Tsunami Christmas With Kehlani and Friends
Saturday, Dec. 19, 2015
Kehlani has had a hell of a year.
The 20-year-old R&B singer signed to Atlantic Records and embarked on her first international tour. Her second mixtape, You Should Be Here
, dropped in April and is now nominated for a Grammy for Best Urban Contemporary Album. Rolling Stone
named her one of the “10 Artists You Need to Know” and Billboard
called You Should Be Here
the “first great R&B album” of the year.
Her back-story is interesting, too. Kehlani, who grew up in Oakland, lost her father shortly after she was born due to gun violence. Her mother, a drug addict and criminal, was arrested when she was a baby, and Kehlani was taken in by her aunt when she was three-months old. When she was 16, she moved out and became homeless, stealing from big chain stores and sleeping at trap houses. She’s also openly bisexual, and it’s common knowledge that she had her first girlfriend by ninth grade.
So, when I heard that she was headlining a show at the Fox Theater (two shows, in fact), I figured I should check her out. Given all the hoopla about her this past year and her recent single, “The Way,” with Chance the Rapper (which has almost 8 million plays on YouTube), I was intrigued. Why is Kehlani so hot right now? I wondered. Not only was the Saturday night show I was about to attend sold out, but the Sunday night show was, as well. And there weren’t even any named openers – the show is billed simply as “Kehlani and Friends.”