Photo Credit to thefader Article by Stephanie Escobar
Kali Uchis is a jack of all trades. A creative, singer, songwriter, producer, and director. She grew up between Colombia and Northern Virginia, and she learned to play piano & saxophone in a jazz band where she quickly fell in love with music.
Kali came into the music scene when she first released her mixtape “Drunken Babble” in 2012 and was defined as genre-defying. She continued to release singles including “Loner”, “Only Girl”, and then her EP “Por Vida” furthering her recognition. Her uniqueness and creativeness of combining her Latin culture into her music made her stand out and gained her a community of fans that we’re ready to receive what she had to offer.
She’s worked with some fantastic artists like Tyler the Creator, Jorja Smith, and Daniel Ceaser, creating some of the best collaborations that I’ve seen. Her vision and ambition to showcase her true authentic self and have served as a catapult to success.
She announced her first headlining tour in 2017 to support her album. She started at Outside Lands Music Festival, playing several other venues and festivals in between to end at Pop Montreal music festival. She was nominated for Latin Grammy for Record of The Year with a collaboration with Juanes. She was also nominated for a Grammy Award for Best R&B Performance for “Get You” with Daniel Caesar.
With the release of her debut album “Isolation” in 2018, with collaborators the Gorillaz, Tyler the Creator, Tame Impala, and Thundercat. All influences are clearly heard throughout the album itself and show how versatile her sound can be but still create a cohesive work of art.
Uchis’ has released her sophomore album “Sin Miedo (del Amor y Otros Demonios) ∞”, which translates to “ Without Fear (Of Love and Other Demons), her first Spanish language project. In her Wonderland cover, Kali Uchis spoke with Rico Nasty about the risk of entering a whole new market in the music industry as she worked on her all Spanish album. She revealed how she received some critiques from English-speaking fans that would not understand her new album but also how they would not make the attempt to listen to music in a different language.
Despite that reaction from a minimal amount of people, Kali Uchis knew in her heart and soul that this Spanish album was something in her heart that she wanted to accomplish. Her ambition and risk-taking were evident as she entered as a new artist in a whole new territory in the music industry. A risk that in the end paid off in a beautiful success.
Uchis’ expressed great appreciation on social media for her fans and anybody who supported this album release as it reached #1 on the US iTunes Latin chart and Top 10 All Genre chart just within a couple of hours of its release.
The album opens with “la luna enamorada”, a modern version of a Bolero or a Spanish love song. Uchis’ lower tone voice combined with the sultry slow-paced guitar just gives off this romantic and love-aching mood that makes you sway.
“Vaya Con Dios” gives off a James Bond backdrop bass that adds drama as Uchi’s soft voice full of emotions adds a perfect touch of bittersweetness. “I say your name in my prayers / You, my angel and my saint,” she sighs. “I don’t know if I’ll see him again, go with God.”
This album has some great collaborations starting with PARTYNEXTDOOR featured in “fue mejor.” An R&B infused beat with soft and silky vocals from Uchis. “Te pongo mal (prendelo)”, which features Puerto Rican duo Jowell & Randy, is a reggaeton vibe as the three swap flirty lines to one another.
Probably one of my favorites is “la luz” featuring Jhay Cortez. A slow reggaeton infused pop song about two lovers who are completely infatuated with one another. “Telepatia” is a dreamy synth wonderland about making love through telepathy giving us a romantic atmosphere. Her first single “Aqui Yo Mando” featuring Rico Nasty, is one the sexiest songs on the album “I’m ya lil mamacita / You do everything I say,” Uchis sings.
Uchis also includes an angelic cover of “Que Te Pedi'' which was originally sung by La Lupe, a Cuban singer known to sing boleros (Spanish love songs). She first premiered her rendition of this song during Virtual Lollapalooza 2020.
“Sin Miedo…” is a timeless album full of classics that I think anybody can love, language barrier or not. Uchis’ shows her versatility within the music industry as she transcends boundaries and makes music that is her own for her soul. This album oozes effortless confidence as each track is stylistically and musically ambitious in its sound.
Listen to “Sin Miedo (del Amor y Otros Demonios) ∞” here. Check out her latest music video below.