2x12" 15 Track, Soul / R&B LP - First Time on Vinyl - Twenty-year-old Nineties R&B enthusiast Kehlani Parrish began 2015 as an under-the-radar critical darling and ended it an iTunes smash, a major label signee and a Grammy nominee — not bad for someone who technically hasn't released an album. On her second mixtape, she echews the reverb-y, soup-y haze of modern R&B in favor of the decidedly vintage idea of showing off your soaring pipes and occasionally breathy delivery. She's a mix of Chilli's silky voice with Left Eye's middle-finger attitude on kiss-offs like "How That Taste" or warnings like "Yet"; and the minimal, clicking hi-hats of producer Jahaan Sweet find a cozy midpoint between the shuffle of classic Aaliyah and the jitter of contemporary trap rap.
When Kehlani was fronting the Oakland band Poplyfe during the sixth season of America's Got Talent, judge Piers Morgan informed the young singer, "I don't think you need the group." Four years later, Kehlani had two independent solo releases to her credit: the eight-track Cloud19 (2014) and this album-length affair.
A week after the latter was made available, major-label Atlantic announced its signing of Kehlani, one of the more promising artists of the mid-2010s. While the singer and songwriter has fashioned herself into a contemporary R&B artist comparable to the likes of Jhené Aiko and Tinashe, she has retained the charming, down-to-earth qualities she displayed with her band. She's clearly making her own way, unafraid to knock suitors down a couple pegs ("How That Taste"), allowing her vulnerability to shine through ("You Should Be Here"), and affirming her individuality; in the "take me as I am" highlight "Unconditional," she offers "And I'd rather lace my sneakers up, 'cause high heels ain't my thing." The Chance the Rapper appearance is bound to get more attention than any of the other collaborations, but "Down for You," a duet with BJ the Chicago Kid, is deeper and more representative of Kehlani's refreshing approach to contemporary R&B for young adults.
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Kehlani Ashley Parrish (born April 24, 1995), known professionally as Kehlani, is an American singer and songwriter who is currently signed to Atlantic Records.
Kehlani is originally from Oakland, California where she achieved initial fame as a member of the teen pop group, Poplyfe, which was a finalist on America's Got Talent. She released her first mixtape, Cloud 19, in 2014. The album was listed among Complex's "50 Best Albums of 2014." Kehlani's second mixtape, You Should Be Here, debuted at number 5 on the national R&B/Hip-Hop chart in 2015 and preceded her sold-out North American promotional tour. In 2016, she was nominated for the Best Urban Contemporary Album Grammy Award for You Should Be Here. Kehlani's debut album SweetSexySavage was released on January 27, 2017.
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