Photo Credit: Felipe Q Nogueira
Last month Karly-Marina Loaiza, professionally known as Kali Uchis, released a short and sweet EP titled To Feel Alive. Kali has been working on a new album, but wasn’t ready to release it due to the current quarantine. She put together the EP just to hold over listeners and to give her fans some momentary excitement. Kali encouraged her listeners not to buy it, but to just listen and enjoy it on all available music streaming platforms. She said on her social media: “Can’t give you my album yet, but I recorded some demos in my room for you.” The cover art, work of Polish artist Oh de Laval, is a NSFW piece that shows “Por Vida-era” Kali (blond hair) and “Isolation-era” Kali (black hair). The sexual act, as Kali describes it, represents her wanting to be like herself from a couple years ago. On a side note, Kali did make a living creating cover art for albums prior to music being her main gig.
Kali produced To Feel Alive herself. “I love to make old things new, and I love to just kind of get my own spirit and my own take on being whatever inspired me, as a part of my past or a part of my journey,” she said to Harper’s Bazaar. Euphoric and soulful, the four songs create a very dreamy atmosphere. The first two tracks, “honey baby (SPOILED!)” and “angel”, are demos that never made it to her debut EP Por Vida, which have been worked on more and fleshed out during quarantine. Both of these songs appeared in the video teaser for Por Vida back in 2013 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dUzPbFjuvOg).
“honey baby (SPOILED!)”, a sweet ballad about her partner treating her right, sounds like you’re walking on clouds. With birds singing in the background, Kali sings about her partner spoiling her by being loving and caring. “angel” was initially called “Pablo Escobar” and it describes how the love of her man gets her as high as the drugs Pablo Escobar sold. The mastered audio of the track was posted on YouTube in 2017 and includes a rap verse. In “i want war (BUT I NEED PEACE)” we hear a beautiful piano and harmony intro. The track is about a relationship she went through and how it changed her: “Calling me crazy, that’s what you made me // Look at the mess I got myself in (Ooh) // I don’t wanna get numb to the feeling // Will all of my sins be forgiven?” Kali has preformed this song before on tour with Jorja Smith.
The EP’s outro, “TO FEEL ALIVE”, was written in just 25 minutes. It’s about getting up each time you fall after a painful relationship. Kali’s looking at life from a different perspective, self-reflecting on her own image. She isn’t the perfect cover girl with no opinions. Her goal was never fame or commercial success, she wants to keep creating what she feels is right for her and her fans. It’s exciting to see what Kali Uchis may show us next, considering how much unreleased music she possibly has. She is currently keeping the same schedule, and works just as much as she did prior to COVID-19.