Atlanta R&B artist Algebra Blessett hosts WABE Mixtape Live

Algebra Blessett's new single with Anthony David is "Heaven." (Courtesy of Algebra Blessett)

The one-day music festival WABE Mixtape Live is back for its second annual performance. The concert features five local artists who submitted entries for NPR’s Tiny Desk Contest. Atlanta-based R&B artist Algebra Blessett is hosting the festival at Monday Night Garage on Sunday, June 26. She joined “City Lights” host Lois Reitzes via Zoom to talk about this year’s festival line-up and her new single “Heaven,” a BeBe & CeCe Winans cover she performed with Anthony David. 

Interview highlights:

Why Blessett and David chose the Bebe and CeCe Winans classic:

“I’m a product of my environment. So I’m what you call, I guess, an ’80s baby, and that was R&B to me, and they were big. I grew up in a gospel household, but they were the group that pretty much joined R&B and gospel together. So it was just key. It was the song that I could get away with performing. I danced to that song when I was in school, and it was the song that my mom didn’t mind hearing over and over,” said Blessett.

“The gospel orientation of the song, it pretty much talks about the beauty of the afterlife, with having no more worries, no more pain, no more sorrows. For, I do believe if I’m able to speak frankly, we can have heaven on Earth. We can have the luxury of having love. We’re all here for a limited time, so the time that we do have here together, we actually have the audacity to make it very heavenly,” said Blessett. “Instead of talking about going home to glory, if you will, it’s really about manifesting that heaven and that happiness here on life because we only have so much time.”

On the previous Algebra/Anthony collab, “4Evermore,” which became a wedding anthem:

“Anthony will tell you; he knew right off the bat that it was gonna be a great song. I was just disturbed that he woke me up at eight o’clock in the morning. Like, ‘Why are you calling me?’ So I didn’t know until the listeners got a hold of it and the requests came in,” said Blessett. “You know, you get emails and, and fan mail saying how ‘This was our first dance. This was our wedding song. This was the song that I thought of when I proposed to my wife.’ So I didn’t know at the time, but as the years went on, I was so humbled and so grateful that something came from us that could completely change the trajectory of someone’s life, all with music.”

On the pleasure of hosting WABE’s 2022 Mixtape Live Fest:

“I’ll tell you something beautiful about hosting. There’s always a surprise. It’s always surprising to never to have met an artist, but you know their name because you have to learn things about them, and then when you finally meet them and hear the music that they have to display for you and the crowd, it’s absolutely amazing … All of these are local artists that have come to present their best works and be on a platform that every musician worldwide is trying to be on,” said Blessett. 

“This industry is very hard, you know. It looks luxurious, but it’s a lot of work. So I love meeting people that love the work. And I think WABE has the opportunity to present these artists on this amazing platform of theirs, and who knows — this could be our next superstar on another level because they’re already superstars walking on this stage.”

WABE Mixtape Live will feature NPR’s Tiny Desk Contest entrants from the Atlanta scene, Amelia, Andy Z6, Dead Cassettes, Feel Jas and Josh Waters. The festival takes place June 26 at Monday Night Garage. Tickets and more information are available at