My call must have been her first for the day because she seemed a little groggy. After an apologetic yawn and the catlike stretch that I imagined her doing on the other side of the phone, she effortlessly turned into this bubbly, down-to-earth young lady who was ready to take on the world. The conversation was then reminiscent of two girlfriends catching up on life, relationships and future endeavors.
In 2000, everyone knew who Keke Wyatt was after she collaborated with R&B singer Avant on the 1980’s Rene and Angela Winbush remake “My First Love.” The song was so well received that it ended up being the catalyst that led to Wyatt signing her first record deal with MCA Records.
The ink wasn’t even dry on Wyatt’s MCA Records contract and she was already in the studio working on her debut album Soul Sista. “I was like a guinea pig,” says Wyatt. “I came out on ‘My First Love’, and it went to number one so people wanted to know ‘who in the hell is this girl?’” Even though Wyatt was rushed to record Soul Sista in a two week time period, she was rewarded with the accomplishment of a Gold certified debut album.
Before Wyatt could fully bask in the success of Soul Sista, she was involved in a domestic dispute with her husband and longtime manager Rahmat Morton. On Christmas day in 2001, Wyatt stabbed Morton five times with a steak knife at their home. After being indicted on one count of second degree assault, on March 25, 2002 all police charges were dropped and Wyatt served no time for the incident.
“I [am not] an attempted murderer,” says Wyatt. “I just refuse to stand there and let someone put their hands on me.”
Though people speculated an abusive altercation as the root of the domestic incident Wyatt shrugged off the claims. “People think they know everything, but the reason why I had my situation wasn’t even because of that,” she says.
Two years later, Wyatt left MCA Records to gain a fresh start at Cash Money Records/Universal Motown Records. After Wyatt’s sophomore album Emotional Rollercoaster was pushed back then eventually shelved, she parted ways with Cash Money Records and signed with TVT Records. “It’s very frustrating,” says Wyatt about her transition to different record labels. “But I just sit still and I let God do what he needs to do because there’s a reason for everything.”
Wyatt worked with her new label home to complete her highly anticipated third album Ghetto Rose. “A ghetto rose is somebody who has come from something that they couldn’t help coming from, but still made something good of themselves,” says Wyatt. “It doesn’t necessarily mean that because you come from nothing that you are nothing.” Unlike her debut album Soul Sista, Wyatt had an opportunity to contribute to this album. “You’ll learn [more] about me because I wrote a lot on this album,” explains Wyatt.
After Ghetto Rose was pushed back from its original October 2007 release date, it seemed like dÃ©jÃ vu all over again. Even though Wyatt is still legally bound to TVT Records, she is currently working to transition to a different record label. During this transitional period, Wyatt explains that she has been enjoying being a mother and a wife plus she’s working on a special treat for her fans. “I’ve been in the studio with Avant,” says Wyatt. “We’re going to put out a duets album together.”
Ever since Wyatt and Avant blessed us with their musically chemistry on “My First Love,” and their follow up duet “Nothing In This World,” fans have been eager to hear more from the duo. “We’re thinking of different songs that we’re going to do together like ‘Secret Lover,’” says Wyatt. For years, people have perceived the pair’s musical attraction to be something more romantic, but Wyatt was quick to denounce any romantic links to the R&B heartthrob. “In all honesty, he’s like my brother,” she says. “I’ve been knowing him since I was a teenager and to me, that’s just Myron.”