper message, reminiscing about her career and how important it is that her family believed in her dreams. In the video Keke serves up '90s looks on top of a plate of southern tempo. She's Aaliyah on the glam, but Missy Elliott on the dance moves. Produced by Sean Garrett, "Wind Up" is an anthem for the believers and dreamers of the world. We spoke with Keke about her style, her love for the '90s, and pairing a message with powerful music:

In the video for 'Wind Up', your style and fashion has a very playful and colorful look. What inspired you to use such vibrant colors?

I definitely wanted to use colors that expressed my personality.  Purple and pink are two of my favorite colors so I wanted to use colors that represented me and things that I love. I’m a huge fan of the 90s and the style in those music videos. It seemed like everybody went all out on the colors, the styles, and the lighting effects. My team and I agreed on having a 90s influence, so we wanted to follow that aesthetic.

Anyone that follows you knows you give us a new hairstyle almost every week. What was the inspiration behind your hair for 'Wind up'? You went with fingerwaves this time around, what led you to that classic look?

When it comes to my hair, I wanted to do something really shocking and different. I get bored so fast with my hair and I’m always changing it. I knew I wanted to have something different than what I’ve done and I wasn’t sure if I was going to do long or short. When my publicist mentioned fingerwaves, I was like 'yes, that’s a look'. It went with everything I was going for so I was comfortable with that look.

Who do you channel when deciding wardrobe?

I think it depends on what I’m trying to project in each video, but this video specifically, I was definitely feeling Missy Elliot and Lil Kim. The early 2000s brings a lot of female inspirations out of me like Aaliyah and TLC. I always want to give my team an idea of what I’m going for and we pull out looks that are central to the video.

With such a rhythmic and upbeat tempo, what led you to tell your personal story about your career and upbringing?

I am a millennial. I know what I like and I know why I like it. I’m going to always be aware of what’s going on. When I heard the beat, I wanted to jump on it with Quavo, but I thought about it, like 'what do I want to say?' My message has always been that I’m not any different than you and 'believe in yourself'. I came from poverty, but I got to where I am because I believed in myself. People think because I’ve been in the entertainment industry that I had it easy and that isn’t true. It does me no good to be idolized, I want people to look at me and think they can do it. Once I reached the maturity level and endured what I had to go through to reach this point, I know who I am and what I want to give.

With choreography being a huge part of your video, how do you find clothes that are comfortable?

Dancing is such an important part of my videos and I want to always honor the moves that I’ll be doing. I make sure to send in my choreography to my wardrobe team and I like to make sure that I’m wearing something that highlight certain dance moves and body movements. I have to be aware of how my body looks when I do certain moves and I want to give attention to those parts of me.

I seen an Aaliyah-esque makeup look with the natural glam and glossy lips, what was the inspiration behind your makeup?

I want the makeup in my videos to always have a music video element. I wanted a distinct look like Aaliyah had in the ‘Try Again’ video. Her makeup was an iconic piece to her look. That’s what I love about the '90s music videos – everything was over the top and memorable.

The most shocking moment for me was the hula hoop scene. Do you hula hoop regularly or was that a part of the creative process?

It came up during the creative process. I wanted to give a gag. I love adding a shocking factor that will make people remember me. I remember when Usher swung his chain around his neck or when Beyonce was doing hardcore dance moves in heels. I’m trying to entertain the fuck out of people. When I give a performance, I'd rather people say, Keke being extra again and have something special to remember.  

Hearing your passion for the 90s, is that something we should expect from you as your signature style?

The '90s and early 2000s represent an era of music that I love. Not just the sound and fashion, but the performance ethic and the storytelling that they had. I wanted to give something different than what we see today. Music videos today are very minimalistic and I want to give it all I got. When Aaliyah and Missy Elliot made videos, they were extra as hell. Missy was spitting out her mouth into someone else’s mouth or dancing in the desert. Ya know, R. Kelly had a damn movie as his music video and for years I thought R. Kelly and Ron Isley really had beef. It made the entertainment factor that much better. I think that will always be a part of my music videos, doing the most as possible.


Written by Nakira Glasgow