Kehlani (Digital Cover Story)

Photography by David Camarena.

How do you feel about showing love on social media or publicizing your relationship on social media?
[Laughs] I feel like if you two are comfortable with it, if the two people that are involved in the relationship are comfortable with it, then nobody else matters. I think it’s hard, because you have to balance dealing with feedback and people trying to interfere and people knowing your business. Everyone wants to enjoy and be cute with who they’re with.

So … the photos of you and Kyrie … Are you in love?
Am I in love? No, no, no, no, no. [Laughs] It’s very early. He definitely makes me very happy.

I’ve taken it day by day, and enjoying every little bit. I think I’m trying not to get too excited or get too crazy about the hype of everything.

How do you not get excited?
I’m just trying to be regular and grow with him as a human. Very regular and very human.

I find it hard to stop yourself from getting too excited …
It is hard, but I think being in my situation … When in the limelight, and especially when it’s another person that’s in the limelight, it can get complicated real fast because not every relationship has millions of people tuning in or commenting every day. You have to make sure everything is communicated and solid, and that you’re happy, most of all.

How has your definition of love changed?
It’s changed a lot actually. I used to think that love was giving up everything of yourself and giving it to the other person. Now, I’ve realized that love is when you have somebody that doesn’t make you give up half of yourself.

They want you to be as much for you as you are for them. It’s not a selfish thing, where they want you to be all for them. I think the the most important thing that I’ve learned recently is that love involves you too, not just the other person.

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On You Should Be Here, you touched on your relationship with your mom. How was it putting that out there?
I feel like it was a big step, but it was necessary. There are young girls out here right now dealing with things like that. It’s not something that I feel I can blow off, and it’s not something that I feel I can hide. Of course, there’s details that people don’t know and stories people will never know. But, if I had waited until I came out with a documentary in the future, as a way to tell that story, people wouldn’t be able to connect to me as they do now.

How’s your relationship with your mom now?
The love I have for her, and everyone related to me, is completely unconditional no matter what they go through. I understand [that] everything involving drugs and alcohol is technically an illness. It’s not like someone woke up and was like, “I don’t want to take care of my kids. I don’t want do this.” Sometimes things work out in a crazy way.

I definitely have unconditional love for her, because she birthed me and she is my mother. I think we’re just working on building everything back up, you know, being that I have little siblings and things like that. I like to just keep everything as positive as possible. If I can love someone while they’re on this earth, why not?

Are you as open about your feelings in real life as you are in your music?
Yeah, I’m very open all the time. I’m naturally a very loving person, very affectionate.

Are you open in your relationship, as far as communication goes?
Yeah. This is a fun fact actually: We’ve been FaceTiming [throughout] this whole interview.

Really?
[Laughs]

KYRIE IRVING: Hey everybody!

What has this relationship you’re in now taught you about love?
PARRISH: It’s very early. I think this is the first time that I’ve ever been able to really be myself at all times. In the sense of being incredibly goofy with someone and being based on a best friendship. It was a friendship before anything, and it gradually became something. I’m definitely learning how to be super goofy and just enjoy it.

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What experiences about love are you trying to explore with your new music?
Being in a situation that finally feels right will be shown in my music. It’s funny, every time at the start of a relationship, I’ve always been able to find problems, but I haven’t found any problems over here. It’s off to a very awesome start. You can tell how happy I am in my new stuff. I’m happy, and he’s blushing on FaceTime. [Laughs]

The blushing says it all. When’s the last time love’s made you feel young and restless?
Honestly, my song “The Way” is the funniest, most perfect example. I literally say, “All I do is stay up all night, losing sleep over you.” I think the time I felt really restless and young is when being in a relationship where I was unsure. It was more of a negative restlessness. I can’t sleep because I’m really tripping thinking about all these things that I’m not sure of, versus now, I’m going to sleep, just with smiles and confident that everything’s fine. I’m not restless anymore. I have no worries. I’ll wake up and you’ll be there when I wake up.

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Wait, does Kyrie want to say anything?
IRVING to KEHLANI: No, no. It’s your interview, babe … Did you tell her about the time …
KEHLANI to IRVING: Shhh …[Laughs]

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