AdELA is making her mark in the music industry with her old-school hip hop beats, new school soul vocals and unique aesthetics. The dark-haired beauty has worked alongside Grammy Award Winning Producer STREETRUNNER, who snagged Album of the Year for Lil Wayne's Tha Carter III (2008). DJ Booth Net also voted AdELA "Best Unsigned Rap/RnB Artist" and additionally stated, "If she's not signed, something is seriously, seriously wrong with the music industry."
AdELA just released a new 6-track EP entitled "Dreamers & Thinkers" (available for stream/download on iTunes and Spotify), so it's only right that we connect with her for an exclusive interview to find more about her musical partnership with acclaimed producer STREETRUNNER, the thought-provoking EP cover and much more.
Coming originally from Durban, South Africa, tell us about how you ended up in the United States and what led you to songwriting, singing and rapping.
My parents immigrated to the US when I was young. We were fleeing the apartheid. As a kid, it was heartbreaking to leave my grandparents and family behind, now however when I look back, I see just how much my parents sacrificed to give us an equal opportunity at life. I have been singing my entire life (at least it feels that way)! Music was always a big deal in my house, I did once have aspirations of becoming the President of the United States but here I am singing and rapping which is way less stressful! However with the way things are going, maybe I can throw my hat in the ring?!
How did you connect with your longtime producer STREETRUNNER? And what about your musical partnership with him makes it so easy to create such dope music?
I met STREET at the start of my career and his sound drew me to him. I loved the soul samples. We parted ways and eventually locked back in. I think what makes it so easy to work with him, is the fact that musically I trust him. I know he will craft my project to be a classic. We both strive to make music that will be relevant in years to come. So each record is perfected, always quality over quantity.
Congratulations on your new EP "Dreamers & Thinkers"; how would you say this release is different than the "Off The Burner" album?
I can give you 9 reasons why this project is different! But the major reason it stands out is because it is a collaboration EP. "Off The Burner" is special because it was my first project and really showcased who I was as an artist. From the sound to lyrics, to the story being told. The first line in "Off The Burner" was "I felt hopeless, dont get noticed, on this stage here all alone" and the last line of the EP goes "Fuck you, pay me". I lived a whole life on that project!
The cover artwork of "Dreamers & Thinkers" is a very innovative and thought provoking. How did the theme of the artwork come about? What does it mean to you?
First off that photo was taken in 4 minutes, my friend Stockroll snapped that, and he's the genius behind a lot of my images. I was wearing the hoodie, and face mask to represent the current state of affairs. The image was then sent to my graphics guy YT Designs who added the images onto the hoodie. We simply placed headlines on the hoodie. All that shit is whats happening NOW, or happened at the time of the creation of the artwork. He took the image and message to the next level in post production and created a masterpiece. We then decided that the government was so fucked up and we needed to show that. So we placed the American flag behind me upside down which represents "distress" in a nation. I want people to see the artwork and then reflect on whats going on in the world.
You have some certified legends featured on "Dreamers & Thinkers" like Fat Joe, Royce Da 5'9, Kool G Rap, and Cormega; I'm sure a lot of artists envy you right now for being able to lock them in for the album. How does it feel to have the opportunity to collaborate with such staples in the rap game?
I can live without envy but I will take respect. Having these legends on my album was humbling and validating. It showed me that I make music that is worthy of their words. In the rap game co-signs are everything and I am blessed. I feel like I rarely used the word blessed in the past, but what else can I call this? I am independent, I locked in 9 features that have more than made history in rap and here I am being able to create with them.
With 2017 almost a wrap, have you had a chance to think about what your goals are musically for 2018?
Haven't had a chance to. 2017 still has so many more opportunities for me so I want to kick down these doors and be heard and I will think about 2018 on December 31st.
When someone listens to "Dreamers & Thinkers" for the first time, what do you want them to take away from the experience?
I want them to think "this girl is the truth, she's coming and we either get behind her or get out of her way".
Where can we stream/download the new album?