Keyshia Cole Biography

Review The Artist (232)

Keyshia Cole-photo
Keyshia Cole is the real deal. Like many young people raised in a tough neighborhood, the 21-year-old songstress endured a tumultuous childhood in Oakland, California, and has fought all her life to keep her dream of a music career alive. Now she's realizing that dream on her own terms with her first album for the A&M label, The Way It Is. It's been a long road for Keyshia, but it's her powerful voice-- a bell-like instrument whose soaring clarity is topped off with a tantalizing touch of soulful grit -- that's carried her through, not to mention the diminutive singer's personal combination of sugar, spice, sass and sex appeal, along with a solid-steel spine.

"Being young, you have to be really dedicated to doing it for yourself," says Keyshia, who co-wrote most of the songs on her new CD and cites artists like Mary J. Blige and Brandy as inspirations. "There's a lot of trials and tribulations you have to go through to get what you want, especially if you feel like it belongs to you."

Keyshia's talent, personality, and faith have won her fans and supporters within the notoriously picky entertainment industry since she was a young girl. While still a pre-teen she convinced then-superstar MC Hammer that he should put her on, and she even got a chance to do some recording with the rap star before she was 12 years old. She also scored sessions singing hooks with other Bay Area artists, including Messy Marv's "Nubian Queen" remix, which was a regional hit for the rapper, and with Tony Toni Tone's Dwayne Wiggins, who featured her on his soundtrack for the indie film Me & Mrs. Jones.

Within minutes of catching her boyfriend cheating, Keyshia was in her car driving to Los Angeles in the middle of the night to start a brand-new life. It only took the determined singer a few months of making connections to snag an introduction to A&M Records President Ron Fair, who immediately signed her to her first solo recording deal. For her first album, Keyshia has garnered the support of none other than reigning hip-hop star Kanye West; producer and songwriter DaRon of R&B group 112; rapper Chink Santana, whose gruff stylings have graced hits by Ashanti and The Inc.; and popular producer E-Poppi. She also got a chance this past Spring to collaborate with Eve for her debut single, "Never," on the Barbershop 2 soundtrack.

So what's everybody raving about? Check Keyshia's first single with West, "I Changed My Mind." The tune is a perfect fit for Keyshia's longing soprano and her distinct stance as a performer: Like many young women, she's looking for love, but she's not so desirous of romance that she'll sacrifice her own needs. Having been devoted to her man, she quickly realized that he is devoted to himself. What's a girl to do? She simply changes her mind about being involved and walks away.

Keyshia easily admits that the song reflects her romantic philosophy. "That song was actually about being focused and dedicated to what you want and what you're trying to be. It's about the things you're trying to accomplish in life and dealing with somebody, a significant other, who comes in between that, especially with their ways. I want to be an example for young girls in following your goals and dreams and making it happen and checking him out later if you have to."

A twist on that philosophy is on display in "I Should've Cheated," which was crafted by DuRon, a producer whose songs Keyshia admired so much she chased him down in Atlanta to work with him. On the track, Keyshia sings of being a devoted girlfriend who is constantly accused of cheating by her man. It seems that two can play that game, and Keyshia has no trouble letting Mr. Suspicious know what's up. "That song has a lot of emotion, because I feel every girl and every guy can relate to that," she says. "If somebody is doing you wrong or saying that you're doing something and you're being the best that you can be in the relationship, then you get home and they're like 'Where you been?' "Well, where I could have been is ...' Don't start! It could get real ugly."

At the same time, Keyshia's songcraft reveals that the plucky artist isn't afraid to let a man know she's interested. On the flowing "We Could Be," she fearlessly lays out all a former friendship could blossom into. On the mid-tempo "Down N Dirty," she has no trouble expressing what she'd like to do, while on the spare, deep groove "Talk To Me," co-written by singer Mya, Keyshia lets a guy know that his seeming disinterest is just a front. And Chink Santana lends his gritty rhyming skills to "Situations," another love song with a twist.

On the feel-good, old-school-styled ballad "Love," Keyshia's powerful vocal intensifies a straight-ahead plea to the object of her affection, who's involved with someone else. It was a real-life situation that compelled Keyshia, who admits ballads are not her favorite style, to come up with the lyrics to "Love" in five minutes flat. At a Malibu restaurant, she spied the same guy who years earlier had told her he wasn't interested in a committed relationship with her dining with his girlfriend. "So I was looking at the girl and I was like, 'What is it about her? You know, like seriously, what are you thinking?'" Keyshia remembers. "And I just wrote about it, it came out really quick." She immediately headed into the studio with producer Greg Curtis: "After I wrote the song, I went to the studio about 4 in the morning, and by 5 or 6 I was done with the song and that's what you hear."

Ms. Cole even applies her keep-it-real aesthetic to the tune "You've Changed," in which she takes on none other than Jay-Z for the lyrics to his tune "Song Cry." The tune is from the point of view of a neglected wife who's had enough.

The realities surrounding where she was raised and the hurdles she overcame are never far from her mind. She says she recorded the tune "Streets Is A Mothafucka" because the lyrics reflected some true-to-life scenarios, including crime, drugs, and the hustles that come with survival. "It's just different things that we see in the 'hood that we never see in Hollywood. I liked the contents of the song, because I felt like no girls talked about it," she says.

A self-described "hard worker" who can sometimes be "goofy" and "fun" yet says she would never kiss a guy she doesn't know for a video, Keyshia is passionate about providing inspiration to young girls, and young people in general, who come from troubled backgrounds. "I want to be an example for young people, especially growing up in the 'hood, because it's already hard enough to not be focused, not to be trying, to be doing something," she says, adding that hope and faith and holding on to a dream can carry anyone far. The tattoo on her right shoulder -- a cross, a heart, and a star-- truly reflects her belief that goals can be realized, despite the circumstances. "It's really possible," she says with a grin. And those are her thoughts -- just the way it is.

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lookin up too | Reviewer: brandy | 2/28/13

hi keysha i love yu girll nd yo music nd every other thing i look up to yu you are my number 1 fan nbs i want to meet yu nd spend sum time ta get ta kno yu no homo because yu look ike cool oerson to hng around nd shop nd kick it wit nd your son is so cuteee i want to meet him too he look jus like yu and i love wqatching all yor shows on tv see how yo life goes nd what yu really be doin n like i wanna be sum what like yu when i get the age 21 loveee keyshhh girlll hit meee 4145780148

If you needed an extra backup singer | Reviewer: Panessia Ruff | 12/21/12

Keyshia my contact info is or (803)269-0891 I'm a songwriter too! Keep making that beautiful music, please check me out on YouTube! !!! God bless u!!!!

If you ever needed another backup singer I'm available | Reviewer: Panessia Ruff | 12/21/12

Hello Keyshia, keep on getting success, I wish u the best, I'm also hoping to meet you and maybe even write some song!! Please check out my songs on YouTube, I have 3 songs on YouTube! My video of my song, Whein iLo ve Comes, just type in my name andy songs will pop up! !!! Keyshia don't worry about the haters, that's what ppl do,when they are not happy with their life! !! Here is my contact

songstress | Reviewer: kaamilya | 11/1/12

hi keyshia! i'm still singing girl! hopefully in the near future,i can sing a little something on youtube. i wish you love ,peace and happiness to you and your family.god bless!!oh by the way,i did some recording myself back in 2007.hopefully one day i can record a song with you who knows?

Talented Individual | Reviewer: ShordieB | 10/31/12

Keyshia Cole a wonderful strong minded individual. One of the realist song writer or artist. She's really a person that someone should and could call a role model. She has been through so much even at a young age to be so great minded with a positive vibe and attitude so many years later. Many people would have had a trouble futre. Her music is wonderful, most individuals are able to relate to it also. Keep up the great work and stay heading in the correct direction, because youre changing so many minds each and every moment, second and day !

from me to you | Reviewer: Jay Jay | 12/4/11

keyshia cole you are my role model I always look up to you for everything. I always listening to your musics it's so inspirational I love all. Take care and I love you hon!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

my favourite artitse in da whole world | Reviewer: strawberry | 8/25/11

keyshia cole ur di best of all,ur music are real and intersting , i would love to see u some day girl , am crazy over u like seriously , i jus love u n ur songs , but i wish u long life n continue to do good music they really inspires me alot and am jus 16 , bless up ur family also ur self love always to u girl !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

u r | Reviewer: jazzy pooh | 2/21/11

u r my favorite artist i lov ur sing kaled tak me away,long way down,i anit thru wel i lik al yo songz n im doin a project 4 my klaz n we had 2 pik a famouz person n i had pik u nh i just wanted 2 stop bye n show so lov nh :)

working hard | Reviewer: crystal | 2/20/11

keyshia cole is very pretty she has came along way in bcuz she is the real deal everybody loves her she kno how it is ..... and thats why most people connect to ha when she sings .... n by tha way i loved all ur songs so far when are yuu coming out with some more songs .... and keep up the good work and continue to work hard god will make a way .... he always does ....

I loev you keyshia Cole | Reviewer: Delona Jones | 2/17/11

keshia i love your music and i want to meet you some time but i dont know when o will get the chance to. You are so amazing and i want to grow up to be just like you someday. I love you keshia!!!!!!!!!!!!!your fan, Delona Jones

help getting to the top | Reviewer: breona | 12/1/10

we'll I'm just going to say I have been through the same struggle. I must have admitt it has'nt been easy for me but during my jorney my 16 years of living I've seen quite alot and it's brought me to realize that you can do and be anything if you just shoot for the stars the sky is the limit i do believe strongly in that. We'll I'ma get straight to the point I've waited quite some while to become a singer and to accomplish my goal I just really need help.

Your are the best. | Reviewer: Nina | 11/26/10

Hi keyshia my name is Nina, i am a fan of you, your music if very good, i love your songs, your a real girl and i like that, i don't hang with too many girls, there all drama and talk alot... i had about 6 of my "girls" that i thought were my girls betray me, hurt me real bad, with boy situations... You inspire me alot, One of my family memebers had past away he loved your music and you alot, life is rough i understand where you come from, i wish life could b easy for me.. well i just wanted too say that you are a beautiful girl and you can get through anything, keep writting real songs.. Luuuv you!!!.. N that guy who disrespected you like that is a worthless goof, you deserve nothing less then perfectness.. i pray for you & your family.<3

*Faith* | Reviewer: Liz | 11/5/10

You know 'KC?..I'm very inspired by your hard work..Experiencing relationship chaos,can be very hard to move on and accept what is given to you! Being very easy to give up..But in my heart I know I have enough strength to pick up where I left off...And when I listen to your music it puts the pieces to my puzzle together..Having a better understanding to life...Just want to thank you...!!!

Help Me!! | Reviewer: Mima | 6/11/10

OMG IF your reading this that means that my title cought your attention!! lmao dont think im crazy but damn you are awesome!!! my fav song by you is "falling out" keyshia i wirt songs i al so sing!! i want to experiance ur fam life but will hit me up!

3044197415 | Reviewer: Jasmine S. | 4/26/10

your one of thee realist singers i know,when i heard your songs for the first time off the bat i liked ya style the respect you have for yourself reminds me of myself we both have our simularities ! i can relate to you so well yo u made me understand that lifes real nomatter the situation if i put my mind to it then thats gonna be the way it is . i really wish to meet u someday soon nd the effect you have on the music industry is amazing kerp doin ya thing ma ' .
loved always !!

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