Artistically, Kelis was in the best place possible when shebegan recording her new album, Flesh Tone,out July 6 on will.i.am/Interscope Records.
Kelis found herself in a peaceful place, despite the factthat she was going through a divorce from Nas and pregnant with their firstchild.
Yahoo! Music recently sat down with Kelis at the InterscopeRecords office to talk to her about motherhood (Part I), recording the albumwhile pregnant (Part II), and why she feels the public needs to cut Miley Cyrus someslack (Part III).
Check out our three-part video interview below:
Kelis Interview PartI Of III: 'A Song For The Baby' Continues A Tradition
Kelis explains that her rock star ego takes a backseat tothe attention afforded to her son, Knight. She adds that the album track "ASong For The Baby" was inspired by an interpolation of a Sly & The FamilyStone record her father used to sing to her as a child. She describes how herpregnancy enhanced her songwriting experience. "[It was] such a great time towrite and express myself," she said.
Kelis Interview PartII Of III: Will Record For Food
In Part II, Kelis describes how liberating it was to record Flesh Tone without any "politics."Because she was not signed to a label and was working on material to keepherself busy, she took everything easy. When soliciting producers, she offeredto cook them food since she didn't have a record label budget in place to payfor their work. "'I just graduated from culinary school and I'm cooking a lotand I'm pregnant,'" she recalls telling prospective producers. "'You can eat. Ihave a studio at my house.' That's how my album got done."
Kelis adds that the electronic/dance vibe of Flesh Tone wasn't planned, but it wasthe sound she was into at the time of recording. She wanted to capture goodparty energy of songs she grew up listening to. "It goes from Cherto Grace Jones and then great songwriting from Coko of SWV to EnVogue. I feellike I'm a little bit of all of them," she said.
Kelis Interview PartIII Of III: Stop Trying To Tame Miley Cyrus
In Part III, Kelis breaks down the meaning of a few songs on the album,the lead single, "Acapella" and "Emancipate." When asked about the absence ofangst in the vocal delivery, unlike her frustration heard on her songs "CaughtOut There" and "Get Even," she explains that she has matured since she was arebellious teenager.
She added that she can relate to Miley Cyrus and believespeople should cut the 17-year-old entertainer some slack. "People kinda need toget off her back," she said. "If you're an artist and if you're any good,your feelings are on your sleeve." She said people should consider that Mileyhas been in the public eye since she was a child and is just a normal,defiant teen. "Who wasn't like that at 17, 18? People forget that justbecause you are in the public eye they think you're supposed to temperyourself...'I'm living my life out loud.' I remember that. You're finding yourway."
Kelis also elaborates on seeing the Bodies exhibit and howit prompted her to title her album FleshTone.
(Watch Kelis defend Miley Cyrus at the 5:15 mark.)
- Miley Cyrus