After a four-year break between albums, her first introduction to motherhood and a public divorce with Nas, vocalist Kelis introduced the latest evolution of her music career earlier this year with her new album, Food.
Where 2010’s EDM-flavored Flesh Tone brought an electronic sheen to her music with David Guetta, Food is a return home, inspired by the music of her formative years. Produced by David Sitek of TV on the Radio, it features organic instrumentation and a healthy serving of horns on almost every track.
We spoke with Kelis about her album and eating out during a phone interview from the UK. She performs with her band June 2 at the Fillmore.
Do you make it a point to go out and eat good food while you are on tour?
Absolutely. I do most of my bookings around where I want to go.
Where have you gone lately?
I’ve been in Europe the last couple of weeks. I was in Paris the other day, and there are some great spots out there. I’m in the UK now.
Does anything standout from previous trips to San Francisco?
There are a few places, actually. I dropped my phone in water the other day, but I usually have a great list of places I go to or where I want to go. I had a great San Francisco list.
There was a Mexican place that I went to that was awesome and there is a place that plays old movies in the back. It was really good.
That must be Foreign Cinema in the Mission.
Yeah, something like that. San Francisco has great food. I’m excited about that.
You mentioned you have five businesses in a recent interview. What are they?
Right now, on the forefront is obviously this record. I have a clothing line I’m starting and the cooking show. I’m working on some other things that are kind of in the pipeline that I’m not really ready to start talking about but there’s stuff that I’m working on.
You went to culinary school about four years ago. What was the most important lesson that you learned?
I don’t know if there are any lessons that I learned. It just kind of refined me and gave me a real confidence. It was great being back in school, too. I was really able to appreciate learning, so that was great. I found myself as a chef while at school, more than anything.
Was there a point where you thought you might shelf your music career entirely and go headfirst into the culinary world?
There was a moment for me, I think, where I was just sort of tired and I had been doing this for so long. I hadn’t done anything for myself for a long time, so when I went to school that was sort of that moment for me. But it was short-lived, the idea of me not doing music anymore.
When did the food concept for the album come together?
There wasn’t a concept until the end. It was really just me writing a record. I’m always around food, I’m always talking about food and I’m always cooking. When I was recording this record, we had the band and everybody would get hungry. I would start cooking and someone else would come in and add stuff. It was never a concept, it just sort of ended up being this way.
Kelis is looking for dining recommendations during her stop in San Francisco. Where should she eat? Share your thoughts in our comments section.