If there was ever a self-made star, Kali Uchis should be the dictionary example: turning to creativity of all forms in her somewhat tumultuous upbringing between Colombia and America, Uchis (born Karly-Marina Loaiza) found herself lost in the world of music. Nicknamed Kali Uchis by her father, her musical world was her own little secret, until her 2012 mixtape made its way out of the bedroom and into people’s lives – the lives of Snoop Dogg and Tyler, The Creator nonetheless.
A story-teller, a picture-painter, her aesthetic is as emotively crafted as her music, it’s Kali through-and-through. Proud of her heritage, her Colombian roots shine through her soulful sound and sensual style, drawing in her influences from the silver screen and beyond, Uchis is a cinematic ethereal dream. On top of her creative genius, the artist confronts discrimination, inequality, Americana and more head on, Kali Uchis is as relevant and important now as she was when she was creating art for her community. Unpacking her evolution to the siren we know and love today, Kali Uchis talks HUNGER back through her days directing videos in her small town, to discovering her life’s calling, right up to what’s still to come…
How’s 2018 been for you so far?
I don’t like to put too many expectations on things because nothing ever seems to go as planned, but I think as long as there’s growth each year it’s positive. I always keep myself busy no matter what, when there’s nothing I get a bit depressed so I like to be constantly doing stuff. Preparing myself for better things to come.
You’ve had an interesting evolution over the years, and you’ve definitely grown. How do you feel your sound and self has evolved?
I think when I started with music, when I started as an artist releasing things into the world, it was always a choice and an expression. I didn’t have any training or have anyone around me who really supported me. Over the years, being able to actually grow as an artist and as a person has been so vital. Leaning how to use my voice, and really produce my own music, I’ve found how to expand on them because I have people around me who really believe in me. For so long I never had people like that around me, and I didn’t have people around me to work with either. So I guess I’ve always been pushing myself, I’ve always been pushing to learn more about my own voice and my own self. Never trying to be stagnant or stay doing the same thing.