Kelela Talks ‘Saint Heron’ Album, R&B’s Radical Politics

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Last year, Los Angeles singer Kelela was a telemarketer and artist in the city trying to get her big break. Now, the artist has seen success and recognition as she has opened for Solange and has recently been interviewed by Billboard Magazine, where she talks Solange’s “Saint Heron” compilation album and her contribution to the project, along with the racial politics of the R&B genre.

Kelela contributed “Go All Night” to the recently released “Saint Heron” album, presented by Saint Records.

“It’s awesome to be included and I know and appreciate the contributions of the other artists,” the singer said. “It’s nice to be presented to the world in that context, especially because it does spill over into the non-indie contexts of R&B and urban music, which matters to me.”

Check out the full interview on Billboard.com, where the singer goes deep into the current state of the R&B genre, “Saint Heron,” going from telemarketing to a singing career and working with producers Arca and Hudson Mohawke for her forthcoming debut album.

 

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Solange Enlists Kelela, Dev Hynes and more for New Calvin Klein Campaign

Another day, another slay! Solange partners with Calvin Klein to promote their newly launched underwear and denim line, Our Family. #MYCALVINS.

To make the first chapter of its #MYCALVINS campaigns and partnership with Solange a success, the global brand allowed the always stylish musician to handpick fellow musicians to help market the fashionable underwear and jeans.

Artists Kelela, Dev Hynes, Caroline Polachek and Adam Bainbridge of Kindness joined Solange for the monumental photo-shoot captured by photographer, Willy Vanderperre.

According to a press release, “The group is shot together as a ‘chosen’ musical family, illustrating the overarching message of the campaign. The evolved #MYCALVINS concept has family at its center, a display of unity between strong individuals, further emphasized by the symbolism of the traditional American quilt. This campaign captures these bonds and brings to life different ways we can inspire families – both born and made – to connect with one another, and celebrate the things that unite us.”

Solange shared her humble appreciation to Calvin Klein’s Chief Creative Officer Raf Simons on Instagram for “celebrating my musical family, and for capturing us so authentically us.”

Our Family. #MYCALVINS will run from now until spring 2018.

See campaign photos below.

Kelela Releases a Visual for ‘Blue Light’

Kelela has dropped her video for “Blue Light” from her debut album, Take Me ApartDirected by Helmi, the video appears to be set in an ice cave, where Kelela’s hair magically takes over her body.

The Washington, D.C. native is gearing up to release her new short film, All It Took, which will premiere on November 12 at the New Museum in New York.

Speaking on her inspiration behind Take Me Apart, Kelela said, “Despite it being a personal record, the politics of my identity informs how it sounds and how I choose to articulate my vulnerability and strength. I am a black woman, a second-generation Ethiopian-American, who grew up in the ‘burbs listening to R&B, jazz and Björk. All of it comes out in one way or another.”

Watch Kelela’s video for “Blue Light” below.

Solange and Bruno Mars Lead 2017 Soul Train Award Nominations

Photo credit: Mikael Jansson

The nominees for the 2017 Soul Train Awards have been revealed. Solange leads the pack with seven nominations including Best R&B/Soul Female Artist and Album of the Year (A Seat at the Table). Bruno Mars follows with six nominations including Best R&B/Soul Male Artist and Song of the Year (“That’s What I Like”).

Grammy Award-winning songstress Toni Braxton will be honored with the Don Cornelius Legend Award. Over the span of her career, Braxton has sold over 67 million records, including 41 million albums, worldwide. She recently released her new single “Deadwood,” which will appear on her forthcoming album, Sex & Cigarettes. 

Meanwhile, R&B trio SWV will receive the Lady of Soul Award. They have sold more than 25 million records, making them one of the best-selling girl groups of all time.

The Soul Train Awards will air on November 26 at 8 p.m. ET on BET and BET Her.

Check out the full list of nominations below.

Best New Artist
6LACK
H.E.R.
KEVIN ROSS
KHALID
SZA

Best R&B/Soul Male Artist
BRUNO MARS
BRYSON TILLER
CHRIS BROWN
KHALID
THE WEEKND

Best R&B/Soul Female Artist
KEHLANI
LALAH HATHAWAY
LEDISI
MARY J. BLIGE
SOLANGE
SZA

Soul Train Certified Award
BELL BIV DEVOE
JOHNNY GILL
LALAH HATHAWAY
LEDISI
MACK WILDS

Video of the Year
BEYONCÉ – ALL NIGHT
BRUNO MARS – 24K MAGIC
CHRIS BROWN FT. USHER & GUCCI MANE – PARTY
DJ KHALED FT. RIHANNA & BRYSON TILLER – WILD THOUGHTS
SOLANGE – CRANES IN THE SKY

Best Gospel/ Inspirational Award
CHANCE THE RAPPER
CHARLIE WILSON
KIRK FRANKLIN
LECRAE
TAMELA MANN

Album/ Mixtape of the Year
BRUNO MARS – 24K MAGIC
MARY J. BLIGE – STRENGTH OF A WOMAN
SOLANGE – A SEAT AT THE TABLE
SZA – CTRL
THE WEEKND – STARBOY

Rhythm & Bars Award (Formerly Best Hip-Hop Song of the Year)
CARDI B – BODAK YELLOW
DJ KHALED FT. RIHANNA & BRYSON TILLER – WILD THOUGHTS
FRENCH MONTANA FT. SWAE LEE – UNFORGETTABLE
KENDRICK LAMAR – HUMBLE.
YO GOTTI FT. NICKI MINAJ – RAKE IT UP

Song of the Year
BRUNO MARS – THAT’S WHAT I LIKE
CHILDISH GAMBINO – REDBONE
DJ KHALED FT. RIHANNA & BRYSON TILLER – WILD THOUGHTS
KHALID – LOCATION
SOLANGE – CRANES IN THE SKY

The Ashford & Simpson Songwriter’s Award
CRANES IN THE SKY – WRITTEN BY: TROY L. JOHN, SOLANGE KNOWLES, RAPHAEL SAADIQ (SOLANGE)
LOCATION – WRITTEN BY: ALFREDO EMMANUEL GONZALEZ, OLATUNJI OLUTOMIWA, SAMUEL DAVID JIMENEZ, KHALID ROBINSON, JOSHUA SCRUGGS (KHALID)
LOVE ME NOW – WRITTEN BY: BLAKE MATTHEW SIMON MILLS, JOHN HENRY RYAN, JOHN ROGER STEPHENS (JOHN LEGEND)
REDBONE – WRITTEN BY: GEORGE CLINTON, WILLIAM EARL COLLINS, GARY LEE COOER, DONALD MCKINLEY GLOVER II, LUDWIG EMIL TOMAS GORANSSON (CHILDISH GAMBINO)
VERSACE ON THE FLOOR – WRITTEN BY: CHRISTOPHER STEVEN BROWN, JAMES EDWARD FAUNTLEROY, BRUNO MARS, PHILIP MARTIN LAWRENCE (BRUNO MARS)

Best Dance Performance
BRUNO MARS – 24K MAGIC
CHRIS BROWN FT. USHER & GUCCI MANE – PARTY
DJ KHALED FT. RIHANNA & BRYSON TILLER – WILD THOUGHTS
SOLANGE FT. SAMPHA – DON’T TOUCH MY HAIR
WIZKID FT. DRAKE – COME CLOSER

Best Collaboration
DJ KHALED FT. RIHANNA & BRYSON TILLER – WILD THOUGHTS
JAZMINE SULLIVAN & BRYSON TILLER – INSECURE
MARY J. BLIGE FT. KANYE WEST – LOVE YOURSELF
SOLANGE FT. SAMPHA – DON’T TOUCH MY HAIR
SZA FT. TRAVIS SCOTT – LOVE GALORE

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