Kali was born in the state of Virginia, United States just over 26 years ago, but since she was little she moved with her family to Pereira in Colombia. She always spoke English and Spanish as a single language: “I’m used to Spanglish,” says the singer in an interview.
So it is not surprising that Kali has chosen to mix both languages in her second studio album, Without fear (of love and other demons) where in addition to the language she mixes an urban style, with classic pop and R&B sounds of relaxed tempo.
The success of this second production hardly compares to that of Telepathy, the third single of the material. A song that after going viral on TikTok became the most listened to success in Spanish in the world, only behind Shakira, Cardi B and Karol G.
Like the name of her album, Kali had to leave her fears and venture to follow her instinct to make an album of this type, despite the refusal of her record company and those around her who recommended not to do it, because a Spanish song works, but a full album? That if not.
ADVENTURE IN SPANGLISH
Kali is forceful in stating: “I sing and I am an artist because that is the person I am, it has nothing to do with success, with audiences.”
And so she recounts the process of her second album: “I was only proud of the album itself, of doing it in Spanglish because I speak like that in my everyday life, I grew up with both languages and couldn’t think otherwise. There were people who told me that doing that would be going backwards in my career because it was not going to work. “
The challenge that the singer took became a historic success. The album reached 200 million views on Spotify in mid-March; in Mexico it is part of the top ten of the most listened to albums and is in the top 15 in the world, sharing a feat with Bad Bunny.
“I don’t care what others say, because I’ve been singing in Spanish for a long time. My first covers were like the bolero Sabor a me, or Why are you leaving from Jeanette, it is what fills me with happiness and what I want to do. Actually, I don’t care about success, but what I do for love, ”says Kali in a shy voice on the phone that is nothing like her eccentric visual style.
“What I am experiencing is something very strange, but in any case it is a pride because we are breaking Latino barriers everywhere. Success is never going to matter to me, thinking if something is going to work or not, because what I did was with love and that is the most important thing for me ”.
Life has changed for Kali Uchis so far in 2021. Not only because of the success of her materials, but because she won the international Grammy in the category of Best Dance Recording by 10%, in collaboration with Kaytranada, becoming the second Colombian to achieve this Anglo-Saxon award, like Shakira.
“Shakira has always been one of my inspirations, I feel very proud to have achieved something like this. She’s someone I looked up to since I was little and it feels pretty good to be able to share something in common with her, ”says the singer who recently appeared on Jimmy Fallon’s stellar show.
Kali has not limited himself to music. Soon the Colombian will fulfill her dream of becoming an actress and will do so in the Mexican telenovela ¿Qué pasa a mi familia ?, produced by Juan Osorio, where she will make a special participation.
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“I have always been a fan of soap operas and this is a small appearance that I made on my most recent visit to Mexico. It was a very fun experience and I really enjoyed the opportunity, ”he shares.
Kali for now thinks about what her concert tour will be once the pandemic allows it and she hopes to collaborate with artists like Bad Bunny, whom she admires and recently wrote a fragment of Telepathy on her Twitter account: “The moon is full , my empty bed… ”.