Photo: Adrienne Raquel (Essence)

“The only way you are really ever going to be truly content is if you are constantly evolving,” says Kelis in Essence magazine. And she knows a bit about evolution, first hitting our radar in the early aughts as a genre-defying singer-songwriter, and evolving in the years since into a chef, cookbook author and farmer.

Now, the mother of two is covering Essence’s Global Beauty issue, where she discusses her unpredictable path, self-care and fame, which she says has never been a major factor in her identity:

“Anyone who knows me knows I can take fame or leave it,” she tells the magazine. “I can walk away from all of this and never look back. Being famous has never validated me—ever. I’ve never cared if people liked me or didn’t like me. Either way, I’m cool.”

Of course, Kelis’s fame was, at times, closely tied to her former marriage to rapper Nas, which she recently alleged to be abusive (claims Nas has countered with denials). While she’s primarily stayed out of the spotlight since their 2010 divorce and has since remarried, the multi-hyphenate has one bit of advice on how she’s coped with life’s inevitable changes:

“One of the biggest things I reiterate is self-care,” she told Essence.