This week’s Crush of the Week is an artist named Kelela.
I first came into contact with Kelela through doing shows with Teengirl Fantasy. We had them play in Austin, TX and Los Angeles, CA. A few of the times they showed up with this quiet girl (at least to me) with dreads who’d kinda hang out in the corner until it was time to sing and then blow the audience away with the power of her vocals and presence. Despite having had a few interactions with her and seeing her around occasionally at shows, I still didn’t really know too much about her, having never had the chance to have a proper conversation… and then came her mixtape.
Released on Fade To Mind a couple months ago, Kelela’s solo mixtape ‘CUT 4 ME‘ is a brilliant collection of tracks that shows off just how much star power this lady possesses. With tracks produced by Kingdom, Bok Bok, Nguzunguzu, Jam City, Morri$, Girl Unit and more and featuring almost all original music, it’s just plain good. Harnessing influences from well across the Soul and Indie spectrum including similarities popping up to Aliyah, Beyonce, Sade, Grimes and MNDR, Kelela still very much establishes her own voice and presence adding an important and much needed new voice to the conversation.
It’s both a record you can sing along to and feel sexy to. It has it’s moments of fun and still has it’s share of mysteries that keep curiosities around it alive. In a sea of new releases there aren’t many that I can listen to and enjoy on repeat and this is one of them. I’m eager to see what comes next and to see her grow as a live performer. That’s always going to be the make it or break it for an artist like her, but I have a feeling she’s going to pull it off just fine if the Boiler Room video below is any indication.
Keep it Kelela, I’ll be rooting for you.
KELELA – ‘CUT 4 ME‘ MIXTAPE
KINGDOM – ‘BANK HEAD feat. KELELA‘ MUSIC VIDEO:
WATCH KELELA & KINGDOM PERFORM ON BOILER ROOM: