SZA and Kali Uchis are Killin' It Right Now

SZA and Kali Uchis and other artists like them are truly on their A game nowadays. Both are so unique, but hold some of the same characteristics: confidence, courage, warmth.

(Courtesy of Billboard)

Aside from being outrageously talented, Solana Rowe aka SZA is making her name known everywhere. At the age of 26, she has three EP’s (SEE·SZA·RUN in 2012, S in 2013, and Z in 2014) and her latest studio album CTRL has been exploding everywhere. Signed to Top Dawg Entertainment, SZA is among the ranks of Ab-Soul, ScHoolboy Q, Isaiah Rashad, Jay Rock and Kendrick Lamar.

It might be noteworthy to say that she is the only female artist signed to Top Dawg as well. She said in an interview with Reggie Ugwu from Billboard that her presence wasn’t completely well received at first: "I'm like this random girl from a small town, and I annunciate all my words, and I wear dirty Chucks, and my hair is never combed; I don't think they knew what to make of me." At first, I think they looked at me like an alien or something. "Your music is weird, you're weird, but we like you.”

She has since then been accepted into the TDE family and is making them proud. Her smash hit “Love Galore” featuring Travis Scott just recently went platinum; she responded to this with excitement and a snippet of a verse that didn’t make the songs final cut.

The thing I admire most about SZA is how relatable she is. She makes her lyrics sound so effortless but jam-packs them with emotion. While one song is a melody of sorrow and anger (“Supermodel”), the next one just oozes sexuality ("Doves in The Wind” ft. Kendrick Lamar). She isn’t afraid to play with the big boys and show them a thing or two. Her songs have the power to surround yourself with your friends and scream to the heavens, but also comfort you when it’s much needed.

SZA is currently on tour promoting CTRL across the states, with shows coming up in Florida, Georgia, New York, and her hometown of St. Louis, Missouri.

(Courtesy of Fader)

The Colombian-American artist Karly Loaiza, or better known by her stage name Kali Uchis, is inching her way towards stardom, but it seems like lately she’s really started to take off. The 23-year-old combines her Latin-based roots sprinkled with a synthesized and dream-like feel that leave the audience wanting more.

Kali stands out for the same reason people like her: she blends old school with her own tricks. She’s been hailed to have qualities like a Spanish Amy Winehouse and Billie Holiday. She gets her inspiration from the Chicano culture such as lowriders and 50’s/60’s aesthetics.

Working with artists such as Tyler, The Creator, Daniel Caesar, Jorja Smith, Snoop Dogg, Juanes, and many more have launched her into stardom. In an interview with Kylie Griffiths from Noisey regarding who she likes to work with the most she says, “Tyler [the Creator]'s definitely my favorite. He's got a lot of similar influences to me. We're around the same age, too, and influenced by the same cultures. It happens naturally. When you work with someone you often have to explain to them what you're about, then they have their own shit, and you have to meet in the middle, and it becomes a melting pot.”

Kali is featured on a few of Tyler’s albums; most recently on Flower Boy where they collab on his song “See You Again,” which is arguably one of the album's’ most well-received songs.

She mixes whatever sounds appealing. I think the song that represents what I mean is “Know What I Want” off of her album Por Vida. To Spanish trained ears, the beat in the background combines cumbia and a dreamy pop ballad accompanied by her direct yet soothing words.

Her music career started when she put out her mixtape Drunken Babble back in 2014. She writes almost everything she sings and likes to produce her own art/visuals for her videos. Kali puts her entire self into her music without fear of what or how she will be liked. She makes music for the culture, but more importantly for herself. I think I enjoy her musical presence so much because of how daring and in tune with herself she is. Her words and energy make you want to wear that lipstick you weren’t sure about; that dress that might be too short. Everything about her screams confidence and demands respect.

Kali Uchis is also currently on tour breaking out of the underground and making her way towards the mainstream eye. She has recently appeared on Jimmy Fallon with Tyler, The Creator and has accepted the invitation to open for fellow female artist Lana Del Rey from January to February coming up soon. Check out her newest released “Nuestro Planeta ft. Reykon” and “Tyrant ft. Jorja Smith” or the remix with Daniel Caesar.