About Kali Uchis
Kali Uchis was born Karly-Marina Loaiza on July 17, 1994 in Alexandria, Virginia. She spent her childhood moving between Virginia and her parents' native Columbia, studying at elementary school in Colombia, before moving back to the U.S. in third grade. Throughout her studies she was drawn to the arts: she learned to play piano and saxophone, performing in a jazz band, and took an interest in photography, as well as writing poetry, songs and music, and directing films.
2012-2016: Career beginnings, Drunken Babble and Por Vida
After graduating from T. C. Williams High School, Uchis self-released her debut mixtape, Drunken Babble, in 2012. The mixtape showcased her love of doo-wop, reggae and early-2000s R&B, creating a unique sound and style that was further enhanced by her self-produced cover art.
Two years later, Uchis released her debut single, "Know What I Want", and was a featured singer on the tracks "On Edge" by Snoop Dogg and "Divine" by GoldLink.
2015 saw release of Uchis' debut EP, Por Vida, which was originally released as a free download via her website, before later being released to digital streaming platforms. The EP features collaborations with Tyler, the Creator, Kaytranada, BADBADNOTGOOD, and XXXChange, and it began to put Uchis on the map when its song "Sycamore Tree" was used in teasers for the television series American Horror Story: Roanoke the following year. The popularity of the EP also led to a record deal with Virgin EMI.
She was also the featured singer on two songs ("Find Your Wings" and "Yellow") from Tyler, the Creator's 2015 album Cherry Bomb, and the Major Lazer song "Wave" from Peace Is The Mission (2015).
In April 2017, Uchis collaborated with Gorillaz on the tracks "She's My Collar" and "Ticker Tape" from their album Humanz.
The following month, she released the lead single from her upcoming debut album: "Tyrant", featuring English singer Jorja Smith. This was followed by the second single, "Nuestro Planeta", featuring Reykon, in August.
In September 2017, Lana Del Rey announced that Uchis would be serving as support for her LA to the Moon Tour from January through February 2018. The following month, she was nominated for a Latin Grammy Award for Record of the Year for her collaboration with Colombian musician Juanes, "El Ratico". This was followed by a Grammy Award nomination at the 60th annual awards ceremony in January 2018 for Best R&B Performance for "Get You" with Canadian singer Daniel Caesar.
Uchis' debut studio album, Isolation, was released in 2018 and features collaborations with BIA, Steve Lacy, Jorja Smith, Reykon, Gorillaz, Tyler, The Creator and Bootsy Collins. The album was critically acclaimed and featured on nine Best Albums of 2018 lists. It also peaked at number 32 on the Billboard 200 and at number two on the New Zealand Heatseeker Albums chart.