With Barack Obama as the fresh face leading the charge in Washington, the same can be said about Keri Hilson and her foray into the R&B world. Currently starring alongside Lil Wayne, T-Pain, and Gym Class Heroes on the “I Am Music” tour, Ms. Hilson sat down with GIANT to discuss the inauguration of our new president.
GIANT: What does Obama’s presidency mean to you?
Keri Hilson: It means a lot, it really does stand for hope. I remember being a kid in elementary school and there was always some black kid who was really studious, made great grades, and would probably be qualified to be the future President of the United States. But the teacher would say, “What do you wanna be when you grow up?” and he would say, “I wanna be the President.” The teacher and the students—the whole class—would be uproariously laughing. I guess I didn’t think much of it then and what was really wrong with that picture. Even the teacher would say, “No, you gotta choose something else, that’s not possible.” And the kid would sit there thinking, “Why?” Now we can really say to kids, “You can be anything.’” Obama was that kid, and he changed it for us all.
How would you describe Obama’s swagger?
(Laughs) I saw some old pictures of him and Michelle, and he was holding a cigarette—I think his critics were trying to say it was a joint or something—but he was holding it with such swagger. It was amazing. He’s so cool. Even when he’s doing his speeches, he has an air of just coolness, of just his own grown-man, mature, metrosexual swag. He gets it in.
You’re a budding style idol yourself. How would you describe your own swagger?
It’s very natural, it’s really not calculated. If they bring a rack, then I pick what I like and that’s it. It’s always a mix of who I am and a more feminine style because I am a tomboy at heart. You know, I don’t love heels—I love the way they look, but I don’t love the way they feel. I do appreciate them for what they do for your whole demeanor, for a certain look. If I had to put it in a nutshell, I’m a great mix between very tomboy and very chic.
Do you have any plans for Inauguration Day?
Actually, I do have the day off and I have a show in D.C. the next day. So I’ll try to make it to the Inauguration. I’ll be one of the 5 million, hopefully, out there.
The “I Am Music” tour makes its next stop in Minneapolis, MN at the Target Center on January 19.