Born and raised in Harlem, Kelis sang in church choirs and played multiple instruments as a child. She attended LaGuardia High School in Manhattan (the “Fame” school for the performing arts), where she started her first vocal group. After connecting with the Neptunes production team, she released Kaleidoscope in 1999, which went on to win a Brit award, an NME award, and a Q award.
Collaboration has always been crucial to Kelis. Since her debut, she has worked with an astonishing array of other artists, including Bjork, Andre 3000, Enrique Iglesias, and Raphael Saadiq. As her network of friends started getting word that she was making new music, they began sending her tracks, sketches, and ideas. “The music kind of took its own course,” she says. “Every day, I was just writing, recording, listening—‘give me more of that, try this’—adding layers upon layers.”