Kelly Rowland has been hearing it for three years now.
" 'You guys aren't going to go back in the studio,' " Rowland repeated, imitating a naysayer.
"Well, I just want to say to everybody who comes up to me, OK, now what?" the singer continued. "We're back in the studio, we're putting out a record. Shut up!"
It's official — Destiny's Child's fourth studio album is in the works, and to hear Rowland tell it, the ladies' time apart is having quite an influence on the new material.
"All of us have been in three different places ... so there's a lot to talk about, a lot that's gone on, personally," Rowland said. "I think it's important to talk about that on this new record, to put what we've been going through separately into the new record."
For the recently engaged Rowland, her lyrical input will have a lot to do with relationships.
"Beyoncé will tell you the same thing," Rowland said. "With fame [comes] people trying to split us up, make something out of nothing.
"I know one main ingredient with a Destiny's Child record is to always make it personal," she added. "That's definitely one thing I admire about Usher. He's putting all of his heart and soul in his record. [People] feel like when they're listening to the record, that [Usher's] talking to them. That's important."
So far, Destiny's Child have logged studio time with Rockwilder and are talking with Kanye West and Rich Harrison (Alicia Keys, Mary J. Blige), who produced songs for both Rowland and Beyoncé's solo albums, including the latter's "Crazy in Love." The group is also excited to discover and expose some lesser-known producers. "I remember when we worked with She'kspere and he didn't really work with anybody [before] and we came out with 'Bills, Bills, Bills' and people were excited about that," Rowland said. " 'Survivor' [produced by Anthony Dent] was the same thing. We want to deliver the same kind of ingredients, but just a little bit more mature."
Although Michelle Williams released two solo albums since Destiny's Child went on hiatus in 2001, and there was talk late last year of Beyoncé releasing a second LP, the group never thought about disbanding.
"It was a no-brainer that all of us wanted to do another DC record," Rowland said. "That's where we started. That's the mold everything grew from and you can't just stray away from that. I know all of us are so excited about this next record and we wouldn't have done the solo records if it wasn't for Destiny's Child records."
Rowland is so amped up to regroup that she's literally already dreaming about going back on the road with DC.
"We all have on white suits, and everything is just so crisp," she recalled. "I just see it in my head, I'm so excited. You can see this glow on my face. I cannot wait until this record is done and we can go out and we can tour, and it's gonna feel so good again. I can't even describe to you what it is. It's love, it's hard work, it's hunger."
Destiny's Child's sessions will be a little bit spotty throughout the summer, as Beyoncé is also shooting "The Pink Panther" with Steve Martin (see "Beyonce Wants To Follow 'Pink Panther' With A Movie A Year" ).
Rowland, who had a role in "Freddy Vs. Jason," recently finished a comedy of her own, "Seat Filler" (see "Kelly Rowland In Talks To Play Megastar In Romantic Comedy" ).
"I actually play a pop star and I fall in love with a seat filler," Rowland said. "It's really a very, very cute story. This was my first lead role. I star in it with Duane Martin and we had a great time. It was definitely a learning process for me as well"