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Ethiopian American singer
The basics

Quick Facts

Intro Ethiopian American singer
Is Musician Composer Singer Songwriter
From United States of America
Type Music
Gender female
Birth 6 June 1983, Washington, D.C., District of Columbia, USA
Age 38 years
Star sign Gemini
American University
OkayAfrica 100 Women 2018
Electronic music
The details (from wikipedia)


Kelela Mizanekristos (born June 6, 1983) is an American singer and songwriter. She made her debut in the music industry with the release of her 2013 mixtape Cut 4 Me. In 2015, she released Hallucinogen, an EP which deals with the beginning, middle, and end of a relationship in reverse chronological order. Her debut studio album, Take Me Apart, was released in 2017.

Early life and education

A second-generation Ethiopian American and an only child, Mizanekristos was born in Washington, D.C. on June 4, 1983. Growing up in Gaithersburg, Maryland, she learned to play the violin in fourth grade and sang in her school's choir. In 2001, she graduated from Magruder High School. After transferring from Montgomery College to the American University, Mizanekristos began singing jazz standards at cafés. In 2008, she joined an indie band called Dizzy Spells and sang progressive metal after meeting Tosin Abasi, whom she later dated. In 2010, she moved to Los Angeles, where she currently lives, in addition to London.


2012–2015: Cut 4 Me and Hallucinogen

In November 2012, Mizanekristos began work on her debut mixtape with already two recorded songs. She later quit her job as a telemarketer to fully pursue her career as a musician. Having moved to Los Angeles, Mizanekristos connected with Teengirl Fantasy and contributed to the group's 2013 album Tracer on the song "EFX", which led her to meet Prince William from the label Fade to Mind. He introduced her to the sound of the record label and its sister imprint from London, Night Slugs. In May 2013, she appeared on Kingdom's "Bank Head", and five months later released her mixtape Cut 4 Me for free. Harriet Gisbone of The Guardian described the mixtape as "an experiment for the production team, the first time the production crew had used vocals on their club tracks." Her track "Go All Night" was included on Saint Heron, a multi-artist compilation album released by Solange Knowles. The mixtape was heavily influenced by grime music, a popular electronic genre based in the UK, and helped revive the subgenre known as Rhythm & Grime.

On December 11, 2013, DJ Kitty Cash released her Love the Free mixtape, which featured her song, "The High". Mizanekristos later released the track herself on February 4, 2014, on her SoundCloud. She also featured on Bok Bok's song "Melba's Call", which was released on March 5. On March 3, 2015, Mizanekristos announced the release of her first EP, Hallucinogen, alongside the release of the lead single "A Message" and its accompanying music video. The second single, "Rewind", was released on September 2. The EP covers the beginning, middle, and end of a relationship in reverse chronological order. It includes the previously shared "The High".

2016–present: Take Me Apart

In 2016, Mizanekristos was featured on "A Breath Away" from Clams Casino's 32 Levels, "From the Ground" from Danny Brown's Atrocity Exhibition, and "Scales" from Solange's A Seat at the Table. In February 2017, she took part in Red Bull Sound Select's 3 Days in Miami. Later that year, she featured on the track "Submission" alongside rapper Danny Brown and provided additional vocals on the track "Busted and Blue" from Gorillaz's album Humanz.

On July 14, 2017, Mizanekristos announced her debut studio album, Take Me Apart. It was made available for pre-order on August 1 alongside the release of the lead single, "LMK". Three more singles preceded the album, "Frontline", "Waitin" and "Blue Light", before it was released on October 6, 2017. The album received widespread acclaim from music critics and featured on various year-end lists. It was also included in the 2018 edition of the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.

On June 13, 2018, Mizanekristos was featured on the Girl Unit remix of the song "WYWD", which served as the lead single from his upcoming album, Song Feel. The two have previously worked together on Cut 4 Me's "Floor Show" and Hallucinogen's "Rewind".

On September 12, 2018, Mizanekristos announced Take Me a_Part, the Remixes, a remix album consisting of remixes from her debut album, and shared a remix for "LMK" featuring Princess Nokia, Junglepussy, Cupcakke and Ms. Boogie. The album features contributions from Kaytranada, Rare Essence, Serpentwithfeet and more. On September 26, Mizanekristos shared Kaytranada's "Waitin" remix as the second single from the album. The album was released on October 5, 2018, making it a year since the release of Take Me Apart.

Personal life

Kelela openly identifies as queer.


Studio albums

Title Album details Peak chart positions
UK Indie
Take Me Apart
  • Released: October 6, 2017
  • Label: Warp
  • Format: CD, LP, digital download
128 18 4 11 104 3 80 51 7 3

Remix albums

Title Album details
Hallucinogen Remixes
  • Released: December 25, 2015
  • Label: Warp
  • Format: Digital download
Take Me a_Part, the Remixes
  • Released: October 5, 2018
  • Label: Warp
  • Format: Digital download


Title Album details
Cut 4 Me
  • Released: October 1, 2013
  • Label: Fade to Mind
  • Formats: CD, LP, digital download

Extended plays

Title Extended play details Peak chart positions
  • Released: October 9, 2015
  • Label: Warp
  • Formats: LP, digital download
4 4 40


Title Year Peak chart positions Album
BEL (FL) Tip
(with P. Morris and Le1f)
2014 Non-album single
"A Message" 2015 Hallucinogen
"Rewind" 33
"LMK" 2017 Take Me Apart
"Blue Light"
"LMK (What's Really Good)"
(featuring Princess Nokia, Junglepussy, Cupcakke and Ms. Boogie)
2018 Take Me a_Part, the Remixes
"Waitin" (Kaytranada remix)

Guest appearances

Title Year Other artist(s) Album
"In Tatters" 2011 Daedelus Bespoke
"EFX" 2012 Teengirl Fantasy Tracer
"Bank Head" 2013 Kingdom Saint Heron
"Go All Night" None
"Bank Head" Kingdom Vertical XL
"Melba's Call" 2014 Bok Bok Your Charizmatic Self
"With You" Kindness Otherness
"World Restart" Kindness, Ade
"Geneva" Kindness
"For the Young"
"Autumn (Lude I)" Boots Winter Spring Summer Fall
"Want It" Tink, DJ Dahi Songs from Scratch
"Dangerzone" 2015 Future Brown, Ian Isiah Future Brown
"Soulful Beat" Mocky Key Change
"Weather Any Storm"
"Living in the Snow"
"Airy" Obey City Merlot Sounds
"A Breath Away" 2016 Clams Casino 32 Levels
"From the Ground" Danny Brown Atrocity Exhibition
"Scales" Solange A Seat at the Table
"Submission" 2017 Gorillaz, Danny Brown Humanz
"WYWD" (remix) 2018 Girl Unit Song Feel
The contents of this page are sourced from Wikipedia article on 03 Aug 2020. The contents are available under the CC BY-SA 4.0 license.
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