Kali Uchis

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About Kali Uchis

Over the course of the 2010s, the line between indie and mainstream continued to blur, rap and R&B melted into each other, and American pop music went urbano. And standing in the middle of all these changes was Kali Uchis, a pancultural pop polymath who’s effortlessly adapted to many contemporary styles while playing the femme-fatale foil to some of the biggest names in hip-hop and R&B. When the Colombian-American singer (born Karly-Marina Loaiza in 1994 in Alexandria, Virginia) dropped her first EP, Por Vida, in 2015, you’d be forgiven for thinking she was a retro-soul stylist in the Amy Winehouse mold. But through a series of high-profile features and collaborations—like her smoldering, dancehall-dipped duet with Jorja Smith on 2017 single “Tyrant,” her sassy turn on Gorillaz’s future-shocked “She’s My Collar,” and her heartbreaking cameo on Daniel Caesar’s “Get You”—she developed a reputation as one of pop’s most stylistically promiscuous performers. Her 2018 debut full-length, Isolation, revealed the full scope of her vision, presenting a heady fusion of romantic reggaetón, indie-R&B jams, synth-infused psych pop, and Tropicália with a genre- and generation-spanning guest list that included Bootsy Collins, Tame Impala’s Kevin Parker, and Tyler, the Creator. And as Uchis told Apple Music at the time, this epic statement was a mere teaser of what’s to come. “I want to keep growing,” she said. “I want to keep progressing at a faster rate.” But no matter how far out she travels musically, Uchis never strays far from her Latin roots: With her 2020 all-Spanish release, Sin Miedo (del Amor y Ostros Demonios), she claimed her rightful place on the frontlines of urbano’s stateside takeover.

Alexandria, VA, United States of America
July 17, 1994