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The Era of Blended Cult — Kelly Raphaelle

Originally published in Issue 02

Photographer: Ester Keate
Stylist: Katie Tillyer
Hair and Make-up: Jesse Walker
Set Design: Freya Wentworth-Stanley


Kelly Raphaelle has come a long way since uploading covers and bedroom originals on Soundcloud and YouTube. 

In 2017, she scored a modelling deal with The Coven whilst travelling in Amsterdam — adding one to her portfolio. At 22, she's recognisable by her unique pink-blonde hair and wardrobe style, including more colours that will ultimately shape Kelly's growing maturity in fashion. From making music to starring in Gucci campaigns and being part of a Mash-Up runway, Kelly slices her life into various scenes — not limiting herself to one particular sphere. 


The Era of Blended Cult — Kelly Raphaelle

by SAND Magazine

November 25, 2017

Dress: Wythe Bea / Earrings: Longshaw Ward

Despite all that, one wouldn't say she's rising to commercial fame. Her life outside of music and modelling is almost unheard of by outsiders who view her art. As if intrigued by her inner self, people are approaching Kelly for her style — piercings, hair, edgy features. If anything, she's fast joining the cult of artists who are solely known and accepted for their art and multiple ways of expression. 

Bralet: Cimone / Trousers: Cimone

How crucial is the private space to you?

When I finally left home, it became important for me to own a private space where I feel completely safe to explore my own identity. That’s exactly what I want people to feel when they listen to my music — a safe space in which they can connect a song to their personal experiences, thoughts and be able to freely interpret music. The need to keep the actual story of my song ambiguous is a privacy I feel necessary to allow that cathartic experience to come through. Even though it’s my music, it should be about you when you listen to it.

Top: Minnan Hui / Skirt: Minnan Hui

You’re an immensely private person. How do you decide what to let out for others to know and which parts to keep for only yourself to own?
I’m more than happy for anyone to approach me and ask me about my story but I don’t think it is necessary for me to broadcast it on all mediums and during every performance.

Like my need to travel to escape the reality of my roots, I want the listener to feel that he or she should be able to get away and just for a moment be immersed in the realm I’ve created. Whether it is filled with nostalgia or melancholia, I want each individual to decide for him or herself.

How do the complexities of life influence your music?
I am not a complex person. Rather, I was born into complex circumstances. My music is straightforward and it circles the theme of love and the absence of it. I don’t write and sing about abuse or whatnot. Those things stem from a stark lack of love, whereby its solution seems to be far more complicated as circumstances are difficult to define.

Dress: Wythe Bea / Earrings: Longshaw Ward

What about your musical transition from bedroom to stage?
My music is very inward.

In my bedroom, these songs are delicate, gentle and they reflect my fragility and heartaches but a sound that soft is made for one and speaks to one.

The people I work with are able to interpret my songs in a louder and more extroverted manner, giving me the capacity to connect with more people at a time. I still struggle to keep the authenticity of my original sound and am constantly learning how I can emulate the same sentiments on a bigger stage.


More art and conversations here
More about Kelly Raphaelle here




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