Singer-songwriter Kelly Rowland's favorite techKevin Frazier, co-anchor of OMG Insider, catches up with Kelly Rowland in New York to talk tech, music, and her favorite social media apps. Plus, CNET Senior Editor Brian Tong breaks down the best in music-streaming services such as Spotify, Pandora,...
-Hey, guys. What's going on? I'm Kevin Frazier and this is Hooked Up. And we are coming to you from New York City, because as you know, this is the show where celebrity and technology collide. And we have a very special celebrity today, my girl, Kelly Rowland. You know, she's very busy these days. She has a brand new album out called Talk a Good Game. She also is an X-Factor judge, but I wanna talk to Kelly about how she keeps it moving using technology. -Hi. -Hello. -Good to see you. -How are you doing? -Good. -Gosh, you look great-- you look great. -Thank you. You look nice. -All right, this might be my favorite Hooked Up because we're sitting with Kelly Rowland. We're gonna find out if she can talk a good game when it comes to tech. We're gonna get all her dirty laundry out on the tech side, they'll drive you crazy. Kelly, you ready to talk tech? -I'm completely ready. -Kelly Rowland is a Grammy-winning singer, actress, and TV personality. She rose to fame as a founding member of one of the world's best selling girl group, Destiny's Child. -I'm a survivor. I'm not gonna give up. I'm not gonna stop. I'm gonna work harder. -The group has sold over 50 million records worldwide and as a solo artist, Kelly has sold over 24 million albums worldwide. Her work has also earned her 4 Grammy awards. Kelly has spent years touring the world and has seen her fair share of high-tech. And she's back on the road again for the Lights Out Tour with a dream. -What kind of speakers do you use when you're on the-- like say the bus? Are you gonna just go ahead and blast your music? -I like that Pill. You know the Pill? -Yeah. Yeah. -I've used one of those. But I have to purchase one for myself because I used somebody's and it was so loud. And I loved it. So I made me a pill-- -Yeah. -[unk]. -[unk] country club-- -These days she's staying busy as a judge on the X-Factor and is set to release her fourth solo album, Talk a Good Game, but is using her tech tools to give fans a taste of the new record online before the June 18th release. -You released a couple of your singles on SoundCloud. Why? And explain SoundCloud, why you use it? -With SoundCloud, I like the fact that you're able to share your music especially before the album comes out 'cause I still wanna give them something to look forward to. I'll only get a piece of it on there. And I'm like, I really wanna try to hear this album. But I don't wanna give everything away. I think things should still be a mystery. Music should still be a mystery. -How hard is it now on these days with all these technology to keep music kinda secret or at least controlled when it goes out? -It's extremely hard. I mean, you take every precaution there is in order to still make sure you have a surprise for your fans. You know what I mean? Because you wanna hold something near and dear to you that is gonna be near and dear to them. You know you see all along you tweet at timelines, and Instagrams how they're posting pictures of singles or what they think the single cover should look like and-- -Yeah. -they're excited. And I'm excited and let's be excited together, and wait 'til June 18th. You know what I mean? -But people want a taste, they always want-- -And that's why I love SoundCloud. -There are over 10 million registered users on SoundCloud allowing musicians to publish and embed their tracks to more than 67,000 sites. The platform is increasingly becoming a popular tool for discovering new music. -How do you get your music fixed? What other like apps and things do you use when you just wanna listen to music or find new music? -Pandora. -Uh huh. -Love Pandora. Yeah, I mean to find new music, I really just go on iTunes or if I'm in a store and I hear something and I shazam it, I buy it. And I love the fact that you'll have more, you know, selections-- -Uh huh. -and I'm like, "Who is that?" And I'll go click on that, I'll buy it. If I don't know the artist, I'd still buy it. I love buying music. I will stay up to the wee hours of the morning buying music I don't know and getting to know it. -So as you see, Kelly loves to use Pandora but there are more music streaming services out there in the universe that's why you should check in right now with CNET Senior Editor, Brian Tong, who has the 411 on all those services. -Thanks, Kev. Now everybody, one of the great things about music is discovering a new artist or song. So, what we wanted to do right here is show you some of the best music streaming services to help you out. Now first up, if you're talking about simple discovery, you've got to go with Pandora. This is a service that's available on your desktop, tablets or phones, and what it allows you to do is enter in whether it's an artist or a genre you like. It creates a station and then from there, it builds a list of songs that you can listen to. Now if you're looking for a more robust music service, you've got to check out Spotify. This is a free desktop application that incorporates your existing music collection and also lets you stream music at the same time. It also has this unique social hooks, so what you can do is find out music that your friends listen to, and then discover music through them, so this makes it really a big community experience. Now they also offer an unlimited music experience that cost $4.99 if you don't wanna hear any ads at all. But then if you wanna jump up to the premium version, that's $9.99 and it allows you to download your music to your tablets, to your phones, and then take them wherever you go and listen to music offline, so you won't need an internet connection. And let's throw out one that you probably haven't heard of. You guys, I know you're tired of hearing the same 10 songs playing over and over on the radio, so check out this website, it's called Beastmode.fm and it also works on mobile devices. And what they do is they take music that's been published on blogs, immediately sucks them into the service and then streams them to you, so you can surf for new genres and new artist, and really this is one of my favorite sites to find new music that I just haven't heard before. So there you go, we know there's a whole bunch of other music services you guys could pick from, but these are some of our favorite picks. Back to you, Kev. -Thanks, Brian. You know, Kelly has channeled her keen sense of style into the tech world by partnering with TW Steel for a special edition watch. -Tell me about TW watches. -TW Steel. I'm in love with TW Steel and so thankful to Jordy Cobelens and his team for having me, and the sales have been really good on the watches and people love the watches, so-- -The Kelly Rowland edition of the CEO Tech watch features a rose gold-plated steel case and pink Italian leather strap. The diameter of the case is a nice 44 millimeters and is 100 meters water resistant. -What makes those watches so cool? -I like the affordable luxury at TW Steel. That's very important to me, especially the day and age that we live in. -Yeah. -Definitely. -We're gonna pause for a second. We'll be back with more Hooked Up after the break. -Kelly's active on a number of social platforms connecting with over 7 million fans on just Facebook and Twitter alone. -Why are all those social tools so important to connect with your fans? -We're living in a day and age where it is important to communicate with your fans. -But you have-- I'm not calling them crazy, I'm just saying they're exuberant fans. -My Rowland Stones go hard. I love them. They've been with me for a very long time. They are very loyal and I can't help but to love them so much. -But is it weird connecting with them in this way now that it's so easy? -No, no, not at all. I think that I share what I wanna share, you know, and we still keep those boundaries. Boundaries are important. It's really important to have boundaries, but as far as fans like they go hard. They wanna know everything and you're gonna have to tell them. Above anything, the most beautiful part about the fans is they just wanna see you win. And they wanna be there every step of the way. -Think everybody wants to see you win. Doesn't that make you feel good about? -Yeah. -You meted Twitter 10 years ago. -I love Twitters. Twitter's pretty freaking awesome. I love Tumblr and I love looking at other people's Tumblr. -So, what is it about Tumblr that's so great? -The pictures. -You love pictures. -I love pictures. I'm actually about to give in to photography. I have to. -Are you? -I have to-- I have to. I always find something that catches my eye and I always wanna take a picture of something. -Could I ask you, what is-- what is-- like you and Beyonce, what is your fascination with Instagram? 'Cause you all love to post those cryptic pictures. I'm just gonna post the picture, there's nothing going along with-- this is just a picture. You all figure it out. -It's cool. I mean, I always see pictures that inspire me. And I'm always wondering what the thought behind the picture was. And I'm always intrigued of that with Instagram. It's somebody else's perspective. -What are the things that you can't live without when you're on the road? -My phone. I need my phone because my phone has everything-- -Right. -my phone has my-- connect to my family. My phone has all my apps in it. My phone has my Bible, that my phone has my music above anything. So I'm happy. I'm a happy girl with my phone. -I love it when we can tap into a star's inner tech geek and as you can see Kelly loves all her little gadgets especially her phone. But I told one of her biggest fan Sarah that I would connect with her as soon as the interview is over. So, let me hit Sarah right now through BBM video chat and share some of the pictures and tell her some of the stories from behind the scenes of the interview. Hold on. I know she would be excited. She couldn't wait to hear from Kelly. Sarah, what's going on? How are you? -I'm good. How are you? -Great. Everything with Kelly went so good and I wanted to kinda update you, share some pictures with you. Is it okay if we screen share? -Yes, please. -Okay, hold on for a second. Sarah, how long have you been a Kelly Rowland fan. -I have been a Kelly Rowland fan since the beginning of Destiny's Child. -Oh, wow back in the 90s. Here's the interview. We were in a small tight room in New York City. It was really hot in the room. I was sweating, Kelly was not-- a lot of that having to do with the fact that she is incredibly beautiful, so I have-- those are one of the reasons I was sweaty. But you can see how, she almost is glowing. -Yeah, she looks amazing. -Yeah, let me show you another picture. This is Kelly and I after the interview, after they wiped all the sweat off my face. -Oh, my gosh. She looks great. -Yeah, and you can see here in this picture how good Kelly looks and she was so open and honest. And I have no idea she was such a little techie at heart. So that was kinda cool to hang out with her and talk tech. She was-- she was fantastic. I can't-- I can't ever get enough of Kelly Rowland. So, it was a great interview. I can't wait for you to listen to her new album, Talk a Good Game, that comes June 18th. If I can convince Kelly to just sneak us a couple of the files, I'll share them with you, but don't tell her. -Okay, please do. I'd love that. -All right, Sarah. I'll talk to you later. -Okay bye, Kevin. -All right, talk to you later. Bye. Did you get to see more techie stuff and were you exposed to more music, because you spend a lot of time in Europe, different vibe, you know-- -Yeah. -you were kinda ahead of the curve with the whole DJ thing and recording with the DJ-- -Yeah. -and all that stuff. -Yeah. -What was that experience like? -It was incredible. I love the fact that I could be somewhere else and I'm not hearing the same things everyday. And I love the fact that David Ghetta exposed me to the whole dance music scene. It wasn't a trend. -Uh huh. -You know what I mean. I respect dance music-- -Yeah. -I respect where it's been, where it's gonna go, because it's constantly changing now, even now. And I loved it. I love being over there. I love being inspired, every single moment about it. -Is the tech different there? Is all the tech stuff and kinda different? -From what I saw it's not too different. I think that, you know, young DJs and producers are finding new ways to create music. That's what's fresh, because they have their own ways of doing it or systems or computers, that's what's really cool too. They're doing these huge tracks on computers. -Yeah. -And playing stuff like right where you're sitting and making the track and telling you to say, "Ah". And you say, "Ah," they make "Ah" like-- sound like it's a million people saying, "Ah." It's just so cool the way music is being created now. -You know I-- -I know [unk] thank you. Thank you. -I'm gonna take good care of you. -Thank you-- -[unk]. -thank you, guys. Thanks for [unk] by. -Can I just say something? I have the best job in the world. I got to spend the day with Kelly Rowland. Absolutely love her, and make sure you check out the new album, it's called Talk a Good Game. I'm Kevin Frazier and I'll see you next time on Hooked Up.