Inspired by a range of styles and artists, including classic pop-soul and M.I.A.
, Kali Uchis (Karly Loaiza) is a left-field pop singer, songwriter, and producer who also designs her artwork and co-directs her music videos.
Born in Colombia, she and her family moved to the U.S. during her childhood. As a teenager growing up in Alexandria, Virginia, just south of Washington, D.C., she learned to play piano and saxophone and got into recording. In 2012, she debuted with the 40-minute mixtape Drunken Babble. Within three years, she had several singles to her credit, including "Know What I Want" and "Lottery," as well as collaborations with GoldLink
("Divine") and Major Lazer
("Wave"), among others. Following the independent release of Por Vida -- a free digital-download EP with tracks produced by Diplo
, and Tyler, the Creator
-- Uchis started releasing her material through Virgin EMI
. A DJ Dahi-tweaked version of Por Vida's "Ridin Round," issued in November 2015, after she relocated to Los Angeles, was the artist's first single for the major label. "Only Girl," a relaxed Kaytranada
production featuring Vince Staples
and the Internet
's Steve Lacy, followed in April 2016. ~ Andy Kellman, Rovi