“I’m really just taking it day by day because it is so much going on — a lot of good stuff — and I’m just trying to give it my all in each moment,” Keke Palmer says to Rated R&B over the phone. It’s Friday around noon, nearly 12 hours since her new EP, Virgo Tendencies, Pt. 1 has released.
It’s Palmer’s first project in four years, following her 2016 EP, Lauren. In the months leading up to this moment, Palmer consistently shared songs from the project, including the bass-thumping “Sticky,” the tasty “Snack,” the club banger “Twerk N Flirt” and the pop-friendly “Thick.”
For the EP’s production, Palmer worked exclusively with Tasha Catour. Palmer discovered Catour a few years ago when she heard Joe Gifted’s “Water,” which was produced by Catour.
“I hit her up online and she immediately responded,” recalls Palmer. “I was so excited because I didn’t know she was going to be into it but the tracks are so tough. We just continued to create records. She’s also a Virgo too, which is so funny.”
Virgo Tendencies, Pt. 1 is the first of two installments. Part one highlights the charisma and cheerful personality of a Virgo. “I wanted to create something that would allow people a bit of an escape during all of the high intense things that we are experiencing right now,” Palmer explains. “I think we all need some of that fun, light energy.”
Palmer’s personality shines throughout the project, especially on the lighthearted skits like “Let’s Have a Keke” and “Quarantine Blues.”
Fans can expect part two to arrive later this year. It will focus more on Palmer’s emotionally-driven songs, including the title track. “It’s a little bit more of the reflective vibe that I kind of reached at the end of quarantine,” she shares.
As a public figure who reaches millions daily on her social media platforms alone, it’s inevitable that negativity may come her way. However, Palmer doesn’t put much energy into bad vibes. She credits her mother for teaching her how to protect her peace, and what knowing what type of people to keep in her circle.
“My mom really taught me early on that, that’s what it’s about and I think I’ve through my own phases of realizing that some people aren’t good for me,” she shares. “I’m thankful to be in the place I’m in where I’ve had nothing but positive people around me.”
She adds, “I think this chapter of my life was really just eradicating the old and embracing the new and embracing all possibilities out there for me. I don’t let things bother me as much as they used to, I guess that’s just with age.”
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Right now, Palmer is focused on hosting the 2020 MTV Video Music Awards on Sunday night.
She is the first Black woman to host the award ceremony since 1987, when former MTV VJ Downtown Julie Brown served as a host.
“I’m grateful for the opportunity and representation for people who couldn’t see it for themselves but it’s also like, “let’s keep this going and keep giving people opportunities,’” she shares.
Outside of her VMAs hosting gig, Palmer has other projects in the works, including her role as Maya on the upcoming Proud Family reboot that is coming to Disney+.
There’s a new girl coming to town! Prepare to fall in love with 14-year-old activist Maya Leibowitz-Jenkins, voiced by @KekePalmer, from the upcoming Original Series, #TheProudFamily: #LouderAndProuder, coming soon to #DisneyPlus. pic.twitter.com/JkdVevFuQI
— Disney+ (@disneyplus) August 6, 2020
“What I love about Maya is, and she almost reminds me of Michael from Good Times in a modern way because she is so passionate about big topics at a young age,” says Palmer. “I think it’s so important to have that represented on shows, among other things, because it just shows kids what’s out there, what’s possible for them.”
From her breakout role in Akeelah and the Bee to Nickelodeon’s True Jackson VP to Grease Live!, Palmer’s acting resumé has range. Although she’s no stranger to the horror genre (MTV’s Scream: The TV Series, Animal), the zealous actress is open to more opportunities.
Earlier this month, she tweeted a thread of her favorite horror films. When asked if she could star in any horror movie reboot, she responds with, “That is such a good question. I’m a big Jamie Lee Curtis fan, it might would be something like a Halloween.
There are so many great horror movies out there. I am even willing to be the villain, like Freddy Krueger or something. Freddy Krueger was also a big comedic. So I’m thinking of me as a villain where I could be something like that, and I can be scary and creepy. I would love that.”