Kehlani performing in 2016
|Birth name||Kehlani Ashley Parrish|
|Born||April 24, 1995|
|Origin||Oakland, California, United States|
|Occupation(s)||Singer songwriter Dancer|
Chance the Rapper
I was in art school, and we had all these random classes. We'd listen to a lot of Bollywood. I'd listen to Spanish music – and I don't even speak Spanish, but Hector Lavoe is amazing – we listened to French music like Edith Piaf. She's tight. I like cool vocal inflections; I like cool sounds. I pretty much listen to anything I think is good.
When I started singing, I was covering Lauryn Hill, Brandy, and all the girl groups of the '90s. It's just what I would listen to and what I was singing when anybody asked me to sing for them.
My biggest role model right now is Beyonce, just 'cause she is a very, very strong, powerful woman, and that's obviously the number one reason to be inspired by her. She is just killing every game there is to kill.
There's girls that grew up like me and even worse, and they need to know that there is someone out there that can give them hope with my music. It's about inspiring people and helping people.
I think my main two songs are 'FWU' and 'Get Away.' 'FWU' made a cool point because it came out right after Chris Brown's 'Loyal' came out. I combated it with 'FWU,' a song that basically says, 'These women are loyal.'
Me being so open just helps other people. People feel like they know me so much that they can talk to me all of the time about really personal things. Sometimes it's really nice and comforting. It depends on the person, whether they're creepy or not.
If my eyebrows are cool, if my eyeliner is popping, if I'm moisturized, then I can pretty much wear whatever I want. I think if your hair and your face are together, I think it's pretty much polished!
It's funny: I don't listen to too much rap. I don't listen to too much older hip-hop. If I do, it's Ja Rule.
I write most of my songs to beats. I play around on guitar, but not enough to where I can compose my own stuff or play solos. I can accompany myself 'cause most songs are, like, four chords.
As far as creation goes, you just really have to not overthink and just create and be confident. If you think it's tight, then the world is going to think it's tight.
I used to think that love was giving up everything of yourself and giving it to the other person. Now, I've realized that love is when you have somebody that doesn't make you give up half of yourself.
I feel like I don't really care about impressing other people. I thoroughly enjoy impressing myself.
I think writing and singing go together, but I treat them as two separate careers because I write for others. If I'm writing for myself, I prefer to be with the producer. And then we can vibe out and throw ideas back and forth, and I'll basically let the producer play me a bunch of beats until I vibe with one.
Stardom is a crazy thought. If that's what my path is, then that's where I'm excited to be headed towards.
I hang out with the right people, my friends that I've had since the beginning. We go to the beach, take walks, paint, see our family – just normal things that people who become famous lose sight of.
I think, as musicians, our music should be who we are. Sometimes it's not – it's someone else's. All heartfelt music and all honest music, it's who we are. Of course, our upbringing has everything to do with it.
My pops passed when I was little. I didn't have a dad around to tell me certain things. I didn't have my biological mother.
I was out of the house at 16 by my own doing. It forced me to really grow up and take care of myself, and I learned a lot of things that your parents usually teach you, on my own.
I want babies before I'm 25. I want to bring my babies on the road and bring them to concerts and raise them in the studio.
I think most people don't know that I really write everything myself. No help. There's nobody in the studio except for me and the engineer. A lot of people don't think I'm a singer. They think I'm a rapper.
Sometimes I make songs about girls, and I say 'he,' or I'll make songs about guys, and I say 'she,' or sometimes they're exactly what they're about. I feel like it just allows me to get a lot more perspective.
I just remember falling in love with the old Chris Brown music, where it was, like, that real R&B, and I love the radio smashes he's put out since then, but I go back to his older music for that R&B.
I went from broke and homeless sleeping on couches. Couldn't even figure out what I was doing in Los Angeles. Now, I'm paying my own bills. I'm about to move my mama in with me at 19. I'm on tour now, and this is all off of one mixtape.
You start singing by singing what you hear. So everyone, when they first start singing, they naturally are singing like whatever they're hearing, because that's the only way you learned how to sing. So when I was growing up on Lauryn Hill, when I started singing her songs, I literally trained my voice to be able to do runs.
When you look at me, you can't really tell what I am, but I'm black, white, Native, Spanish, and a little bit of Filipino.
My brain kind of works in steps. I have to go through things and then process them and then write about them. I have to understand them first.
If I was to have a reality show, it wouldn't be a show based on my personal life. I'd want it to showcase me and my girls on tour, like living life as a young artist, not exposing what goes on in my family situations.