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Interview: Kelis

6th July 2010

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The birth of her son turned her life from 'acapella' to a rainbow coloured, firework eroding, musical fantasy. Her 'milkshake' brings all the boys to the yard, and she's not the type of girl to be tricked twice.


After nearly four years away from music making Kelis is back with a new album. Arriving in Malta for MTV's music week straight from Glastonbury, the Harlem-born artist looked stunning in a multicoloured maxi dress, its beautiful long trail leading the way to a posse of fans following her every step.

The new album entitled Fleshtone was released on May 17 lead by chart-storming singles '4th of July' and 'Acapella' (produced by co-MTV music week performer David Guetta). After a vacation long enough to add her name to the list of pop celebrity burn outs; Kelis proved the critics wrong by hitting back with a fantastic new album and a great new look to go with it. Sporting a short and orange summery hair-do her gold chains and outrageously large hooped earrings were enough to tell anyone she's back and means musical business.

Kelis took time out to find new inspiration and plans to try things a little differently this time around: "I travel with a couple of djs now instead of a band, and I figured I want to do something different. Sort of a dj symphony so they kind of play periodically. It's great, it's a lot of fun."

"I just get out there and have fun, work off the crowd and hopefully create a connection and you know take it from there."

"(Flesh Tone) It was really just a few visual things in the beginning really thinking; when you think of life it's fresh and like an animalistic imagery. I think it really has to do with flesh and bones and what really makes us all up"

The album has transformed Kelis from an R 'n' B diva to a heavier dance artist; focussing more on the beats and electro sound than the cheesy lyrics and pop star gimmicks. She explained to us that the transition was natural and shows where she is planning on going: "It wasn't really a thought at all; it wasn't a huge departure to me. I've always loved just being out here and performing. I've done a lot of stuff that's considered dance music in my career. So it really wasn't a thought out master plan it just kind of all fell in."

Not only has she worked with popular French producer and DJ David Guetta, she has also mixed tunes with Benny Benassi, Will I am, Enrique Iglesias; and who could forget the duet with Andre 3000?

"With all the people I've worked with a lot of them weren't really people I would have thought of myself. You know you meet someone you realise you have a connection; it all just works out and happens. I can't say I have anything in mind now but I'm open to new collaborations."

Kelis shared her thoughts on the massive names she was sharing the bill with, including Kid Rock and Scissor Sisters, for the show that was the 2010 Maltese festival highlight: "I love the Scissor Sisters, I'm constantly talking about doing something together and trying to get something done so maybe we'll actually get some work done, but I look forward to seeing them perform."

The video for 'Acapella' stars her son Knight and the lyrics 'before you- my whole life was acapella,' were clearly inspired
by him. Kelis has said in the past inspiration was drawn from her family and lifestyles growing up as a child in a hip hop fuelled area of New York City.

"I think every day the people you meet and come in contact with, whether its art, fashion or a lot of different things kind of absorb in the memory, the thought process really plays a part in all that.

"(Malta) inspires me to take this dress off and put a bathing suit on"

"It's great; it's rare that after 10 years of doing this I get to go someplace new. I've never been here I look forward to soaking up as much of this place as I can. I'll be back in the UK this week doing some more stuff for the record. A few TV shows and stuff like that. I'm doing the breakfast show, Alan Carr and T4".

Kelis will return to the US after a few press appearances and hits the UK again in October for more performances rounding up her American 'All Hearts' tour.

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