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Biography

  • Born

    13 October 1981 (age 39)

  • Born In

    Liverpool, Merseyside, England, United Kingdom

Rowland Kelechukwu Okereke (born 13 October 1981), also known by the mononym Kele, is an English musician, probably best known as the lead singer and rhythm guitarist of the indie rock band Bloc Party.

Kele Okereke released his first solo album, titled The Boxer on 21 June 2010, through Wichita / Polydor in the UK and Europe and Glassnote Records for the rest of the world. The album was released under the name Kele, dropping his surname. Okereke explained the album title, saying "as a boxer, you have to rely on nobody else but yourself to achieve what it is you want to achieve. Even though you take hits, you have to keep focus on your priorities and keep going. I thought that was an inspiring image". The first single from the album Tenderoni was released on 14 June 2010.

Okereke sees the 'Kele' brand as a way for him to embrace his interest in music. "I've been into clubbing for years. I've said from the beginning I'm into dance, it gets me excited and I think this record is going to go some way to prove that to people, hopefully." - Kele Okereke

In September 2011 it was announced that Kele would be releasing a follow up to The Boxer; an EP titled The Hunter.

On 23 July 2014 Kele announced his second solo album, entitled Trick, to be released on his own label Lilac Records via Kobalt Label Services on 13 October 2014.

He released his third album Fatherland on 6 October 2017 under his full name Kele Okereke. The album features the singles Streets Been Talking and Grounds For Resentment feat. Olly Alexander. Fatherland also features the duet Versions of Us with Grammy-winning English singer and songwriter Corinne Bailey Rea

In January 2019, Leave to Remain a new musical written by Okereke and Matt Jones debuted in London. Announced in September 2018, the musical about an interracial gay couple was preceded by the single Not the Drugs Talking which showed a move back towards beats following the more acoustic Fatherland. Telling a love story through the Prism of Brexit, the new show is accompanied by a tie-in album of new songs. Speaking about the subject matter and his feelings on the UK in 2019, Okereke claimed that “It’s not a time that I’ve been proud to be British. It’s an ugly time”.

www.iamkele.com

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