Kali Uchis, a Colombian American singer that has been on my radar since she was 17, has finally released her debut album “Isolation,” at the age of 24.
The dreamy, psychedelic album is exactly what fans should have expected from Uchis. Rhythm and blues, funk and reggaeton fill the new tracks just as much as they filled her past singles, proving that Uchis is an artist that stays true to herself and doesn’t let anything stop her.
“When I never had vocal classes, dunno how to sing, dunno how to dance, literally just improvise & base everything off intuition/ forever do whatever I wanna do, dress myself, run all my own content/ visuals, write all my own music & still ended up where everyone told me I could never be on my own #ISOLATION,” reads an Instagram story that Uchis posted a couple weeks prior to the album’s release.
“Isolation” seems like a culmination of all Uchis has strived to accomplish for herself in the past few years.
Even the title can be seen as self-empowering, rather than with a negative connotation the term ‘isolation’ typically has. She has perfected her sound. Uchis perfected her style and with the help of artists like Steve Lacy, Tyler, the Creator, Jorja Smith and Reykon, this album puts it all on the table for the world to receive.
“Flight 22” is a mellow, romantic track about escaping the world and its problems with a lover. The groovy and funky guitar and piano chords create an ethereal sound as if you really were up in the clouds on a flight.
Uchis’ Colombian roots can be best heard in “Nuestro Planeta,” a single that was released late last year in collaboration with artist Reykon. She sings solely in Spanish on this track and many of her Instagram posts are in Spanish. Uchis has expressed gratitude for being able to connect with fans of Latin America before, so it was only natural that she add this track to her debut album.
The album closes with “Killer”— a track that Uchis has been working on since she was 17. It’s a masterful way to remind us of how consistent and genuine she has been while also measuring how much she has grown.
I would not be surprised if “Isolation” is nominated for several music awards this upcoming year. It was refreshing to hear such retro sounds brought back to the limelight from the versatile female artist of color that is Kali Uchis.