Grammy-winning artist Kelly Rowland is on a quest to find the next big female group with BET, and her new reality series, Chasing Destiny, aims to create a sensational music group for this generation by following a search for exceptional up-and-coming singers that meet Rowland’s standards for greatness.
“In the series, these singing hopefuls will vie their way to stardom with recording mogul Rowland helping them to find their voice as entertainers,” the network said.
— The Real (@TheRealDaytime) December 10, 2015
Inspired to create a group after serving as a judge on the U.S. and U.K. versions of the X Factor, the former Destiny’s Child singer believes there’s room for one more all-girl outfit to dominate the charts.
“When Destiny’s Child was around I remember there was Xscape, there was SWV, there was En Vogue, there was the Cheetah Girls,” she said. “There were all these different types of groups, and these different types of girls groups, and there’s just one (now) – you’re kidding me? Like, get out of here. It should definitely be more.”
Kelly completed a three-city quest in New York, Atlanta, and Los Angeles with friend and veteran choreographer Frank Gatson, who serves as Beyoncé and Rowland’s creative director, and who has also worked with Michael Jackson, Usher, and Jennifer Lopez.
“I don’t care where they are, where they live, where they’re from, their background – I just want to make sure that I have girls in the group who are not afraid to work, who are excited about a great opportunity, who have goals and think, and breathe, and sleep music,” Rowland said in a recent interview.
The series will comprise of 10 one-hour episodes, and Rowland tells Billboard that Chasing Destiny is her brainchild with Frank. She admits that they were going to create a girl group whether or not cameras are following the process, but after BET’s president of programming, Stephen Hill, expressed interest in the show, they sold it to the network with ease.
“I was just happy that he saw how necessary a girl group is just as much as we do. Because there’s only one out there now, Fifth Harmony.”
As Billboard notes, on December 5, Rowland and Gatson put hopeful contestants through a series of competitive casting calls at Henson Studios in Los Angeles, including belting out heart-stopping performances of hits by Aretha Franklin, Anita Baker, Whitney Houston and Alicia Keys.
“We’re seeing rough cuts of diamonds right now. That’s how I like to picture it,” says Rowland during a break between auditions. “You can’t expect somebody to come in polished. And that’s the most exciting part: being able to be part of that molding process.”
Kelly says one of the reasons why girl groups are still necessary is because “it shows camaraderie, friendship and to me that’s missing.”
“This is such a selfie-absorbed society. We need to see more of girls getting along. It’s not just about being an individual. You need friends to depend on,” Rowland added.
In between prepping the series and parenting her son baby Titan, Rowland is also hard at work playing Lucious Lyon’s mother in Empire‘s second season, a role she landed after running into series co-creator Lee Daniels at the gym, as E! Online notes.
“You know what, I literally ran into Lee Daniels at SoulCycle,” she explained. “We were sweating it out and before we started, he’s like, ‘I know who you are. I know who you are!'”
Kelly Rowland will also serve as executive producer on Chasing Destiny, together with Jesse Ignjatovic, Evan Prager, Tim Weatherspoon, Danny Rose, and Jason Sands. The reality series premieres April 5, 2016 at 10 p.m.-11 p.m. ET.
[Images courtesy Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images/Twitter]