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Kelis Interview

By

Kelis

Kelis

Arista Records
More than just the Milkshake diva, Kelis is one of the most interesting artists on the music scene. Rather than limiting herself to one genre, she works with all styles of electronic music bringing her unique vision into our lives.

DJ Ron Slomowicz: I've noticed that each of your albums seems to have its own unique feel. Kaleidoscope, Wanderland, and Tasty each have their own distinct vibes, which indicate a lot more care went into them than most albums released today. What determines the vibe for your records?
Kelis: It takes its own life.

RS: On the new CD, the topless tattoo of you, whose tattoo is that?
Kelis: Oh, it's my man's tattoo.

RS: How did you chose the producers your worked with on this new album?
Kelis: Well, some of the people I knew I had wanted to work with, and then a lot of the people that I worked with... it just sort of fell into place. They were all really talented producers and I thought we could do something really great here with them.

RS: You're the executive producer on the album, how did you use your artistic control to shape the vision of the album? How do you choose the direction it went in, because most artists don't have that much control on their albums and I really respect you for maintaining that.
Kelis: With everything else, with the overtone of the music and everything, when it's yours and you have control over what it is you want and what you like. Then from there it's got to be what feels good and it has a taste on its own, it is its own thing.

RS: What was it like to work with Andre 3000 on "Dracula's Wedding" and "Millionaire?"
Kelis: He's incredible. He's really talented and interesting and we had a really good time. We'd been talking a lot about working together, you know.

RS: Awesome. You wrote several songs on the album, how do you approach songwriting, do you get a track and write to it or…?
Kelis: There's no formula.

RS: No formula?
Kelis: No.

RS: Well, how did the Milkshake idea hit you?
Kelis: Actually, my album's called Tasty and after talking to the Neptunes guys, that's kind of what came out.

RS: Did you have any idea it would be so big?
Kelis: I don't know, I mean that's a hard question to answer.

RS: Have you been involved in the remixes of the single?
Kelis: I did my own remix because there was a lot of stuff to work with, there were a lot of remixes that were currently done by the artist, you know.

RS: The a cappella of Milkshake was actually on the 12" vinyl, out of all the various different mixes that have been done, how have you reacted to them?
Kelis: I think there're really cool, when people do remixes of your records.

RS: How has the US response compared to the European response to the music on this album?
Kelis: It's been great, really great. I haven't been out there yet... Well, I went out there before it came out, twice, but I haven't been out there since it's been out.

RS: I just came back from a Caribbean cruise and on the radio there would be a calypso song, a breakbeat song, then Milkshake, usually in that rotation. So they love you in the Caribbean.
Kelis: Oh, great.

RS: Of the song Milkshake, aside from your mix obviously, what's you favorite remix of it?
Kelis: Oh, I don't know, I don't know. I haven't heard all of the mixes so obviously, I don't know.

RS: You've created really wonderful dance music yet you're not perceived nor defined as a dance artist per se, do you find labels limiting to your musical vision?
Kelis: Labels are limited to any vision, honestly. But I just do the music that I like, whether it be dance or hip-hop or whatever, it doesn't matter.

RS: Do you feel that artists limit themselves by targeting one genre per se?
Kelis: I don't know, I mean it's up to, each person is different, you know.

RS: How did you hook up with P Diddy for "Let's Get Ill"?
Kelis: We've been friends and we were working together on some others things. It was kind of he asks me do the record and I was like yes, let's do it.

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