Before Kehlani and I can even begin our conversation, a baby coos into the phone and the line goes dead altogether. Adeya, the singer’s one-year-old daughter, accidentally slapped the end button on the call. Kehlani dials me back and apologize. “My baby just woke up from a nap,” she tells me. “I’m reading a book.” Anyone who knows Kehlani knows she has a knack for multitasking—performing entire dance routines while singing live onstage, writing and producing her own songs simultaneously, breastfeeding her daughter while in the studio—so rocking her baby to sleep while giving an interview and reading is just a regular day for the hardworking mom. Today, Kehlani adds another task to her plate, as she fronts Moose Knuckles’ fall/winter 2020 Bring the Heat collection. Ahead, Kehlani talks her new campaign, motherhood, and her journey to growth and acceptance.
How has quarantine been treating you?
Honestly, it’s been fun. I’m able to do a lot of things, like this campaign, that I never really had the time or the patience to do. I never had the patience to sit down and be still, and I learned a lot.
Winters look different on the West Coast. How is the Moose Knuckles campaign a reflection of your own style?
Usually, I’d be on tour right now. I’d be traveling in a lot of cold places, so the collection has a lot of really fun pieces to keep me warm. I like to have a jacket, but if it gets too hot, or in the event that I have to go somewhere that’s actually warm, I can still carry the jacket. I could just slide it off and keep it in the same wardrobe, like the jacket with the inside straps.
The campaign aims to celebrate and highlight individuals who motivate and inspire their audiences. How are you doing that these days?
It’s being transparent that I’m feeling and going through the times just like they are. It’s finding little moments to share words with them or how them I’m doing things from the ground up just the same. I’m constantly reminding my fans to stay grounded and pay attention to what belongs to them and what doesn’t. Being inside has put a focus on social media where we don’t realize we’re picking up thousands and thousands of thoughts and feelings that belong to other people at such a high rate. [I’m] reminding myself and my fans every day to take those moments to focus inward and try to remember what you really think, what you feel, what you view. It takes practice.