Pop Quiz: Meshell Ndegeocello

Aidin Vaziri | Despite all the Grammy nods and side gigs playing bass with the Rolling Stones and former label boss Madonna, Meshell Ndegeocello seems fated to be forever underrated. Too bad. Nearly two decades into her career, she has just released one of her best albums yet, “Weather.” It provides the perfect excuse to catch her dynamic live show, in which she skillfully retools her songs alongside those by personal heroes such as Prince and Gil Scott-Heron. She spoke to us from her home in New York.

Meshell Ndegeocello
Q: You once said you don’t want to have a hit because if you had to do the same song every night, the same way, you’d shoot yourself.
A: Right in the head.
Q: I’m a little bit worried because the song “Dirty World” might be a hit.
A: Catch yourself. That’s a bad word.
Q: You’re the one who went out and got 10 Grammy nominations.
A: Look where that’s going. That will soon be in the past. That’s great. I feel really proud of those things. But, like I said, I would shoot myself.
Q: So let me get this straight: Even though you put out albums, you’re not interested in having hits, winning awards or even playing your own songs?
A: I get how it all works, and it would provide more security in my job. But I try to keep that out of my mind so I can think about the thing that makes it fun – and that’s making the music.
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