It was only four years ago that Kehlani was struggling to find a comfort place called home. But these days, things have completely changed as she becomes one of music's brightest new talents. Even though her name may sound new, the 21-year-old singer/songwriter has been working in the music industry since she was just 14, when she was the lead singer of Oakland-native band PopLyfe.
Kehlani played her first gigs with the band. They later auditioned for talent-search competition "America's Got Talent" in 2011 and eventually finished in the fourth place. During their final appearance, judge Piers Morgan told her, "You've got real talent, but I don't think you need the group."
The R&B singer apparently heeded Morgan's advice as she started writing songs of her own. She also decided to leave the band due to several managerial and contractual dispute. During summer of 2013, she self-released her first solo track on SoundCloud titled "ANTISUMMERLOVE". The track immediately attracted attention from "America's Got Talent" host Nick Cannon. Cannon bought her an apartment in L.A. and he slowly built her way to where she is now.
Kehlani is now gearing up to release her debut album "SweetSexySavage", which is expected to hit the shelves on January 27, 2017. She revealed that the album title was a symbol of women. "As women we are told that we cannot be multi layered.. we are put in boxes.. we can't be all the above.. reclaim yourself. #SWEETSEXYSAVAGE," she wrote on Twitter. "But really.. it's me reclaiming myself. Me accepting myself. Good & bad. All the way around. It's me. Thank you for loving me. #SSS."
The Oakland native started recording sessions for the album around October 2015. Its production was mostly handled by Pop & Oak, while Kehlani also worked with other musicians including her musical director and producer Jahaan Sweet.
"CRZY" was released as the lead single from the album and it peaked at No. 85 on the Billboard Hot 100. The second single "Distraction" was released on July 23, 2016 and its accompanying video received over 2 million views in one day on YouTube. Kehlani premiered third and fourth single, "Advice" and "Undercover", on December 1, 2016 and January 5, 2017 respectively on Zane Lowe's Beats 1. "Do U Dirty" was released on January 13, 2017 as the album's first promotional single.
Kehlani released two mixtapes, "Cloud 19" and "You Should Be Here", in 2014 and 2015 respectively. Mixed by Joe Fritzgerald, "You Should Be Here" debuted at No. 5 on the Billboard's Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums and peaked at No. 36 on the Billboard 200 chart. It also received a nomination for Best Urban Contemporary Album at the 58th annual Grammy Awards.
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R&B singer/songwriter Kehlani was born on April 24, 1995 as Kehlani Ashley Parrish. Born to a unique mix of ethnicity such as African-American, Caucasian, Native American, Spanish and Filipino-Native American, Kehlani was raised by her aunt because her father died when she was infant while her mother was in and out of prison. Kehlani's early music was influenced by Neo Soul and R&B artists her auntie used to play, including Lauryn Hill, Erykah Badu and Jill Scott. Kehlani grew up in Oakland, California and attended the Oakland School of the Arts where she studied ballet and modern dance. » more
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