KCRW’s Berkeley Street Sessions at Apogee Studios
Santa Monica, California
March 18, 2014
With SXSW all wrapped up and Coachella less than a month away, the couple of weeks bordering March and April are a brief oasis for touring musicians and die-hard fans who need a few minutes to put their feet up, close their eyes and reboot before the summer festival streak begins.
For Kelis Rogers–better known by the masses simply as Kelis–the hectic whirlwind that was SXSW 2014 was only one jam-packed week in the long road to her latest album, FOOD (out April 18th via Ninja Tune), as well as her physical, emotional and sonic transformation from the good ole’ “Milkshake” days.
It was a confident, ’70s channeling, big brass and soul loving Kelis that took to the Apogee stage for KCRW with her 12 person band and a new collection of timeless classics.
In between seamlessly performing her brand new, unheard tracks with delightful culinary names with a few old favorites thrown in for good measure, Kelis spoke with KCRW DJ Garth Trinidad about her parents as creative visionaries–including her father’s influence as a jazz musician–as well as embracing the looming legend of bringing the boys to the yard in 2003.
What’s striking about Kelis’ newest venture as a big band singer and a cooking show host is her ability to find good talent and surround herself with innovators. From working with TV on the Radio’s Dave Sitek on FOOD, to the 12 individuals that give her new jams life every time they step on stage, Kelis is able to try something new because she knows she has the best people backing her up. These fresh and infectious songs about relationships, heartbreak and love underneath delicious sounding track titles have an unstoppable energy which is, in part, due to Kelis and her vision, but the real praise must go to her fantastic band.
The singer herself showed her appreciation to her team countless times within her short set and Q&A, even reminiscing about when she would feed the whole group during recording sessions. This sense of camaraderie was palpable to an intimate audience ready to eat up all of the carefree sounds and playful beats promised within the small studio. Kelis delivered, leaving everyone satisfied, but always hungry for more. F
Kelis Live on KCRW Set List
Friday Fish Fry
Acapella: Feeling Good