09/08/2012 12:47 pm ET

Meshell Ndegeocello On Nina Simone, 'The Hustle,' And Why She Loves Chicago

Story by Karen Hawkins, courtesy of Rebellious Magazine:

Meshell Ndegeocello won’t say what she’s cooking.

A few minutes into our interview, the unmistakable clanging of pots gets louder in the background, and she asks with an apologetic tone if she can call back in 15 minutes.

Who can say no to that velvet voice?

When we resume, she refuses to say what’s for dinner: “Oh no, I can’t reveal my secrets.”

Fortunately for fans, the acclaimed singer/songwriter is less cagey about her music, penning intensely personal songs that are sometimes spun out of pure heartache and always backed by her insistent bass. For her 10th studio release, “Pour une ame souveraine (For a sovereign soul): A dedication to Nina Simone,” she’s taken on 14 of Simone’s pieces, from the haunting “Either Way I Lose” to the classic “See Line Woman.”

Ndegeocello will be in Chicago twice in the coming months; at the Garden of Eve fundraiser for Howard Brown Health Center on Friday, Sept. 14 and at the Old Town School of Folk Music on Nov. 23.

Though she wouldn’t tell Rebellious what was in the oven, she did answer some questions.

Read the whole story here