You may have initially heard her song “Gangsta” related to The Joker in “Suicide Squad” or maybe you’ve been a fan since she released her debut mixtape, “Cloud 19” on Soundcloud. Kehlani Parrish is a female R&B singer and songwriter, who is from Oakland, California. I initially started to get into her music because I’m from that area of California, but I soon realized that Kehlani herself was a good person; not just her music or where she was from.
Born on the East Bay, Kehlani’s ethnicity is a diverse blend; being African American, Caucasian, Native American, Spanish and Filipino Native American. She originally started her love for the arts at the Oakland school for the Arts, where she studied ballet and modern dance. She ultimately got a knee injury and had to quit for an extended period of time. So, she naturally started leaning towards singing.
During her eighth grade year, she joined a group called Poplyfe, a band that competed on “America’s got Talent” during the program’s sixth season. Judge Piers Morgan noted that he thought Kehlani, the front person, could be successful without the band. While at that time she didn’t take that seriously, in 2014 her mixtape “Cloud 19” was her breakthrough and introduction to the world (www.allmusic.com). In April of 2015, she shared her debut album “You Should Be Here” with the world. Immediately upon its release, Billboard called this project “The year’s first great R&B album” (www.nytimes.com).
Despite her success in music, she had many ups and downs in her life. Kehlani was, as quoted one of her songs, she was going from “couch to couch”. Nick Cannon, the host of “America’s Got Talent” helped Kehlani when she needed it the most. He actually provided a step-stool into fame since he’s the one who got her into the studio.
Kehlani and her music deserve to be heard. Many, if not all songs, have a meaning to them. They can lift your spirits or bring them down. Kehlani’s music shows her hardships in the Bay Area, but there’s also a glimpse of her good vibes.