Hi Wildflower's Tanwi Nandini interviewed Kelis for Elle.com
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Food sounds vintage but very aligned with today’s music. Is that what you and Dave were going for? How’s the scene changed since your last record?Dave and I talked about stuff, but it naturally evolved into what it is right now. It’s just where both of our hearts were. We were excited to let it breath in that moment. We talked less, and wrote more. It ended up being this thing. We didn’t want to tinker with it too much. The concept evolved naturally. Music and food a huge part of our everyday, and this is just another chapter. I grew up in this. I started this when I was 17 and it’s been over 15 years. This was part of the story. It’s another chapter. A lot of people who’ve listened to me have grown up with me over the years. There’s ease in it, a sense of comfort and growth.
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How did your food truck go at SXSW?It was great—I’ve always wanted to do a food truck, I’ve always loved finding food at the side of the road. I’ve been doing a lot of food and wine festivals so I’ve got my chops up. Got a good hand on really wonderful food you can walk away with, plated beautifully and all that. It’s just another great part of this whole project that I’m able to bring to people. (The menu: Jerk ribs, duck confit platter with ginger sesame grate, shredded steak with wild cherry barbecue sauce). I’d love to do a full on cookbook soon. But I’m sort of just taking it as it comes. Everything I’m doing, it’s all about lifestyle.
The music video for Jerk Ribs feels like we’re on the road with you. What was the vibe you were going for?I wanted you to feel like something that was behind-the-scenes: this is real. [These days] everyone’s into reality, but none of it’s really reality. Everything is so overproduced these days. It’s exactly like the lyrics say: This is what it looks like. This is what it feels like. I’ve been doing this for a long time. Yeah, there’re a lot of new kids today and they’re great, but there’s something to be said about being a veteran and having albums, music and catalogues under your belt. There’s an ease that comes with it. Because you fall right back into place.
What’s your idea of a perfect meal?I love to eat everything, obviously. I will say though, I love a good sandwich.
You recently let us into your closet with the kids over at the Coveteur. What are your on-the-road style staples? Any designers you’re really into right now?I left my favorite boots, which was a big mistake. I was thinking, “I don’t need these.” I was trying to be too fashionable for myself. They’ve literally been everywhere. Spilled on, stepped on—and they’re perfect that way. I don’t know what I was thinking. They’re my all-terrain—they work with everything dress, jeans, shorts—doesn’t matter. They’re molded to my feet at this point. All Birkenstock on the inside—they don’t look like Birkenstocks, but that’s what they feel like. When I look at my closet, certain things pop up. Like I love Miu Miu, I have SO many pairs of Miu Miu shoes. A lot of Chanel, Pucci, and Ungaro. It varies. Sometimes, I’m in a Margiela mood, sometimes I’m not. Lately I’ve been doing a lot more ladylike looks.
How would you describe your evolution from Kaleidoscope to Food in three words?I grew up.
Photo: Laurent Levy