It’s been more than a year since we heard new solo material from Kali Uchis, and now the wait is over. The Colombian singer, producer, and director has made a name for herself curating her meticulous visual style, sugary retro-R&B sound, and pastel aesthetics, best exemplified on 2015’s Por Vida EP. In April 2016, she followed up that collection with a loosie called “Only Girl” featuring Vince Staples and Steve Lacy of the Internet. Now, more than a year later, the Pereira-born artist’s next chapter has finally started.
Today on Beats 1, Uchis debuted “Tyrant,” the first single off her forthcoming album. The track is a gossamer dancehall collab with UK singer Jorja Smith, who most recently appeared on Drake’s More Life. Uchis’ featherlight vocals make a triumphant comeback on “Tyrant,” with swirling coos fluttering in the distance. In a statement, Uchis refers to the track as “a post apocalyptic love song,” one where she narrates a romantic power struggle. Uchis peppers the song with bilingual phrases (“dimelo dimelo” and “mira mira/papi está rico, está guapo”). It’s an effortless number, taking Uchis’ work in a new direction, without compromising her style or moving too far out of her personal paradigm.
The Beats 1 premiere also included exclusive details on the upcoming album; Uchis teased a music video shot in Paris, plus collaborations with Tame Impala and funk legend Bootsy Collins, who slid into her Twitter DMs after she named him her dream collaborator in an interview.
Press play on “Tyrant” above, and keep an eye out for Kali’s upcoming album, due later this year.