CMJ 2013 Preview: Kelela

Mass Appeal is hitting you with a glorious CMJ preview and shining the spotlight on R&B songstress Kelela.

We don’t know about you guys, but Mass Appeal loves a good marathon. No, we’re not talking 5k races, we’re talking CMJ. Look no further, we’re hitting you with all the essentials and a who’s who on the budding talent appearing live next week. Check out our guide to acts we’re excited to see rock the stage at this year’s CMJ Music Marathon. From pioneers of spoken word, to future R&B superstars and everything in between, Mass Appeal’s got all your CMJ needs covered.


Artist: Kelela

The Hype: Before dropping CUT 4 ME, Kelela had already accumulated a solid amount of buzz, most notably for her enigmatic vocal work on Fade To Mind labelhead, Kingdom’s “Bankhead” and electronic duo, Teengirl Fantasy’s “EFX.” On her mixtape, her future R&B sound is a blend of soft coos, high-pitched cries and rippling falsettos. Her melodic progressions draw you in and string you along as her musical prose unfolds. She encompasses a sultry mix of Aaliyah drawls and Janet Jackson’s strong feminine aesthetic  that makes her one of the most exciting new acts in the game.

Check Her Out Because: Teary-eyed lullabies broken up by static synths and rattling percussion characterize the debut mixtape from singer Kelela. The out-of-this-world production that makes up Kelela’s first release is a modern day homage to R&B and soul while blending spacey takes of techno and grime, all compliments of her Fade To Mind peers.

With only a handful of live shows under her belt, she’s still managed to receive rave reviews for her powerfully emotional performances that exhibit the poise of a seasoned vet.

Essential Jams:


“Keep It Cool”

“Send Me Out”

File Next To: Janet Jackson, Aaliyah

CMJ Schedule:
Pitchfork Showcase: Saturday, October 19th @ 285 Kent 1am

Big shout out to Mike Lukowski for the illest illustrations around!

Andriana met all of her friends on Twitter.
Twitter: @itsadredogg

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