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All Quotes by author - Kelela
" A black woman's handbook in this industry is, 'Whoa.' The chapter on 'Don't go there.' The chapter on 'How to say that nicely,' how to express that you don't like something so that you don't lose the opportunity - which is what we're doing all day long. "
" After it became clear that I was not going to graduate, I had this moment where I was like, 'I need to not sulk. I need to pursue - at least try - to pursue music. But if I don't try, I'm going to be a really bitter middle-aged lady working in a cubicle.' "
" A lot of people of color in the music industry are still more interested in embracing things that are considered white canon, and looking radical. Like when people point to punk in the indie world: If you point to the history of punk as what you see as your legacy, that's more prized and praised. "
" A lot of white men in the music industry are promoting and participating in black culture in a way that is pretty careless. They want the currency of blackness, but they don't want the brunt that comes along with that. "
" Anyone who understands anti-racist work, a white person specifically, understands that it is not black people's responsibility, or any person of color's responsibility, to dismantle the structures that keep white people in positions of power. We do our job to thrive, to survive. To protect ourselves, to sit together and feel better and to heal. "
" As a black person on the outside, because there's so much black art and so much of black people's work circulating, so many people imitating what black people do, you would think that there'd be more black people on the business side. It didn't cross my mind that every label head, for the most part, is a white guy. "
" As a black woman, there's so much pride and communication through hair. It's naturally something that you are excited to embellish on and be creative about. "
" As it pertains to my black womanhood, there's just a lot of ground to cover. There's a lot of stuff to say. "
" As much as we like to pretend we're just getting on stage and whatever, it's like, no, I practiced in front of the mirror my whole life. "
" At the end of the day, I would like to have the farthest reach in terms of being able to communicate to as many people as possible. So it's not that I enjoy being obscure; it's that I sonically don't want to be situated here or there. "
End Of The Day
" Before I collaborate, it's important that I have a conversation about what I care about before we make anything, so that it's very clear. "
" Even on my most angry song, I'm also still saying, 'Thank you for helping me to learn.' I've always wanted to give voice to that complexity in our experience. "
" Fog and one blue light is all I need in life at the club. Just a dark room and loud music. I'm into that. "
" For those of us who make music together, I think it's important to realize that generosity on both sides is actually going to produce the biggest possibility. "
" Growing up in an Ethiopian household allowed me to feel like I had an audience before I had an audience. "
" Growing up, Missy Elliot and Janet Jackson were definitely major references. "
" How much closer can I get to the common ear, the mainstream, and how much it can still be from this other world, this other place? That's the line I keep trying to tread but have my wings extend more on both sides. "
" I am not carefree. I'm just not. I experience an immense amount of joy, a crazy amount of joy through sadness and so much struggle. There's something problematic about 'carefree black girl.' "
" I am your homegirl, at the end of the day, but I also feel very... outside. So if you're finding solace in feeling outside with me, then we're good to go. "
" I'd like to change what people expect. I want to evoke something that's not nameable, for people to go, 'Huh?' "
" I do like things the way that I like them. But I'm trying not to be - I don't wanna be that way. I'm not a control freak; I wanna protect my agency. It's a weird question as a black woman. "
" I don't care about the underground, even if that's where I'm currently residing sonically. "
" I don't want you to feel defeated, like, 'Oh boy, why do you do this to me?' We have too many of those songs. "
" I don't write lyrics. I hear the track and sing in gibberish over it, then I try and fit words into the phrasing and melody that I already have set. Everything is left to chance. "
" I guess the bottom line is I don't make music that is consumed en masse. "
" I have something stupid, like, 12 credits, to graduate. "
" I just want to live in a world where I can tell a guy, 'This is the deal: I really want this. I really want you. But it's also not that deep.' "
" I just want to shed light, illuminate and turn the spotlight over to all of the black people who have been being futuristic and innovative since instruments were plugged into a wall. With computers, machines, and music, black people have been contributing to that a great deal for a long time. "
" I know deep down I'm a star. "
" I know my ticket is vulnerability. Most people point to some emotional experience, some hardship, some high or low when they talk about my music... a time when they need to feel those feelings more. "
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