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


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, 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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Janet Jackson and Mary J. Blige Will Headline Essence Festival 2018

Essence Festival keeps getting better. The lineup for the 2018 festival has been revealed. Music legends Janet Jackson and Mary J. Blige will headline the event, which will take place July 5-8 in New Orleans.

Other artists announced in the first round of performers include Erykah Badu, Jill Scott, Fantasia, Miguel, Kelly Price, Ro James, Marsha Ambrosius, Dave Hollister, Xscape and 112. Emerging singers H.E.R., Daniel Caesar, Kelela, Kevin Ross, MAJOR. and DVSN have also been added to the bill. More performers will be revealed at a later date.

Tickets for the Essence Festival are available now.


From 2008: R&B Albums That Turn 10 This Year

Another ten years has caught up with us in the realm of R&B music.

Let’s jog your memory for a minute. For starters, 2008 saw Mariah Carey touch the top of the Billboard Hot 100 for the 18th time with “Touch My Body.” Usher showed his strength by “Moving Mountains,” while Beyoncé led ladies to the club, singing, “If you liked it, then you should have put a ring on it.”

We heard the debut projects from Day26, Jennifer Hudson, Tiffany Evans and Jazmine Sullivan. Also, 2008 ended listeners music drought from veterans Deborah Cox, Ashanti, Keith Sweat and Brandy.

Rated R&B has compiled a list of 31 R&B/soul albums that celebrate its 10th anniversary in 2018.

Randomness: On November 4, 2008, Barack Obama won presidency, becoming the first African-American to be elected as President of the United States.

Raheem DeVaughn — Love Behind the Melody
Release Date: January 15
Record Label: Jive Records
Singles: “Woman,” “Customer” and “Text Messages”

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SZA Shares Video for ‘The Weekend’

SZA just wants to keep you satisfied through the weekend with her new music video!

The highly anticipated video, which was directed by fellow R&B singer Solange, follows SZA swaying and dancing provocatively in various parts of a multi-floor building. Although it may not sound so exciting, the video is definitely one for aesthetics with its wide-angled viewpoints and repetitive dance motions similar to Solange’s “Cranes in the Sky” video.

“The Weekend” is SZA’s second single from her critically acclaimed and now Grammy-nominated record Ctrl, which was released this past June. The sensual single now sits at No. 37 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and No. 5 on the Mainstream R&B/Hip-Hop National Airplay chart.

In other news, while “The Weekend” is holding strong on urban radio, creeping up the charts is SZA’s third radio single “Broken Clocks.” The Ctrl cut is sitting just 5 spots below the official urban radio chart, garnering over 400 spins in the latest tracking week.

Watch the video for “The Weekend” below.

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