Lessons learnt from the Hot Girls Podcast
1. Being comfortable in creative environments inspires confidence
Kelis came from an artistically inclined family, her mother being a fashion designer and her father being a Jazz musician. Her heritage and religious upbringing have been crucial to her success. From her parents introducing her to Jazz Clubs, to her singing at Church. Kelis also attended LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts where she studied theatre. This school is highly prolific with previous alumni Nicki Minaj. Jennifer Anniston and Timothée Chalamet. Being comfortable in creative spaces will enable you to have confidence and truly thrive. If you have been invited somewhere whether to a school or a job keep in mind that you are there for a reason, embrace it.
2. Every contract should be signed with caution: Record Deal and The Neptunes
Kelis was signed to Virgin Recording in 1998, aged 18. Her debut album Kaleidoscope was released in 1999 which she created alongside Chad and Pharell. In 2001, the trio also worked on her second album Wanderland. She then parted ways with Virgin Records and signed with Star Trak founded by The Neptunes. Kelis went on to record her third album Tasty, dropping one of her most iconic songs Milkshake as the lead single. However, a collaboration that had once been a dream ended in a dispute over money. Kelis, due to her previously harmonious relationship with The Neptunes, didn’t inspect the contract as she wrongly assumed that the money will be divided 3-ways between her, Chad and Pharell. This lead to them parting ways after the release of the album. When it comes to business it’s an ‘every man for himself’ industry. The music industry is, unfortunately, male-dominated, so females keeping ownership and remaining autonomous is intrinsic to their success. Much of Kelis’s fight for ownership has been against men, specifically, those who do not want to give her what she deserves and for that, she’s pissed off but has refused to accept that belittling.
3. The grass is always greener on the other side of a bad deal: Post Neptunes
In 2006. Kelis released her fourth album ‘Kelis was here’. She worked with a completely new set of producers which resulted in her highest-charting album ever. This album showcased Kelis’s evolved and diverse sound. She was the creative executive of her own music. The success of ‘Kelis was here’ highlights that Kelis was the star and she was finally in control.
4. Your life will always improve when you leave a bad relationship.
Kelis had a very tumultuous relationship with rapper Nas. The pair married after the release of Kelis’s second album Tasty in 2004. Kelis made the brave choice to leave a toxic and abusive relationship when she was 7-months pregnant. During the split, Nas controlled the public perception of what their relationship was like and he cast Kelis as the villain. It was only years down the line that Kelis shared her story. So a lesson from Kelis’s story is you can be a superstar and still be emotionally and physically battered by a relationship. And if you’re in that situation, get out and your life will improve and you might get love again.
5. Always do what you truly love: Kelis Present-day
The final lesson we learnt from the Hot Girls episode on Kelis; is to completely understand your industry but not let it control you. From releasing a cookbook in 2015 to exploring the world of House music. This new era in Kelis’s career is truly defined by her and her passions. Kelis is only involved in the celebrity world when she is promoting a project and doesn’t let her life get defined by it. This enables her to live her best life whilst also maintaining her success but completely on her terms.