Kelissa McDonald is set to release her mixtape, Anbessa World, this month.
Speaking recently to the Jamaica Observer, the reggae singer said the 17-track project is a compilation of original music, remixes of old reggae hits.
“The mixtape was inspired by my desire to be more playful and experimental with music,” she said. “Creating original music sometimes has its limits. Releasing this free compilation of music has allowed me to incorporate samples and covers without limitation, and write and record new versions of original rhythms to tell a story. For example, I recorded a cover of Sizzla’s Give Me A Try, and included samples such as Louise Bennett, Alton Ellis, local poets and more.”
Anbessa World, the name of her record label, features tracks produced by Kelissa, Shacia Payne, a selector based in Los Angeles; along with JLL, Oneness Records, Stephen Marley and Yung Fokus. The set features works from Kabaka Pyramid, Hempress Sativa, Keznamdi, Sa Roc, and her parents Chakula and Goldilocks.
She said the most challenging part of creating the mixtape was completing it.
“The possibilities of creation were endless, and we ended up eliminating some songs from the final project to keep it short and sweet,” Kelissa explained. “Communication and exchanging ideas was sometimes a challenge but definitely proved worth it in the end. Overall, it was a fun and compelling project to work on despite its challenges, which nothing in life goes without!”
Kelissa recently performed at Kabaka Pyramid Live in Kingston, showing off her baby bump.
“For the past few months, I made an intentional decision to focus on creating new music,” she said. “Kabaka Pyramid has been very willing and supportive of my own journey, and so was a very natural choice to perform at his show. I was honoured to be a part of such a monumental event, especially after the release of his exceptional album Kontraband.”
Anbessa World follows her debut album Spellbound which was released in 2017.