The “Age of Aquarius” is here, now more than ever before. Women and members of the LGBTQIA+ community are taking over pop culture, and Latinx musicians are stronger than ever, with number 1 songs on the charts and millions of streams per week. Let’s talk about the it-girl of the moment: Kali Uchis. Her given name is Karly Marina Loaiza, and she’s an openly bisexual diva and the Colombian-American with the highest number of streams on any platform right now. Her song “Telepathy” has been listened to by over 200 million people all around the world, and it’s been a source of inspiration for viral memes and more than 80 thousand Tik Tok videos.
Kali was born in Virginia, and during elementary school, she moved to her family’s home country of Colombia. Years later, she returned to the United States and took an interest in learning the saxophone and piano. Ever since Kali was young, she’s been talented and hard-working. She started uploading her demos on the Internet, and in 2014 her luck changed with the track “Know What I Want,” which got 10 million views on YouTube. At the same time, she did “On Edge,” a collaboration with Snoop Dogg, and everything started to happen for her. A star was born.
Her first EP, Por Vida, appeared on her site for free in 2015. Recorded in Los Angeles, this album contained 9 autobiographical songs that took us to eccentric places and showed off Kali’s style and flow. Her videos, inspired by old movies, always have a vintage vibe. Her soft, soothing voice and her sensual style are irreplicable.
Her dreams really began to come true in 2017, when she opened the US “LA to the Moon” tour for her idol Lana del Rey and performed at the most important music festival in the United States: Coachella.
Her first full-length album, Isolation, which came out in 2018, is like a premonition of the pandemic that would paralyze the world two years later. What she was actually referring to in the album was the loneliness that she was experiencing while making it. One of the most successful characteristics of this album is the mixing of different styles, such as bossa nova, R & B, soul, and reggaeton. For the first time, she released a song in Spanish “Nuestro Planeta.” Her personal style is dark hair, over-the-top eye makeup, spandex, and big platform heels. Everyone immediately knew that Kali Uchis was the person we needed on the music scene.
On the song “After the Storm,” Kali worked with Tyler The Creator and the great Bootsy Collins, a bassist who formed part of two renowned funk bands, Parliament and Funkadelic. Some of his other collaborations of note have been with Gorillaz (a virtual band comprised of animated members and led by Damon Albarn, the vocalist from Blur), Steve Lacy (The Internet), Jorja Smith, Rico Nasty, Jhay Cortez, Little Dragon, and Kaytranada, with whom Collins won a Grammy for the song “10%.”
Kali Uchis is an artist that’s hard to forget. She’s always sexy and one step ahead of the times. She has that iconic, unstoppable power. Right now, she is at her peak (according to Bad Bunny) with this third album, almost entirely in Spanish. She’s taking the language to the entire planet, breaking down geographical and gender boundaries, and making the cover of fashion and music magazines around the globe.
“We are so multi-dimensional, with so many cultures and so many different levels to ‘Latin music’ that people don’t recognize. I wanted to represent the best I could. I never made a bolero before, so let me make a bolero. I never made perreo, so let me make perreo. Let me push my pen and see what I can really do.”Kali Uchis (I-D Magazine)
Produced by Tainy, the Latinx star who has made hundreds of hits for artists like Dua Lipa, J. Balvin, and Justin Bieber, and who did all of the Bad Bunny albums, Sin Miedo (del Amor y Otros Demonios) ∞ is full of Kali’s extraordinary talent, style, and vocal ability. Don’t miss out on this gem; it’s well worth listening to from beginning to end. Once you get hooked, go back and check out her previous releases.
Here are some of her hottest singles on one Spotify list: This Is Kali Uchis
By Sussy Oh.