The last couple of years have been a whirlwind for Kelis. She dealt with the demise of her marriage to Nas, celebrated the subsequent birth of her son, Knight, with the rapper and on Tuesday (July 6), the release of Flesh Tone, her first studio album in four years.
We recently caught up with the singer, who said making the electro-infused album was liberating, noting that she hadn't been hampered by the demands of her record label or any other outside influence.
"Recording this album was a really freeing experience for me," Kelis told MTV News. "There was no, like, label or opinion — there was no business involved. It's great to be able to make music and to do this for a living. But the reality is when you can take [the] business out of the creation of music, is when it's at its best," Kelis said, adding, "It was just me."
The eclectic singer also divulged that the studio process was not only cathartic but cozy. "I recorded it at home and I recorded it, like, literally laying on my couch. It's just the most comfortable way to possibly record an album with, like, snacks next to me," Kelis laughed. "It was awesome."
According to Kelis, Flesh Tone, which includes the thumping electro-house track "4th of July (Fireworks)" and the chart-topping dance hit "Acapella," touches on a few themes, from getting in tune with one's spirituality to appreciating the little things in life.
"The first thing is, just, like, God, and really being really blessed," Kelis said. "I was pregnant, so I was made aware of a lot of things that I think we take for granted." She revealed that even though it had been years since her last album, she hadn't expected to be back on the scene for a while. "I didn't plan on doing another record this soon. I know it's been four years but for me it's been really soon."
Feeling free is another topic that runs through Flesh Tone, and she addresses it most specifically on songs like "4th of July (Fireworks)."
"That record, like most of the records on the album, is about, there's a freedom in surrender and just ... love, and life and baby," said Kelis, whose son was born in July 2009. "Fireworks is ... to me a great way to explain something, like, magnificent."
What do you think of Kelis' new album? Tell us your thoughts in the comments!