HYPETRAK Magazine: Volume 1 – Kali Uchis, The Outcast

Rising singer Kali Uchis is already heading for an unconventional route to stardom. As an Internet

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Rising singer Kali Uchis is already heading for an unconventional route to stardom. As an Internet artist of the modern era, Kali cannot be defined or bound by stereotypes of any kind. And it’s the very reason why she is expected to become the next groundbreaking artist in an industry where female stars are subjected to sexual exploitation and objectification. The 20-year-old Colombian native was raised in Virginia and proclaims to have always felt like an “alien,” or an outsider of sorts, and her personal style is encapsulated in her music. Self-taught with audio and video production, and without any management, Kali delivers a fresh sound that’s inspired by 60’s subculture and soul music that just can’t quite be allocated to any genre. Kali’s self-produced debut mixtape Drunken Babble peaked much interest in the music industry and she’s already collaborated with hip-hop heavyweights like Snoop Dogg and Tyler, The Creator. She’s expected to drop her EP, Por Vida, sometime in 2015. Check out excerpts from Kali Uchis’ exclusive HYPETRAK interview below, and pick up HYPETRAK Magazine: Volume One from the HYPEBEAST Store for $12 USD.

What was it like growing up in Virginia with your unique style?

I was very much a loner and everyone thought I was a huge weirdo. School was primarily a social experiment for me. I never took my studies or the students seriously;, I just focused on my art and did,/ wore whatever I wanted.

Does being born in Colombia influence your inspirations?

I am very proud of my Colombian heritage;, it’s been a huge influence. It always made me feel separate from the people around me because I felt no one really understood me, where I came from and how I was raised. My morals and ideas of things always seemed to contrast with my peers, and I embraced that. Reveling in the things that set me apart gave me a sense of what identity meant growing up that I really appreciate now.

So would you consider yourself more American or Colombian?

I consider myself more alien.

Where do you get your eccentric style from?

It’s important to me to always dress better than I feel. Right now pastel colors make me feel happy, they put me in a euphoric place. So I make sure when I look at myself or I’m in my room, I only see pastel colors. I love the ‘60s, it was a time of revolution and social decay. All my favorite films and music comes from that time, it just feels right.

Who and what are your biggest sources of inspiration?

Freedom, love, death and God.

What are you most excited for with your first album release and what are you most nervous about?

I know it will do what I want it to do to whoever has an open mind to it. Hopefully after I die, people will remember me as someone who changed the course of music and inspired them to be free thinkers. A career as a recording artist is not the safest economic decision these days.

How did you decide to pursue a career in this field? Did you trust your instinct when making decisions for it?

Nothing else makes me happy or brings me purpose besides doing this. So really it just comes down to would I rather live a safe, financially stable, miserable life? Or would I rather live a fulfilling, possibly shortened, dangerous life full of extreme ups and downs, adventure, and no guarantees. I know that I can do anything that I want in life so the day I really sat myself down and asked myself what I wanted the answer was clear. I would rather be a hungry weirdo than a boring bitch with a mediocre life, suppressing my passions.

You maintain heavy creative control over your videos, artwork and overall style that many artists do not. Can you explain why that’s so important to you?

I feel like my only real goal out of life is to remain myself and inspire people to embrace themselves and never feel deserving of bigoted hate or oppression. I have my own vision for myself and my music, I have my own vision for the world, and there are a lot of people who don’t have that. They are more comfortable being told what to do and reading the script mindlessly. I have never been comfortable with taking orders. My entire life I have questioned everyone’s perception of “normal” or “cool.” Free thinking and the power of visualization and creativity are the most beautiful things God could ever have given me and it would be disrespectful to not utilize those gifts.

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