Kali Uchis has one of those voices that just grabs you right away. Even when scrolling through the lyric booklet researching for this piece, it’s impossible not to hear her voice inside your head. As her popularity continues to snowball, they’re all going to be talking about that touch of Winehouse. But it’s ingrained further than that, it’s the creativity of a kid that came from Columbia to Virginia and sought for a life in L.A. where everything is happening. Her own musical influences are vast, in our conversation she mentions 74-year-old Brazilian bossa nova singer Astrud Gilberto as if she is a reference that every 20-year-old is aware of, and yet the names that she has worked with on her new Por Vida EP – Tyler, The Creator, Kaytranada, BadBadNotGood – are those always on the cutting edge of new music.
The morning after Por Vida’s release we called Kali to talk about the jump from mixtape to official debut, and how she’s already becoming aware of her ever growing, cross generational audience…
How’s L.A. treating you right now?
I’m actually literally looking for an apartment right now, killing myself trying to find an apartment. I get all my work done here but it’s been such a struggle trying to get someone to frickin’ give me an apartment. I’m just out here trying to find a place to live.
What made you head out there initially?
Because everyone’s out here and everything’s out here. When I’m in Virginia it’s like I literally don’t do shit. I wouldn’t say there’s really a good music scene out there [in Virginia] personally. I would say it’s probably the fact of seclusion, and being more in nature, in the middle of nowhere that inspires you to be like – you know when you’re by yourself you’re more creative. I made my mixtape [Drunken Babble] in my room on my computer in Virginia.