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Ethiopian-American Singer Kelela Releases New Single, “A Message”

With her lustrous seductive vocals backed by an intensity and radiant sense of strength, and a recent release of a stunningly shot video –evocative sounds of lead track ‘A Message’– for Hallucinogen, a six-song EP that explores a cycle of “love and sexuality”, from “rejection and amputation” to “feral lust and longing”, to “Payoff”, it’s with good reason that singer-songwriter Kelela’s debut album is eagerly-anticipated.

Born to Ethiopian immigrants in Washington, DC, Kelela Mizanekristos is a first-generation Ethiopian-American based in Los Angeles and affiliated with Night Slugs-sister collective Fade to Mind. Kelela is a self-made sensational vocalist. When asked, Kelela attributes her sultry voice to “the Conservatory of Kelela in her mom’s basement”. “I didn’t go to a school for music, but I definitely attended the Conservatory of Kelela in my mom’s basement,” Kelela reveals. She also mentions and gives credit to her father Mizanekristos Yohannes’ collection of “cassette tapes ranging from Miriam Makeba to Harry Belafonte, Ella Fitzgerald, Aster Aweke, and Sarah Vaughan”.

Her recent video release to announce ‘Hallucinogen’, including the intriguing deluxe version of her breakthrough mixtape Cut 4 Me, released last October, is reason enough to wait and see what’s next for the stunning songstress.

Below, enjoy the aesthetically appealing video for ‘A Message’: song produced by Alejandro [Arca], video directed by Daniel Sannwald.

Hallucinogen is due out on May 5

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