By Olivia Levada Lenoir
Kehlani begins a big new year with an album release and world tour, with an assist from a sold-out Tsunami Christmas 2016 at the Observatory OC in Santa Ana, California on Dec. 18.
The night opened with DJ Burr to get the audience warmed up.
Marteen, an artist in his teens from Brea, California followed with his song, “Draymond.”
Maurice Moore, a 19-year-old Canadian artist, showed off his vocals when he covered “Nice and Slow” and serenaded an audience member.
The crowd shouted in excitement when Louisiana native Ambre Perkins debuted her unique voice.
Perkins noted she had only been playing guitar for seven to eight months and kept it groovy with her song, “Satisfy.”
In anticipation of the lady of the night, the whole crowd started cheering Kehlani’s name.
Before Kehlani, Noodles performed and showed off her DJ skills to make for the best performance in the first half of the night.
The crowd enjoyed her performance and she also hosted the after party at the Constellation Room.
Kehlani lit up the stage and the crowd went crazy when she opened with “You Should Be Here.” Her powerful vocals coupled with her killer dance moves kept everyone captivated.
Tsunami Christmas 2016 also featured several guest appearances.
Kehlani had the audience try to guess the first special guest. She rubbed her belly as she announced rapper Belly was there to perform.
He called Kehlani a “young legend,” and that is exactly what she has the makings to be.
At the young age of 21, Kehlani has yet to release her first album and has already headlined a sold-out show and has had her music featured in the film, “Suicide Squad.”
What makes Kehlani special is her honesty, confidence and big heart. One cannot help but love her when she openly sings about relationships and life experiences.
She said that many people told her she had to be “girly” to sing R&B music, but her tattoo-covered body is the opposite of those expectations.
“No matter your ethnicity, religion, you can do whatever [“] you want to do,”she said.
Kehlani is no stranger to adversity. When she was growing up, her mother battled drug addiction and her dad died when she was a baby.
Kehlani also attempted suicide earlier this year.
“You all know what my 2016 has been like,” said Kehlani.
During her recovery period, fans sent letters and messages via social media in show of support. One fan handed her a letter while she was on stage. She thanked her fans for their support and for not giving up on her.
During the concert Kehlani also took the time to pay respect to her security guard, Big Ced, who recently died. Kehlani had everyone raise a hand and say, “We love you Big Ced.”
She referred to everyone in attendance as her family and on multiple occasions, Kehlani made conversation with people in the audience.
After surprise appearances by rapper Belly, Grammy nominee BJ the Chicago Kid and singer SZA, many people whispered and anticipated an appearance from Grammy nominee Chance the Rapper.
While he was not there, Kehlani mentioned her love and respect for him and had one of her fans rap Chance’s part of their song, “The Way.”
Other guest appearances included Los Angeles native YG and “Caroline” singer Anime.
It appears Kehlani’s dreams have come true, and rightfully so. She started off begging people to listen to her music on SoundCloud and now her single “CRZY” can be heard on the radio.
After her successful year, Kehlani is an artist to watch. If you have ever been through a tough time or a crazy relationship, you can relate to her music.
She is not one of those one-hit wonders. She is here to stay.
Her mixtape, “You Should Be Here,” is available for listening on Spotify and her debut album, “SweetSexySavage,” will be released on Jan. 27.
Courtesy of TSNMI
Album artwork ‘You Should Be Here’
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