Telekom Electronic Beats Podcast The Week with Kelela

Kelela „If a white woman was doing the same exact thing that I’m doing, she would be probably ten times as big”

Sometimes it is not easy to listen to a conversation. But it is necessary. One hears clearly the struggle that Kelela goes through talking to “The Week” host Kikelomo for the latest episode of the Telekom Electronic Beats podcast series (that brought us among others in the past talks with Honey Dijon, Sevdaliza and Billie Eilish.

It does not come by surprise as Kelela is not just one of the most exciting younger HipHop / R´n´B artists of her generation with a run of three amazing records so far (“Cut 4 Me”, “Take Me Apart” and most lately “Raven”), she is also known for her sensitive nature, allowing herself to step back if the world in general and her specific artistic biotope is getting too much.  And how can one not feel overwhelmed by all the turmoil out there?

In conversation with  Kikelomo, Kelela talks open about her fields of inspiration, her creative process, but also about all the troubles coming with this, especially for her as a black woman.

These are some of our highlight quotes from the conversation, but make sure to listen to the full piece, it is rare to get the chance to hear an artist that unlocked.

„I will say that the state of the world, just the way that it feels like, there’s a breakdown all around. Empires falling, or whatever you want to call it. It is taking a toll, I’m not gonna lie. Its definitely effecting how I am able to move through and also to self promote and – it just creates a really big dissonance to me. And I don’t think I will ever be able to push through”

„When you are very aware that you’re serving a marginalized group of people, it also adds a different pressure. For me, it feels like public service to be really honest, as part of how I’m thinking about what I do. I’m always just trying to make sure that my values are intersecting with the art.”

„I think I’ve shown a lot of resistance in trying to set my own pace. And that has been very challenging, very difficult, but I hope that it’s giving people out there another option, like another way.“

„Coming into this industry, the first thing that I discovered is that there’s a lot of like white guys in positions of power that literally have never engaged a black person beyond their output.”

„If a white woman was doing the same exact thing that I’m doing, she would be probably ten times as big.”


„That queer underground DJ circuit was revelatory for me. It was so powerful powerful to just come in contact with a bunch of people who were kind of like existing on the margins, but building entire worlds and just save spaces for people to exist in.”


Kaput also highly recommends the “The Week” episode with Sarah Farina, who talks to host Otto Kent about her work with Chicago house vocalist Tish Bailey, and the frequent erasure of Black women from dance music history.




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