Page last updated at 08:14 GMT, Monday, 17 May 2010 09:14 UK

Kelis: 'I used to be a Trekkie'

By Tim Masters
Entertainment correspondent, BBC News

Kelis
Kelis: likes cooking... and possibly Klingons

In the four years since her last album, singer Kelis has been divorced, had a baby - and qualified as a chef.

Flesh Tone is the Harlem-born star's fifth studio album, and her first for Interscope Records. Her David Guetta-produced dancefloor anthem Acapella went into the UK top five last month.

Kelis wrote much of Flesh Tone while pregnant with son Knight, who was born in July 2009. A few months earlier she had filed for divorce from US rapper Nas. They had married in 2003.

Kelis debuted in 1999 with Kaleidoscope, and went onto win a Brit award for best international breakthrough act.

Over the past 10 years, she has worked with a wide variety of artists and producers, including The Neptunes, Andre 3000, Bjork and Enrique Iglesias.

Kelis will be performing at the Glastonbury Festival on 26 June.

Here, the Milkshake star talks about the new album, her cookery qualification and her love of Captain Kirk.


Kelis
Kelis single Acapella was a top 5 hit in April

Why the four-year wait for Flesh Tone?

Why not? I don't feel the need to rush out each record, I'm not one of those artists who put them out every six months. I feel the need to live a bit in the interim and in order to write anything viable you have to give yourself some time and some space.

How does it feel to be back?

It's like riding a bike - I definitely feel like I'm right where I'm supposed to be.

On one track you repeat the line "We control the dance floor…" Is that the album's mission statement?

Yeah, I guess so. I want people to dance and have a great time and sweat it out again.

You wrote a lot of the album when you were pregnant. Does pregnancy make you more creative?

Artists work off extremes. Some of the greatest art comes from repression, turbulence in someone's life or extreme glee and happiness.

Pregnancy is as extreme as you can get. Your body is physically and emotionally stretched to such great lengths that I think it's inevitable.

So has motherhood changed your priorities?

There's nothing more important than my kid. As an artist I have more to write about, I have more to think about. But I wouldn't say that it's changed my art.

The Acapella video is like a sci-fi film trailer. What's the concept behind it?

I really just wanted it to be as visually strong as the record. It's a story - imagine some sort of world's end... sparse and savage and unreal.

On the song 22nd Century you sing "Religion, science fiction, technology". Do you like sci-fi?

I'm a science fiction fan in every possible way.

I used to be a huge Trekkie. I would torture my little sister. They would do Star Trek marathons and she literally would cry: "Not another episode of Star Trek, please!"

I loved Dictrict 9, I loved Avatar - anything from The Matrix to Terminator.

Do you fancy acting in a sci-fi film?

That's a future I cannot foretell.

You're a qualified chef. What was it like going back to school?

It was full-on Le Cordon Bleu - almost a year, five days a week, seven hours a day.

I think every adult should go back to school for some time and for something that they love. I think school puts things in perspective, to be avidly learning something every day is important - exciting.

Was there a point where you thought I prefer cooking to music?

Yes, I think that all the time. Not to the music itself but to the business of music.

Do you have a signature dish?

I'm good, I can pretty much do anything.

Flesh Tone is released on 17 May on Interscope Records.



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SEE ALSO
Kelis says music is too sanitised
14 May 10 |  Music
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10 Dec 09 |  Entertainment
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