To paraphrase the intro of Kehlani’s 2015 smash mixtape You Should Be Here, this Grammy-nominated artist has been through more than some will in their entire lives “all before the age of being able to buy a f**king drink at a bar.” When you hear the talented singer/songwriter’s lyrics and see her perform, you can easily forget that she’s only 20 years old. She’s been on the rise for the past couple of years, thanks to hits like “FWU,” “The Way,” and “Alive,” and her work with artists like KYLE, G-Eazy, and Pusha T. Her sultry R&B sound, take-nothing-from-no-one attitude, and even her energetic dance moves have been key to helping her take the music scene by storm.
Hailing from Oakland, California, Kehlani got her first taste of stardom when she appeared on America’s Got Talent with the band PopLyfe while she was still in high school. After leaving the band, she released her first mixtape Cloud 19 in 2014, which achieved critical success and even landed on Complex’s Best Albums of 2014 list, even though it only had 8 tracks. Cloud 19 set Kehlani up to be the next big thing to come out of the Bay — incorporating her Oakland style and even featuring fellow HBK Gang member Iamsu!
In April 2015, Kehlani dropped her highly anticipated second mixtape You Should Be Here, which peaked at number 5 on the Billboard Top R&B/Hip-Hop albums and included features from JMBLYA alum Chance the Rapper and BJ the Chicago Kid. YSBH scored Kehlani her first Grammy nomination for Best Urban Contemporary Album.
There’s a reason Kehlani’s You Should Be Here tour sold out almost every show. Kehlani started out as a dancer and can still move circles around most other performers out right now. Her DJ Noodles wakes the crowd up and Kehlani and her squad, consisting of her best friends, put on a sexy and energetic performance. Kehlani’s loyal fans, dubbed the Tsunami Mob, pack the house when she comes to town because they know Kehlani will connect with them and inspire them. Don’t be fooled by her tough, tatted exterior; she’s been through struggle and pain and she’s not afraid to break it down and tell her audience what she’s been through and more importantly, that it gets better.
Get familiar with Kehlani’s music before you see her turn JMBLYA all the way up by listening below. Also follow her on Snapchat @kehlanitsunami. Trust us.