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Kehlani tells it like it is. Whether in conversation or on stage, the Oakland-born R&B singer and songwriter gives the straight
truth about her life, pain, passion, love, triumph, and everything in between with collected calm and confidence. Its
that type of honesty that makes her music resonate with the depth of classic Motown and a vividly confessional lyricism reminiscent
of Neo Soul. At the same time, her 2015 mixtape, You Should Be Here, tells a story that distinctly belongs to her.
It all starts on the East Bay
Born a unique blend of ethnicities including African American, Caucasian, Native American, Spanish, and Filipino Native American
Kehlani will casually tell you Youre lucky if you make it out of Oakland. However, in her case, talent usurped
luck. Months after her birth, Kehlani lost her father, never properly meeting him. Mired in drug addiction, her mom shuffled
her to an aunt. She initially found solace in danceballet in particularbut a knee injury sidelined her what mightve
been a budding career as ballerina.
Thats when I started singing, she recalls. When I was living with my aunt, she played me all of these
powerful women and love songs. It was that Neo Soul-R&B, and I couldnt get enough of it. It felt right to sing from
the moment I began.
In eighth grade, she became a member of the group Poplyfe produced by Dwayne Wiggins of Tony! Toni! Toné! fame. With
Kehlani front and center, Poplyfe ended up becoming a finalist on Americas Got Talenteven performing with her
idol Stevie Wonder during the final round. They didnt win the competition, but she made an invaluable ally in Nick Cannon.
A few industry pitfalls and detours derailed her musical momentum for six months until she decided to pick up the mic again.
Without a home, she moved from couch to couch until Cannon got back in touch wanting to help however he could. Kehlani wanted
one thing: studio time.
Kehlanis 2014 mixtape, Cloud 19, introduced her to the world.
Immediately, tastemakers and audiences alike wholeheartedly embraced her. Complex showcased the songstress in a piece entitled
How R&B Saved 2014, Pitchfork dubbed the mixtape one of the Overlooked mixtapes of 2014, Vice proclaimed
her an R&B Artist on the Verge of Blowing Up, BuzzFeed pegged her at #4 on their 41 SXSW 2015 Artists You
Need In Your Life, and she ended up being one of SXSWs Top 5 Most Tweeted Artists.
In late April she shared You Should Be Here with the world, which earned Kehlani her very first GRAMMY nomination at the 58th
GRAMMY Awards for Best Urban Contemporary Album. Upon its release Billboard immediately called this project The
years first great R&B album. Amongst their great review, You Should Be Here has seen quite a bit of success on
the charts. Aside from being the top R&B debut of the week, it also came in at #1 on the iTunes R&B/Soul chart and #2 on both
the Overall R&B Albums and Current R&B Albums chart.
Signing to Atlantic Records in early 2015 and releasing You Should Be Here, Kehlani possesses the power to make an impact
because shes so unwaveringly honest.
I am one-hundred percent music, shell assure.
Thats because its the truth.