By Ngozi Nwanji
I’ve been a fan of Kehlani since her first mixtape, Cloud 19. When I first heard “As I Am” I was taken aback by her voice. It was delicate, but held a great amount of emotion and power. She was one of those R&B singers that made you feel like you had just gotten your heart broken for the third time.
I listened to her mixtape without knowing what she looked like until watching an interview. I was surprised to discover that she was a tomboy. Not only was she a tomboy, but also bisexual and was open about her lyrics being about women. At 19, she already was helping to change the set image that the industry has of women R&B singers.
When Kehlani released her second mixtape “You Should Be Here”, she also became signed to Atlantic Records. She was being recognized by music platforms such as Complex and Rolling Stone, selling out shows on tour and even was nominated for a Grammy for Best Urban Contemporary Album for a mixtape. She was on the road to stardom and was almost untouchable.
But we’re all humans and face situations that test our strength. Sometimes people fail to realize that being a celebrity is far from easy when the personal details of their lives are posted all over social media. They’re judged without people even having the full story. After her attempt at suicide and mental healing, she bounced right back regardless of all the hateful comments that were coming her way. She didn’t let anyone stop her dream that she was destined for.
I’ve been a fan since 2014 and have witnessed the growth of her sound and lyrics. Kehlani has remained a consistent artist and is always working. “CRZY” was a summer single that had massive airplay and she followed up with “Distraction” which the music video already has over 8 million views. Her debut album “SweetSexySavage” will be releasing on January 27.
She’s a role model for young girls out there to feel comfortable in their skin and to learn the meaning of self love. Also, to not be afraid to be different and fearless while chasing their dreams. She’s always spreading words of wisdom and positivity at her shows because she genuinely cares about her fans.
The odds were against Kehlani, but at only 21 she has already become of the biggest R&B singers of today.