Artist Spotlight: Kali Uchis
If there is any artist whose music is a culmination of diverse genres and cultures, it’s Kali Uchis.
Colombian-American singer Kali Uchis has been riding the wave of success in the pop, Latin, and R&B industries. Since her debut mixtape Drunken Babble dropped in 2012, she’s gained a widespread following of both English and Spanish music listeners.
Born and raised in Alexandria, Virginia as Karly Marina-Loaiza, the young artist found inspiration in a variety of music styles. Everything from 1960s doo-wop, to jazz, to diva pop, to Latin music influences are present in her songs.
2015 saw the release of her debut EP, Por Vida. However, Kali’s breakthrough came in 2018 when she dropped her first full-length album, Isolation. The album was promoted by several singles – “Dead To Me,” “Tyrant” featuring Jorja Smith, “Nuestra Planeta,” “After the Storm” featuring Tyler, The Creator, and “Just a Stranger” featuring Steve Lacy.
“When I was making this album, I really didn’t want to be influenced by current music or by my peers,” Kali revealed in an interview with Vogue in 2018. “Sometimes I was worried that maybe my music wouldn’t be embraced by other people because it doesn’t really correlate with what’s trending at this moment, but I think embracing the isolation of that and tasking the risk of making things that don’t sound like anything else right now makes music exciting. That’s part of what makes life exciting. That’s part of being an artist.”
Since Isolation, Kali released a second EP, TO FEEL ALIVE, in early 2020, which she recorded during the COVID-19 pandemic. Her second album, Sin Miedo (del Amor y Otros Demonios), finds Kali fully embracing her Colombian roots, as the majority of the album is recorded in Spanish and features heavy Latin musical influences in comparison to previous works. Sin Miedo features the Grammy-nominated single “telepatía,” which is one of Kali’s most successful singles to date.
Speaking of Grammys, Kali picked up her first gramophone trophy in 2021 for “Best Dance Recording” for her feature on Kaytranada’s song “10%.”
In regards to new music, Kali Uchis fans have plenty to look forward to in the coming months! On April 21, Kali announced via Instagram that she is planning to release not one, but TWO albums very soon – one in English and one in Spanish.