Kelela’s feature length interview in the 2016 Spring issue of Dazed, takes a step towards her new territory with a taste of all the things we’re all thinking about but we don’t say in her short film ‘Interlude’ by Cieron Magat.
Gracefully shot as an LA night in the life of Kelela, the film takes us through the heart of L.A’s clubbing scene, riding with her through the city as she sings sweet nothings into her iPhone.
Talking streams of consciousness in her interview, Kelela glides through her upbringing, education, enlightenment and journey through music and fashion.
From tracking the roots of her upbringing in Maryland, Washington – “Growing up in an Ethiopian household allowed me to feel like I had an audience before I had an audience. Something that I think extends to a lot of African cultures is that the line between performer and audience is blurry” – to graduating high school and heading to the American University in Washington DC, to take up Sociology and international studies, in pursuit of ‘figuring out the conundrum of postcolonial poverty in Africa‘ – the story goes deeper.
Kelela talks around skirting the fine line between the commoditisation of her beauty to not letting the major label system steer her sound- “It often feels like brands associate themselves with you so they can speak to brown people or the quote-unquote urban market,” – to charting the modern day conundrums of an entrenched system – “But the problem is systemic: the system is white. There can be people of colour who are allowed in those spaces, but they are often the people of colour that (the industry) feels won’t disrupt the white establishment.”
Dropping snippets of tracks to come from her debut album in the short film above, accompanied by the full interview and photoshoot – head to Dazed for a close up look at Kelela and a taster of what’s about to come when she drops her debut album in May.