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I want it to represent Kelis world. When you put on my record, I want you to feel that you've entered into a new dimension, some place where you haven't been before. You know when you go to a carnival and there's a funhouse where the colours are different and the music is distorted? It's reality but it's not really reality, you know what I mean? I kind of want it to feel like that

- Kelis, on her dazzling new album, Wanderland

It's just under two years since we first got a chance to step into Kelis' world. Her debut album, Kaleidoscope, was a landmark record of psychedelic sci-fi soul that moved in an orbit all its own. When you take the generosity of spirit and higher love of vintage Stevie Wonder, give it the space age treatment of production superheroes The Neptunes, and add a born superstar barely out of her teens, you've got something very special indeed.

Last year, this something very special secured three Top 40 hits (Caught Out There, Good Stuff and Get Along With You), and cleaned up on the awards circuit, scooping the Brit for Best International Newcomer, the Q award for Best video (Caught Out There) and the NME gong for best R&B Singer. Kelis remembers: "As an artist you learn how to make the business, but all you really want is respect for your work. The fact that it happened at the first go around is kind of amazing. It was a surprise that anyone listened at all!"

They'll be listening again to Wanderland. Even more fearless than Kaleidoscope, it again rewrites the script, flinging the purest soul to the furthest sonic reaches. Pharrell Williams describes it as "Retro-pop. Year 3000. But retro. That doesn't make sense, but that's how we are." Complimenting Pharrells portrayal of their sound and style, Kelis herself sheds light on the titles significance: "We're all wandering in this world searching for something, and this is my search."

Kelis' search began in Harlem, New York in 1980. The daughter of Pentecostal Minister Kenneth, and children's clothes designer Iveliss (hence Ke-lis), Kelis Rogers was always as individual as her name. The youngest of three daughters, she began travelling across America with her father (also a jazz saxophonist) to sing at his sermons, while soaking up the classic soul her mother played.

With a defiantly independent streak, it is no surprise Kelis didn't fit in at her predominately white Upper East Side private school. At 13, she was already looking elsewhere, becoming a model on the covers of fashion and teen magazines. A year later she enrolled in LaGuardia, the performing arts school immortalised in the movie, Fame.

Her first proper venture into music was a girl group called BLU (Black Ladies United), which didn't last long, but procured the ears of hip-hop producer Goldfinghaz, who gave her a spot on the second album by RZA side project, Gravediggaz. Leaving home at 16, she struck out on her own. It wasn't easy at first, but two years later she met Virginia Beach production duo Pharrell Williams and Chad Hugo, aka the Neptunes, and subsequently landed a deal with Virgin Records. Her first foray into the music worlds center stage on Ol' Dirty Bastard's delirious hit Got Your Money, a single which turned out to be the anthem of its time, set the stage for her first full length album, Kaleidoscope.

Even in the context of a golden age for cutting edge R&B, Kelis stood out from the crowd thanks to her sheer originality. A modern soul singer who attracts the attention of U2 and Moby, sings the praises of Basement Jaxx and Muse, defines her own image without using stylists, and has fresh and witty opinions to spare, all without throwing tantrums in hotel rooms, is not your usual off-the-peg vixen.

In the many months since Kelis distinct image made the world do a double take, this multi-talented phenom has certainly remained busy. "There are a lot of things that have happened, but I don't even know where to start," she laughs. It's all one big blur. But this year things have finally settled down. Now it's more about dealing with situations rather than being surprised by them."

Dealing with these situations has allowed her to leave her mark in all circles of the world. She spent last summer taking her live show around European festivals, and subverting expectations yet again by covering Nirvana's Smells Like Teen Spirit. Bono was so impressed by the shows bravado that he gave her a high profile support slot on U2's recent European tour.

Kelis has also been collaborating far and wide. In the past year, she's sung on Busta Rhymes What It Is, Mobys Honey remix, Foxy Browns Candy, LFOs Dandelion, and N*E*R*Ds Truth Or Dare. With further appearances on Gurus Jazzmatazz: Streetsoul album and the hip-hop stars Phil Collins Tribute album, partnerships with rappers Outsidaz and German trance innovator Timo Maas are on their way.

And of course, theres Wanderland. The album was recorded at her house in Virginia Beach with The Neptunes. And while the duo was credited with writing most of Kaleidoscope, this time Kelis took the song writing reins. "It was inevitable," she explains. "It's like you start off at a job, and the next year you get a promotion, you know what I mean? I wasn't ready last time, but (now) I had a much clearer idea of what I wanted to do."

This makes Wanderland a much more autobiographical record than its predecessor. Easy Come Easy Go, which features Korn's Fieldy on bass, tackles mens responses to Kelis since she became famous. Digital World deals with the toll that last years touring schedule took on her love life. Star Wars, meanwhile, is a comic book-inspired anthem for the Star Trak clique, the collective of rappers and singers that she and The Neptunes have assembled. Apart from Fieldy and No Doubt (who play on Perfect Day), they're the only guest musicians on the album -- a refreshing change from the usual big name bombardment. "They're big names, Kelis states as a matter of fact. The people that I know are incredibly talented, so why go outside when you've got it at home?"

As for striking first single, Young, Fresh & New, Kelis retorts: "First of all, people that are older than me and have lived their lives differently are always questioning how it is I run my life. So (this single) is sort of like, Nah-nah-nah-nah-nah. Im 21, Im happy, Im doing exactly what I want, and who the fuck are you to tell me that I cant? And also, I think its a reminder for those that maybe arent doing the things they want to do that we have the right to. Its about taking a step and asking questions and recognizing that (we all) deserve more from life."

Kelis isn't sure what the future may bring. She plans to start a range of accessories called Mizrebelle this autumn and perhaps a clothing line with Pharrell, in addition to waiting for the right movie script to pop through her door. Beyond that the possibilities are wide open, and that's just the way she likes it.

In Kelis' world, there's still plenty of wandering to be done.

Kelis Lyrics - Attention Lyrics
Kelis Lyrics - Bossy Lyrics
Kelis Lyrics - Candy Lyrics
Kelis Lyrics - Caught Out There Lyrics
Kelis Lyrics - Cocaine Business (Hysteria) Lyrics
Kelis Lyrics - Cross The Border Remix Lyrics
Kelis Lyrics - Daddy Lyrics
Kelis Lyrics - Daddy (ft. Malice of Clipse) Lyrics
Kelis Lyrics - Dandelion Lyrics
Kelis Lyrics - Digital World Lyrics
Kelis Lyrics - Digital World (ft. Roscoe) Lyrics
Kelis Lyrics - Easy Come Easy Go Lyrics
Kelis Lyrics - Finest Dreams (ft Richard X) Lyrics
Kelis Lyrics - Flash Back Lyrics
Kelis Lyrics - Flashback Lyrics
Kelis Lyrics - Freak Me Slow Lyrics
Kelis Lyrics - Game Show Lyrics
Kelis Lyrics - Get Along With You Lyrics
Kelis Lyrics - Get Even Lyrics
Kelis Lyrics - Ghetto Children Lyrics
Kelis Lyrics - Glow Lyrics
Kelis Lyrics - Good Stuff Lyrics
Kelis Lyrics - Got Your Money Lyrics
Kelis Lyrics - Help Me Lyrics
Kelis Lyrics - How Many Licks? Lyrics
Kelis Lyrics - I'm Not in Love! Lyrics
Kelis Lyrics - I Don't Care Anymore Lyrics
Kelis Lyrics - I Don't Know What Lyrics
Kelis Lyrics - I Want Your Love Lyrics
Kelis Lyrics - In Public Lyrics
Kelis Lyrics - In The Morning Lyrics
Kelis Lyrics - Intro Lyrics
Kelis Lyrics - Intro (Tasty) Lyrics
Kelis Lyrics - Junkie Lyrics
Kelis Lyrics - Keep It Down Lyrics
Kelis Lyrics - Ladies Choice Philly's Most Wanted f/ Kelis & Pharrell Williams Lyrics
Kelis Lyrics - Lil Suzy (with Outro) Lyrics
Kelis Lyrics - Mafia Lyrics
Kelis Lyrics - Marathon Lyrics
Kelis Lyrics - Mars Lyrics
Kelis Lyrics - Milk Shake Lyrics
Kelis Lyrics - Milkshake Lyrics
Kelis Lyrics - Milkshake (Remix) Lyrics
Kelis Lyrics - Millionaire Lyrics
Kelis Lyrics - Mr UFO Man Lyrics
Kelis Lyrics - My Life Lyrics
Kelis Lyrics - No Turning Back Lyrics
Kelis Lyrics - Oasis Lyrics
Kelis Lyrics - Perfect Day Lyrics
Kelis Lyrics - Perfect Day (ft. No Doubt) Lyrics
Kelis Lyrics - Popular Thug Lyrics
Kelis Lyrics - Popular Thug (ft. Pusha T of Clipse) Lyrics
Kelis Lyrics - Protect My Heart Lyrics
Kelis Lyrics - Radikal Lyrics
Kelis Lyrics - Roller Rink Lyrics
Kelis Lyrics - Rolling Through the Hood Lyrics
Kelis Lyrics - Running Mate Lyrics
Kelis Lyrics - Scared Money Lyrics
Kelis Lyrics - Shooting Stars Lyrics
Kelis Lyrics - Stick Up Lyrics
Kelis Lyrics - Sugar Honey Iced Tea Lyrics
Kelis Lyrics - Supa Love Lyrics
Kelis Lyrics - Suspended Lyrics
Kelis Lyrics - The Spot Lyrics
Kelis Lyrics - This Must Be Love Lyrics
Kelis Lyrics - Trick Me Lyrics
Kelis Lyrics - Truth Or Dare Lyrics
Kelis Lyrics - What It Is Lyrics
Kelis Lyrics - What It Is Part 2 Lyrics
Kelis Lyrics - Wouldn't You Agree Lyrics
Kelis Lyrics - Young Fresh n' New Lyrics
Kelis Lyrics - Young, Fresh And New Lyrics

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