Video: Kelela – “A Message (Prod. Arca)”

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The Los Angeles based R&B vocalist Kelela took to Facebook to announce her most recent effort, a two year-old collaboration with producer Arca called “A Message.” She made the following state regarding the release:

I met Alejandro [Arca] on a boat in August of 2012. We sought one another out across a dance floor and within 5 minutes agreed to meet each other as soon as possible to collaborate. I had one song released to my name and had just heard one of his mixes, but we knew we’d found something in one another. We spent the next three days, 14 hours a day talking about our artistic visions and how it intersected with our personal lives, making songs that reflected that while dancing around the room to let it all out. About 5 or 6 demos were born out of these three days.

“A Message” is one of the demos that came from those sessions and it speaks to the despair that I was experiencing at the time. The initial version of the song spilled out of us in about 25 minutes. Since then, it’s been like a sculpture that I’ve come to and refined over time, adding a lyric here, refining a melody there, adding a bridge, etc. It’s a process that is now finally complete with its release and I’m so happy that I finally get to share it with all of you.

This surreptitious, step-wise groove will appear on her forthcoming six-track EP Hallucinogenic, to be released May 5 in anticipation of her debut LP this fall. The music video for “A Message” was directed by visual artist Daniel Sannwald, who is in a relationship with Alejandro Ghersi (Arca) and previously collaborated artists like M.I.A. and John Legend. The visual picks up slow and deliberately simple, capturing the singer chopping away her signature, booty-length dreads before transitioning to a trippy, anime-style vignette of bizarre physiological imagery. The artwork for Kelela’s Hallucinogenic EP is a still frame from the music video. See it below and listen to “The High,” produced by Gifted & Blessed, which will also be included on the release.

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Angel E. Fraden

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