Kelis: An American Singer, Songwriter and Chef

 

Kelis Rogers, better known as Kelis, is an American singer, songwriter and chef.

For several years this was her official website.
Content is from the site's 2013 - 2014 archived pages as well as other sources.

The current website for Kelis is found at: www.iamkelis.com/

 



'Jerk Ribs' Video from Kelis' album 'Food' - released 21 April 2014 on Ninja Tune.

 

Food is the sixth studio album by American recording artist Kelis, released on April 18, 2014, becoming her first album released under Ninja Tune Records.
Artist: Kelis
Release date: April 18, 2014
Label: Ninja Tune
Producer: David Sitek
Genre: Contemporary R&B

FROM : Wikipedi

The album's artwork was designed by Leif Podhajsky.
On April 7, 2014, Food (Amazon Artist Lounge EP) was released to download from Amazon for free. It contains live versions of "Rumble", "Biscuits n' Gravy" and "Bless the Telephone" performed and recorded at Metropolis Studios.

On March 4, 2014, Kelis performed the entire album live for music critics at Metropolis Studios in London, UK. The mini-concert received critical acclaim. To further promote the album, Kelis cooked and served free gourmet meals from her food truck to the attendees at the South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas on March 13 and 14, 2014. The menu included jerk ribs with jerk barbecue sauce, duck confit sliders with ginger sesame glaze, shredded beef sliders with cherry barbecue sauce, and coleslaw.

"Jerk Ribs" was released on February 14, 2014 as the first single from the album. The track was made available as a free download from Kelis' official website starting April 2013.

 The music video for the single premiered on TIME.com on February 18, 2014.
 "Rumble" was released as the album's second single on April 11, 2014.
 A few months after the album's release, in early June, it was announced that the 3rd single from the album would be Friday Fish Fry and would be available from July 14.

 



 

REVIEWS

 

Kelis: Food review – 'sizzling sass and sorrow'

Kitty Empire The Observer
Sunday 20 April 2014 

 'Forthright confessions': musician and cordon bleu chef Kelis.

About six years ago, Kelis Rogers – one of the more eccentric and compelling R&B singers out there – retrained as a saucier at the just-so Cordon Bleu academy. Kelis's culinary fetish had been foreshadowed for years. One of her standout albums was called Tasty; one of its biggest hits was Milkshake. At the time, Kelis's motivation in changing career seemed to be a protracted label dispute.

But by 2010 she was singing again, replacing the freaky modernism of her early, Neptunes-produced hits such as Caught out There with a neon-lit club venture, Flesh Tone, produced in part by David Guetta. Then it was back to being a single mum, and more catering. R&B's loss seemed to be soul food's gain. Not only does Kelis now have her own range of specialist sauces, Feast, she has piloted her own TV cookery show, Saucy & Sweet, and served duck confit sliders to punters at SXSW.

Once again, she's bounced from kitchen to studio. On Food she actually sizzles – bitter, saucy and deeply umami by turns, in an unlikely pairing with another New York to LA transplant. David Sitek, erstwhile TV on the Radio technician, broke out as a producer in the mid-00s, working with the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Scarlett Johansson and Foals, among others. He's had a few quiet years but he's on fire here, playing Mark Ronson to Kelis's Amy Winehouse, bringing swinging, vintage music to her forthright confessions.

More of a pop character actor than a leading lady, Kelis still sings huskily, as though she has a frog – a confit leg, perhaps – caught in her throat. Here, it suits her material better than of late, with its mixture of righteousness, sass and sorrow. Gone is the Neptunes-era digital starkness, gone are the Guetta builds. Sitek orchestrates lushly, layering a little cooked-on residue, to temper the shine of the brass and the sweetness of the strings. "I need to be blown uh-waaaaaay," taunt five Kelises on the track Floyd, a layering that finds both singer and listener swooning.

Food's tracklisting – Biscuits n' Gravy, Jerk Ribs, Friday Fish Fry – seems like overkill on the theme, but it's less noisome than you'd fear. Only one Latinate song overdoes the salsa: fittingly, that's Cobbler (in America, that's a pie). Mostly, Food is good-time party fare packed with feeling; many of these songs would blend right in on a Soul Jazz compilation of rhythm and blues rarities. The single, Rumble, is a nagging keys riff, a little muted brass, and Kelis gargling about house keys. Jerk Ribs, which first surfaced last year, sells the album tremendously, with a prowling gait, some fanfaring brass and advice from Kelis's dad, a jazz musician.

Just as often, though, Kelis is in righteous mode. "You can't escape the grips of desire," she seethes on Change, another cut full of dramatic brass, jazzy percussion and alarmist bells. You can draw your own conclusions, but Kelis's acrimonious divorce in 2009 from the rapper's rapper Nas stemmed from an infidelity on his part. He put a bit of her wedding dress on the cover of his last album.

Their four-year-old, Knight, is on the intro to Breakfast, and it's far less nauseating than you might imagine. Breakfast starts this candid, nourishing record with a bit of hard-earned wisdom. There's more where it came from. "So much of who we are," notes Kelis, "is from who first taught us how to love." And then one of her catchiest-ever choruses crashes in.

 

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Kelis, 'FOOD': Track-By-Track Review

4/21/2014 by Andrew Hampp

 

For her latest career reinvention, Kelis is trying on a rock-and-soul hybrid helmed by producer Dave Sitek (TV On The Radio) with an album called "FOOD" (out Tuesday on Ninja Tune), conveniently released at the same time as she's hosting a new show for the Cooking Channel, "Saucy & Sweet" and a line of condiments called Feast. And in that show’s first episode, she prepares a personal recipe for "Jerk Ribs," which happens to be the name of “FOOD”’s first single. But the 34-year-old singer recently insisted to Billboard that her newfound career synergy is all accidental. "If I had planned it this way, it wouldn't have worked out as well," says Kelis, who studied years ago to be a saucier at cooking academy Le Cordon Bleu and is finally putting those skills to use with "Saucy & Sweet."

Kelis: A Day in the Life at SXSW

Luckily, "FOOD" is just as tangy as the concoctions Kelis whips up every week on the Cooking Channel, in spite of the stylistic departure from her R&B albums like "Kaleidoscope" and "Tasty" as well as 2010's dance-focused "Flesh Tone." But even though the genre boundaries are tougher to define this time out, Kelis says the process was quite similar to her best-known work. "Whether it was the Neptunes, who are extremely musical and played everything live, or even working with people like Raphael Saadiq, I've been able to create something that feels like you’re in the room, living the music."

Which tracks on "FOOD" are most fulfilling? Read on for Billboard’s track-by-track review.

1. "Breakfast"
Kelis' four-year-old son Knight Jones introduces this song ("Hey guys! Are you hungry? My mom made food") and seems to be the inspiration of this breezy track. "So much of who we are is from who first taught us how to love," she sings wistfully.

2. "Jerk Ribs"

Kelis teased "Food" a full year ago with this brassy, funk-laced jam, which appears to take its title more from the southern BBQ vibe it creates than any specific lyric. (In fact, Kelis originally called the song "Call On Me" before reverting to the more irreverent title producer Dave Sitek used to describe the song in the studio.) With a live band, full horn section and gritty, soulful vocals from Kelis, the song immediately sets the pace for an album wholly unique from any she's released before.

3. "Let Forever Be"
Perhaps the most straightforward pop song on the album, "Let Forever Be" layers live horns and strings on top of a burbling synth line reminiscent of Stevie Nicks' "Stand Back," but with a triumphant vocal from Kelis that gives the song one of "FOOD"’s sturdiest choruses.

4. "Floyd"
What’s a 34-year-old single mom looking for in a man these days (especially when their ex-husband is Nas)? "I want to be blown away," Kelis sings plaintively on this refreshingly honest, blasé ballad about steering clear of the meat market ("people seem too crazy so I'll read a book.") Just don’t ask her who "Floyd" is in real life – like "Jerk Ribs," this is another song with a random placeholder title.

5. "Runnin'"
Kelis keeps the tempo at a slow jam’s pace for this equally candid lament about turning down the limelight for a simpler life ("I became a runner to escape the fame / I still don’t wanna play / a lion will never change,” she sings.) And with torchy vocals surrounded by a full band and cooing backup singers, this is Kelis embracing her inner Dusty Springfield.

6. "Hooch" The Stax-session soul continues to pour over this swoony midtempo cut, which establishes a comfortable Thursday-night groove even before Kelis hits the mic with some sage life advice ("eat the peach without the pit.")

7. "Cobbler"
Time to get back on the dancefloor for this James Brown-esque funk workout. Again, no lyrical references to a peach or cherry dessert here, but clearly a certain gentleman has left a sweet taste in Kelis' mouth ("ooh baby / you got this feeling like a holiday,” she trills.) Stay tuned for the surprise key change in the finale, which finds the singer trying out her Mariah Carey whistle octave.

8. "Bless The Telephone"
A straightforward acoustic guitar-and-vocals ballad, "Bless The Telephone" is also the album’s sole cover. Originally performed by 70s folk-soul vocalist Labi Siffre, "Telephone" turns even sweeter and more sincere in Kelis' hands by doubling as a duet with Sal Masekela, who sings the melody along with Kelis.

9. "Friday Fish Fry"
If Quentin Tarantino ever tapped Kelis to record an original song, it would probably come out something like this, right down to its sexy, B-movie chorus: "Give me what I want / Give me what I need / I said I’m begging you please / I’m down on my knees."

10. "Change"
Kelis goes from Blaxploitation to a trippy take on James Bond themes, with this cinematic take on what Shirley Bassey might sound like if she tried her hand at modern pop balladry. A stunner.

11. "Rumble"

Perhaps the most obvious musical references to her marriage to Nas, "Rumble" finds Kelis in emotional turmoil with an ex. "No we don't need therapy / what I need is for you to leave" she sings at one point, before pleading just two bars later "baby don’t go." Kelis' vocals on "FOOD" are sometimes too thin to nail all the ambitious melodies and arrangements the singer has composed with Sitek, but here they're put to expert, evocative use.

12. "Biscuits 'N Gravy"
Much like its namesake meal, "Biscuits 'N Gravy" is hearty stuff – full of hopeful, self-affirming lyrics ("been given a morning / by this time tomorrow I'll be brand new") and blaring trumpets.

13. "Dreamer"
Kelis ends "FOOD" on an ethereal note, floating over a futuristic soul arrangement with poetic platitudes ("there are millions just like us / fighting fears and fighting lust") and breathy sighs. "Dreamer" serves as that bonus marshmallow after a really fulfilling five-course meal, the kind whose flavor isn't instantly identifiable but nevertheless quite palatable.

 

BIOGRAPHY

 

In 1999, hip-hop musician Kelis released her debut album Kaleidoscope, featuring militant, feminist-themed lyrics over hip-hop beats.

“You have to work harder and you have to be aware of what you're doing. You can't be blind to what's really going on.”

Kelis was born August 21, 1979 in Harlem, New York. In 1999 she released her debut album Kaleidoscope. Due to controversies with Virgin Records, her second album, Wanderland, was released only in Europe. Kelis then left Virgin for Arista, and in 2003 she finally broke through to mainstream audiences with her third album, Tasty. In 2006 the artist released a fourth album, Kelis Was Here.

Early Life

Singer Kelis Rogers was born on August 21, 1979, in Harlem, New York. Her African-American father was a church minister, professor at Wesleyan University, and jazz musician who directed the nonprofit Jazz education school, Jazzmobile, in Harlem. Her mother was a fashion designer of Chinese and Puerto Rican descent. "I grew up with a lot of information," Kelis says of her parents' diverse ethnic and professional backgrounds. Her parents encouraged her to play music at a very young age, signing her up for the church choir as well as saxophone and violin lessons. "Me and my dad were like a two-person band," Kelis recalls. "We used to play every night. We played a lot of jazz and gospel, and some contemporary stuff."

As a teenager, however, Kelis began to find her tranquil home life "oppressive" and grew restless to explore the wider world beyond her middle-class Harlem home. She applied to Manhattan's prestigious Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts, an elite magnet school within the New York City public school system. After gaining acceptance at the age of 16, she left her previous private school and moved out of the house to begin attending LaGuardia, starting a new phase in her life. Asked in an interview why she was so eager to leave home at such a young age, Kelis responded, "Just time to go."

It was at LaGuardia that Kelis became serious about pursuing a professional music career. "La Guardia was competitive," she says, "but I think it was healthy to some degree. We all kind of strove together." She and several other African-American female students formed a singing group called Black Ladies United and attempted to attract record label attention. However, their name proved a misnomer, and the group split ways due to vicious infighting. "We were anything but united," Kelis admits. "We hated each other! We were a mess."

Big Break
After graduating from LaGuardia, Kelis got her big break in 1999 at the age of 20, when a friend introduced her to Pharrell Williams, one half of the prominent hip-hop producer duo, The Neptunes. Kelis and Williams had a brief romantic fling, and later that year she signed a record contract with Virgin Records and performed the iconic chorus on Ol' Dirty Bastard's hit single "Got Your Money." In December 1999, Kelis released her debut album Kaleidoscope, featuring militant, feminist-themed lyrics over hip-hop beats. In the music video for the album's lead single, "Caught Out There," Kelis sports a multi-colored Afro as she half-sings, half-screams the impassioned chorus, "I hate you so much right now." The album achieved modest sales in both the United States and Europe.

'Milkshake' and Commercial Success
Due to controversies with Virgin Records, Kelis' second album, Wanderland, was released only in Europe, and while it achieved decent sales overseas, the album went almost entirely unnoticed back in the United States. Kelis then left Virgin for Arista, and in 2003 she finally broke through to mainstream audiences with her third album, Tasty. The album's smash-hit lead single, "Milkshake", featured the provocative-seeming and impossibly catchy lyrics, "My milkshake brings all the boys to the yard," which became etched into the American pop culture lexicon.
Finally a household name after the success of "Milkshake", in 2006 the artist released a fourth album, Kelis Was Here, featuring another assertive and popular lead single, "Bossy." Her fifth album, Flesh Tone, was released on Interscope Records in 2010 and features the single "Scream."

Personal Life
After her brief romance with producer Pharrell Williams in 1999, in 2005 Kelis married an even bigger name in the world of hip-hop, New York rap legend Nas (whose real name is Nasir Jones). Kelis gave birth to the couple's son, Knight Jones, in 2009, but the happy day came several months after the pair had separated. Kelis and Nas completed their divorce in 2010 under fairly acrimonious circumstances, with a judge ordering Nas to pay Kelis hundreds of thousands of dollars a year in alimony and child support. The pair began sniping at each other in the press, and Nas ripped his ex-wife in some rhymes on his 2010 release (with Damian Marley), Distant Relatives.

Later Career
Despite this recent turmoil in her personal life, Kelis remains committed to advancing her music career and expanding her talents into new fields. A passionate chef, she is currently writing a cookbook and also plans to debut her own fashion line in the near future. Asked how she managed to attain such success in the famously cutthroat music industry, Kelis credits her work ethic and awareness. "You have to work harder and you have to be aware of what you're doing," she said. "You can't be blind to what's really going on."

 

Kelis-Official.com