Kelis doesn’t “look back” at her marriage to Nas when writing songs.

The 34-year-old singer split from the rapper in 2009 after a four-year union and when she was pregnant with their son Knight. It was an acrimonious break-up, but wasn’t something she drew on for her new record Food.

“They all are written about one person and they all aren’t. I try to stick to what I know,” she told British newspaper The Sun.

“But I don’t really look back to that relationship because it was five years ago. It’s a long time ago.”

Kelis’ 1999 debut Kaleidoscope was created with the help of Pharrell Williams. Asked about the phenomenal success he’s been enjoying recently, Kelis appeared nonplussed.

“It’s a long time ago but I’m living my life, so seeing his records doesn’t really take me back to those days,” she said. “I wouldn’t not want to work with him.”

The star is fiercely proud of her new album, which she hopes will show a new side to her. She calls herself a “multi-faceted” women with a “lot of corners and angles” which she was hoping to display on the record.

Kelis worked with Dave Sitek on it, who has teamed up with the likes of Yeah Yeah Yeahs in the past. She is adamant she didn’t have a game plan when it came to working with him, which is what makes the result more special.

“It wasn’t any big plan. I was just like, ‘I’d love to meet him.’ I was familiar with a lot of his stuff... When we met, we just got along and had a great preliminary conversation about music,” she said.

“We talked more about food and about life in general and it was very natural and easy. We never had to master plan the album or anything.”