Already a favourite in the Fade To Mind scene thanks to her future-R&B mixtape Cut 4 Me (2013), Kelela occupies a unique musical space somewhere between Queen Bey and FKA twigs. Her highly anticipated debut album is finally out next summer. “I make frozen tears in sound form,” the DC-born singer says of her craft, which has already melted the heart of Calvin Klein – she was cast in the CK One relaunch campaign last summer. Now Kelela is poised to make her mark in a big way – just don’t go expecting the obvious: “I’m excited about the way the lines between art forms are getting fuzzier,” she says. Here, she exclusively shares a low-key new version of old favourite “Enemy”, a collaboration with guitarist Tosin Abasi.
What was your defining pop culture moment of 2014?
Kelela: The rubble and dust from the Beyoncé album didn't settle for my friends and I for about a month. It was cool, because no matter where you went, someone would be listening to the songs or watching the videos: at a party, at a meeting, it didn’t matter.
What’s your favourite song and movie of 2014?
In 15 words, sum up what we can expect from you in 2015.
Kelela: My idea of a good song x my idea of cool production x my vocals = KELELA ALBUM.
What’s the most exciting thing about the music/film/fashion industry today?
Kelela: The way the lines between each art form get fuzzier and fuzzier (in terms of) how relevant each is to the next. It makes what I do the opposite of boring.
What new skill did you learn this year?
Kelela: How to be in love and care for myself at the same time.
Who’s an unsung cultural hero that you discovered this year?
Kelela: Nikki Davis, Vine/Instagram singer extraordinaire.
What’s the most surprising thing we’d find out if we looked at your phone?
Kelela: I feel like nakey pics are more common than we think they are, so I don’t know how surprising that would be. More surprising to people have been the long periods of time this year where I have been completely phoneless (three months was the longest).
Who should have been at number one on the Dazed 100?
Kelela: Tink! Praising hands emoji x 10,000.
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