Hear Kelis and you hear Harlem – her music exuding the sound of the New York borough where she was raised. With nine top 10 UK singles, her R&B is firmly anchored to the rhythms of radio friendly hip hop. Her masterworks crafted with super producers The Neptunes have defined a new sound – “urban romanticism” reflecting on love, lust and loss in the city. Together they have recorded songs with stars of hip hop like Ol ‘Dirty Bastard of Wu Tang Clan collective New York, P.Diddy and NAS. At the same time she has been rediscovering the African roots of soul through tribal rhythms which come to the ear fresh, as if they have somehow avoided the dulling down of big studio production. Her love of experimentation has led her to collaborate with artists as diverse as Benny Benassi in Busta Rhymes to Bjork and Duran Duran. Join her on Saturday 16 June at the Lovebox Festival.

Pierfrancesco Pacoda

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