Kali Uchis performing in 2018
|Birth name||Karly-Marina Loaiza|
|Born||July 17, 1994|
Alexandria, Virginia, U.S.
Karly-Marina Loaiza (born July 17, 1994), known professionally as Kali Uchis, is a Colombian-American singer and songwriter. She debuted in the music industry with her 2012 mixtape, Drunken Babble, which was described as "genre-defying". She released her first EP, Por Vida, in 2015 to further recognition. Her debut studio album, Isolation, was released in 2018 to widespread acclaim.
Karly-Marina Loaiza was born on July 17, 1994 in Alexandria, Virginia. Her parents moved from Pereira, Colombia to the United States in the early 1990s, fleeing the conflict in Colombia. Uchis and her family moved around back and forth between the U.S. and Colombia. She started elementary school in Colombia and moved back to the U.S. in third grade. While growing up, she learned to play piano and saxophone. Uchis participated in a jazz band, before her graduation from T. C. Williams High School. Uchis often skipped classes to spend time at the photo lab, making experimental short films. Her interest in photography led to her creating mix-tape cover art. She also wrote poetry, songs and music, but did not initially intend to sing, being rather more interested in directing films than being in the spotlight. She was given the nickname "Kali Uchis" by her father.
2012–2014: Drunken Babble
Shortly after graduating, Uchis released her debut mixtape Drunken Babble on August 1, 2012. The mixtape was described as "genre-defying", noted for its influences from doo-wop, reggae and early 2000s R&B. In 2014, she collaborated with rapper Snoop Dogg on the song "On Edge" from his mixtape, That's My Work Volume 3.
2015–2016: Por Vida
In February 2015, Uchis released her debut EP Por Vida for free download on her official website, and later on iTunes. The project featured production from various musicians, including Diplo, Tyler, the Creator, Kaytranada and BadBadNotGood. She embarked on her first tour during October 2015 with Leon Bridges, touring through the United States and parts of Canada.
On May 22, 2017, Uchis released "Tyrant", featuring English singer Jorja Smith, to serve as the first single from her then-upcoming debut studio album. On June 20, she announced her first headlining tour, specifically a North American tour in support of the album. The tour took place from August to October 2017, starting at the Outside Lands Music and Arts Festival in San Francisco, with a stop at the Pop Montreal music festival. Uchis then released "Nuestro Planeta", featuring Reykon, as the second single from the album on August 25, 2017.
On September 27, 2017, Lana Del Rey announced that Uchis would be joining her as an opening act on select North American arena dates of her world tour, the LA to the Moon Tour. Uchis supported Del Rey from January 15, 2018, to February 16, 2018.
In October 2017, Uchis was nominated for a Latin Grammy Award for Record of the Year for "El Ratico", her collaboration with Colombian musician Juanes. She was also nominated for a Grammy Award for Best R&B Performance at the 60th Annual Grammy Awards for "Get You", her collaboration with Canadian singer Daniel Caesar.
Uchis stated that she is influenced by music of the 1960s, with its mix of early soul, R&B and doo-wop, saying: "Musically and aesthetically, the culture of it just inspires me." She also mentioned that she enjoys jazz, stating during her career beginnings that she draws musical inspiration from Ella Fitzgerald and Billie Holiday. Other musicians she cited as influences on her sound are Curtis Mayfield, Loose Ends, Ralfi Pagan and Irma Thomas.
In 2018, Uchis started selling clothing through social shopping app Depop and donate proceeds to communities around her hometown. On an Instagram post, she captioned "in my hometown of co[lombia] i was able to contribute medicine, groceries, school supplies, new shoes, household appliances, & even make house modifications for some families suffering from disabilities, illness, & others who had nothing after fleeing from guerrilla warfare". In early August 2018, Uchis and her family in Pereira planned to work and help with communities in her hometown, Pereira, and in Medellín.
- Isolation (2018)
Awards and nominations
|2017||Latin Grammy Awards||Record of the Year||"El Ratico" (with Juanes)||Nominated|
|Grammy Awards||Best R&B Performance||"Get You" (with Daniel Caesar)||Nominated|||
|2018||UK Music Video Awards||Best Urban Video - International||"After the Storm" (featuring Tyler, the Creator and Bootsy Collins)||Nominated|||
|Best Production Design in a Video||Nominated|
|Soul Train Music Awards||Best New Artist||Herself||Nominated|||
- North American Tour (2017)
- In Your Dreams Tour (2018)
- The Kali & Jorja Tour (2019; with Jorja Smith)
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- Cacouris, Christina (August 25, 2017). "A New Spanish-language Kali Uchis Single "Nuestro Planeta" Just Dropped". V. Retrieved May 28, 2018.
- Kim, Michelle; Strauss, Matthew. "Lana Del Rey Announces Tour". Pitchfork. Retrieved September 27, 2017.
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