Artists from Northern California have been garnering more and more shine over the last couple of years, and the R&B scene is no different.
Take, the Oakland singer Kehlani. The 21-year-old was one of the biggest breakout stars at last year’s 2015 South by Southwest (SXSW). Buzzfeed even named her among the top 5 on its “41 SXSW 2015 Artists You Need In Your Life” Pretty impressive right? To make things even greater the ambitious, self-assured singer dropped her mixtape, You Should Be Here on April 28, 2015.As for the concept of the project, it was quite intense coming from a teen, which focused on a little bit of everything.
You see, she didn’t write about needing a man or spending her life waiting for someone to save her. She wrote songs about having a mother who couldn’t be her mother, being in love with people who couldn’t return their love, being trapped inside a social media vortex where people manicure her life, among other things.
Fast-forward a year later, and so much has changed since she released the mixtape that would soon change her life. Within the few weeks, You Should Be Here sold more than 7,000 units and had over 1 million plays on SoundCloud, all within the first 24 hours.
At such a young age, Kehlani hit the road on her first summer tour, which took her all over the world. Shortly after, she was nominated for her first Grammy, a Grammy nomination at just 20-years-old. So for someone who’s been following Kehlani for a while now, I couldn’t help it but smile because an independent artist’s greatness wasn’t being ignored for once.
Kehlani has shown to be the female version of a hustler; she’s the voice for many young girls who can relate to her music. Whether it’s on social media or through her music, she demonstrates that it’s okay to be vulnerable. Take her heartfelt song “The Letter” for example.
Nonetheless, within a year, we’ve witness the Oakland singer share some major ups and downs, but through it all, she’s kept her head high and with her fans right by her side. After all you know what they say, “What a difference a year makes.”
With that being said, happy 1-year anniversary to Kehlani’s You Should Be Here. We can’t wait for Tsunami’s round two to come along!