KELE Shares New Track ‘Melanin’

July 3, 2020

KELE OKEREKE drops new track ‘Melanin’

Kele Okereke today releases a new song, ‘Melanin’, available to stream and buy now via KOLA Records.

He says: “Melanin is a song that questions the idea of race and education in Britain. I believe that if we truly want to dismantle the racial division in this country then it starts with the education system. We all need to study a syllabus that tells the truth about the reality of Britain’s colonial past, that isn’t just a celebration of the “glory days” but that looks unflinchingly at the horrors this country has perpetrated in the name of empire. For if we are to learn anything from Britain’s past, we need to have an honest and open dialogue with it. 

“Melanin was a song originally meant for my album 2042, but we weren’t able to clear the sample in time. I’m glad that we get to share the track now, at a time that it seems more pertinent than ever. As a British-born black man I have found living in this country these last few years wounding. Making 2042 was my way of trying to understand some of the racial divisions that have come back sharply into focus this past week with the death of George Floyd.

‘Melanin’ is the first new song from Kele following the release of his acclaimed new album 2042 last year. 2042 is available in digital, on CD and in limited edition 2xLP formats via his own label, KOLA Records in association with !K7. 

Featuring the singles ‘JUNGLE BUNNY,’ ‘BETWEEN ME AND MY MAKER’ and ‘GUAVA RUBICON’, 2042 is Kele’s fourth solo record and, following 2017’s largely acoustic Fatherland (released under his full name and featuring a duet with Olly Alexander from Years and Years), marks something of a return to the adrenalised electronics of his previous two solo records, Trick (2014) and The Boxer (2010), whilst broadening the sonic palette by bringing in elements of his work with Bloc Party and a litany of other influences and ideas. 

The record takes its name from a projection made by the Census Bureau of the predicted year by which ethnic and racial minorities will have become the majority, 2042. Inspired by a new wave of culture that seeks to remedy the lack of representation of the Black British Experience, this album is Kele’s most political and multifaceted work to date. With references to the Grenfell fire tragedy and the Windrush scandal, alongside lighter nods to pirate radio station Kool FM and UK garage raves. 2042 is an album of disrupting systemic repression, of shedding light on stories that lay untold; but also, it’s one of celebration. 

Listen and buy 2042: 


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