With her debut LP Isolation, out now to massive critical acclaim, Kali Uchis stakes a very convincing claim at being the hot new crossover act to watch. Hop scotching effortlessly between myriad genres, her mellifluous vocals shifting from sassy to angry, sultry to stinging, it is the sound of a musician coming fully, and gloriously, into her own. Currently based in Los Angeles, Uchis moved between Colombia and Virginia during her childhood. She grew up with the music of Ivy Queen and Ralfi Pagan, who, along with Astrud Gilberto, remain influences, and would bring back CDs by Kelis, No Doubt and Digable Planets from her local record store. “I always loved female artists who seemed like they were powerful and in tune with themselves, and who had their own independent style,” she says. Uchis carries this spirit through into her own work: “There are a lot of guys who feel intimidated by women who are trying to become something in life.”
With a well-deserved 2019 Grammy nomination for Best New Artist to add to her ever expanding list of career achievements, 21 year-old singer songwriter Jorja Smith closed out a stellar 2018. Over the past year Smith received the Brit Critic's Choice Award, collaborated with the likes of Stormzy, Drake, Kali Uchis and Maverick Sabre and released her critically acclaimed debut albumLost & Found. Tying together R&B, soul and trip hop with her distinctive dulcet-toned vocals, the talented songstress examines the injustices, imbalances and tragic beauty of the world around her with intelligent lyrics and emotional performances.Born and raised in the UK's West Midlands, Smith has a confidence and strength of conviction that belies her young years. Her first ever track Blue Lights was written for a school project on post-colonialism in the UK grime scene, and showcased an inventive style of neo-soul that would soon herald great things. She's just as assured on stage as she is on record, enchanting her audiences with smooth, soulful, jazz-tinged cadences that wrap effortlessly around lilting melodies, calling to mind hints of Billie Holiday, Etta James and Amy Winehouse.