Fans who’ve followed the American singer and songwriter Kelis since she first achieved international attention in 1999 for her debut album Kaleidoscope know that the musical artist has a penchant for change and growth. In her almost 20 year career as a celebrity in the spotlight, the singer is best known for her 2003 hit “Milkshake” has expanded her career interests into the culinary arts. After taking a hiatus from music, she trained at Le Cordon Bleu culinary school, wrote a cookbook and this past year, purchased a farm to expand her food brand. She’s always been an artistic chameleon and in her latest interview with Essence magazine for their Global Beauty issue, she explains why.
The singer and chef recently graced the cover of Essence’s latest issue, where she discussed her mercurial career journey and navigation of fame.
Speaking about her career and process of self-growth, the famed “Bossy” singer of Chinese-Puerto Rican descent explains her belief that evolution is pertinent to career success. “The only way you are really ever going to be truly content is if you are constantly evolving,” she explained before underlining that, for her, being famous has never truly been end-goal for her career, like it has for other celebrities. “Anyone who knows me knows I can take fame or leave it…I can walk away from all of this and never look back. Being famous has never validated me—ever. I’ve never cared if people liked me or didn’t like me. Either way, I’m cool.”
It’s a refreshing admission to hear from the singer whose audience largely consists of young Black women and girls who are often told that paragons of Black success are largely for those who’ve made it in the entertainment industry. Kelis’s exploration of her other talents and interests in the culinary world pose a notice to her fans that fame isn’t always personally satisfying, and even more importantly we can find success outside of the superficial spotlight of the entertainment industries.