It was Kelela's year. In February, after an almost six-year hiatus, the musician released her sophomore studio album Raven. And last week, she announced the full track list for her upcoming RAVE:N The Remixes album slated for release on February 9, 2024, before performing at the Institute of Contemporary Art during Miami Art Basel to celebrate Dion Lee's first U.S. flagship that's opening in the Design District.
"I've spent some time in Miami since living in New York," Dion Lee tells PAPER before the party gets going. "There's a connection between the energy here and Australia — the connection to the beach, athleticism and dressing for your body. I'm a big fan of Kelela, and we're really lucky to have worked together for many years. She's supported me since some of my early New York shows, so it's nice to continue that relationships that feels really organic. It's a full-circle moment tonight."
While waiting for her to take the stage, all the cool people vibed with cocktails by Cash App and Tepozan Tequila in-hand and danced to DJ sets by Crystallmess, Mister Vacation and Fashion. Once it was showtime, Kelela hypnotized the audience of familiar faces in fashion, art and music — including Shenseea, Gabriette, Memphy, LSDXOXO, Yaeji, Blu de Tiger, Kim Shui, Gabriette and so many more.
Below, Kelela exclusively takes PAPER behind the scenes of getting ready in Dion Lee for her performance.
Photography: Anthony Urrea