If Kali Uchis can do anything, it’s capture your attention.
She was born in Virginia to Colombian parents as Karly-Marina Loaiza. As a teenager growing up in Northern Virginia, she went through a rebellious stage that ended with her getting kicked out at the age of 17.
One night coming home late, her father left a note on her pillow saying, “Even though I love you, you continue to be disrespectful. You have to learn what it’s like to really be on your own. When I get home, I don’t want to see you. Go figure it out.”
She lived in her Subaru after that, took on different jobs, and exercised her creative talent by working on her music, and still completed high school, even though she has stated she didn’t like it.
As a young singer, Kali’s family didn’t fully understand what she was doing.
Her extended family hurt her with the rumors that they were making up, assuming because she was able to financially support herself that she must have been prostituting her body. After they began seeing the results she was producing, Kali was able to gain the respect she deserved.
On her family members, Kali tells The Fader, “They’re from a different age,” leaving her past in the past. By the age of 20, she had already collaborated with big names such as Snoop Dogg on singles such as “On Edge.”
Now, Kali is known for her ability to take on any vocal genre but strongly relates to the genius sound of jazzy-soul Amy Winehouse and talent chameleon Lady Gaga.
That’s not to say she doesn’t have her individual sound. Kali’s musical manifold comes alive in all of her songs. It seems that in every piece, she’s able to capture a different feel, message, and sound.
Her song “Lottery” could fall under the category of bubblegum pop, while “Know What I Want” is a modern mix laid-back reggae undertones, whereas “Rush” has a futuristic feel of electro-pop to it. On her sound, she considers herself “lowrider soul.”
Kali has also collaborated with Tyler, the Creator on his Flower Boy album.
Together, they performed the single, “See You Again” on the Jimmy Fallon show. The natural chemistry between the two artists was undeniable. What asked about Kali, Tyler has mentioned how much he loves working with her.
“Her sense of melody is good and works really well with my chords. We knock ideas out quick, and we trust each other.”
Well, it’s been a very real year for Kali, that’s for sure. She’s dropped her new single Planeta ft. Reykon, where she gets in touch with her Spanish side, smoothly singing over a Latin-inspired beat.
Kali’s new look is less “pink” and more sultry Latina as of late, getting in touch with her sensual side and singing more in her native Colombian tongue.
Kali collaborated with Daniel Cesar on “Get U” which earned her a Grammy nomination. Kali’s Latin Grammy nomination also came for her collaboration with Juanes’ El Ratico. Of the musical collaboration, she says,
“I’m just so proud and happy for him to want me on his song and to make a video with him. It meant a lot to me and it meant a lot to my family.”
And rightfully so. Kali’s achievements have brought her peak career, with her summer hit “Tyrant” featuring Jorja Smith which raked in over 5 million views on YouTube.
All of her hard work paid off in the end. Kali has made a name for herself and paved her way into the musical landscape.
Like any upcoming artist, she is still evolving herself into the spotlight. But with her amazing voice and star potential, Kali could be the artist everyone is talking about at the end of 2018.
This year, she’ll be sure to bring her fans exactly what they’re looking for; a whole lot of variety and even more fun.