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Best New Artist: Kelela's Retro-Futuristic Soul Sound

Posted by on October 23, 2013


R&B singer Kelela’s first release Cut 4 Me moves forward with slow-drive loops, mysterious hazes and warm beats.

Brooklyn DJ/producer Kingdom collaborates with the honey-voiced Ethiopian vocalist on the song “Bank” – included on the new record.

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Let’s give new artist Kelela the fan video test. The theory is that if the artist sounds good in an unproduced live film made by a fan, then they must be amazing in person.

Kelela is up to the challenge in this clip from an underground New York City party from just this year.


Kelela’s full album Cut for Me is available for free download at

The track “Enemy” shows how Kelela takes midtempo song and keeps us riveted with tone and tension.

The amount of space in her work is also impressive. These songs aren’t busy, they’re simply majestic.

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Solange Knowles, Beyonce’s indie little sister has just announced the forthcoming R&B compilation Saint Heron.

Kelela’s contribution “Go All Night” is a sultry stunner.

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Tune in to DJ Michele Myers Friday nights at 9pm on KEXP 90.3FM Seattle, Music historian & producer, Michele’s made over 200 radio stories for KEXP Documentaries. She’s written scripts, lesson plans & features for the SmithsonianExperience Music Projectthe University of Washington & NPR.

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