In a music industry that often prioritizes conformity, Kali Uchis has emerged as a breath of fresh air with her soulful vocal and cross-cultural artistry.
Born Karly-Marina Loaiza in Pereira, Colombia, and raised in Virginia, Uchis' journey to success has been marked by a blend of her mixed roots, often experimenting with Latin American and U.S. mainstream music. From her early days as an underground artist to her breakout success as a Grammy-nominated singer, songwriter, and producer, Uchis has carved out her path in an unmatched way.
The Colombian-American singer first burst onto the music scene in 2012 with her self-released mixtape, Drunken Babble. This was the world's first introduction to her sultry, soulful voice and her ability to explore genres seamlessly, fusing doo-wop, reggae, R&B, and hip-hop elements. With a keen sense of style and a distinct visual aesthetic, Uchis quickly garnered viral attention for her unique sound and bold artistic vision.
However, Uchis' road to success was not without its challenges. As an independent artist, she faced financial and logistical obstacles, but her determination and resourcefulness propelled her forward. The artist has been publicly vulnerable about going from homelessness to releasing music independently, steadily building a loyal fanbase through her raw and honest lyrics, relatable storytelling, and, eventually, captivating performances.
In 2015, Uchis released her critically acclaimed EP, Por Vida, which featured collaborations with artists such as Tyler, the Creator and Diplo. The record continued to prove her versatility as an artist, with tracks ranging from smooth, retro-inspired R&B to playful, up-tempo pop. Por Vida received widespread acclaim for its innovative sound, with singles like "Lottery" and "Loner" garnering such traction from listeners that cemented her as a rising star in the music industry.
With her growing popularity and unique style, Uchis began to make waves beyond music. She is especially known for her fashion-forward looks, often incorporating elements of vintage glamor and Latin cultural influences. Her bold and unapologetic approach to fashion and self-expression resonated with fans, and she quickly became a style icon, even starting her own inclusive denim fashion brand, Bodied by Uchis.
In 2018, she released her debut studio album, Isolation, which further solidified the 28-year-old's star quality. She was praised for her genre-defying sound, with tracks like "Dead to Me" and "After the Storm" that showcased her soulful sound and powerful vocals. The album earned her a Grammy nomination for "Best R&B Album" and more critical acclaim from Billboard and Rolling Stone.
Perhaps one of the hallmarks of Uchis' career is her unwavering commitment to authenticity. She fearlessly experiments with bilingual tracks outside traditional reggaeton Latin music and mainstream American pop. Her artistry often falls across the spectrum of sultry indie-pop to Spanish boleros and everything in between, collaborating with dynamic artists in both industries, such as Jhay Cortez, Rico Nasty, and Jorja Smith. Her lyrics are also unapologetically honest and vulnerable, and she uses her platform to highlight important issues such as immigration, racism, and gender equality.
Coming off the heels of her latest viral albums, Sin Miedo (del Amor y Otros Demonios) and Red Moon in Venus, Uchis is bringing her highly anticipated world tour to Miami. The singer-songwriter is set to perform at the FPL Solar Amphitheater at Bayfront Park on Sunday, April 30, and fans eagerly anticipate a night of electrifying music and unforgettable moments.
The evening promises to be a visual and auditory treat, as Uchis is known for her captivating stage presence and theatrical performances. With her unique style and mesmerizing vocals, she knows how to command a stage and create an immersive experience for an audience. Fans can also catch opener British artist Raye, best known for her single "Escapism." which has garnered attention on TikTok.
With Sunday's show sold out, it's evident everyone's excited to witness Uchis' signature dynamic. Whether you're into relaxed indie-pop beats or love a good perreo, Uchis will deliver on all fronts.
Kali Uchis. With Raye. 8 p.m. Sunday, April 30, at FPL Solar Amphitheater, 301 Biscayne Blvd., Miami; 305-358-7550; bayfrontparkmiami.com. Sold out.