Upon first hearing Lu Kala, I naturally compared her in my head to Jessie Reyez; the sandpapery vocal tone mixed with impressive falsetto incorporation. However, I find Lu's music more poppy and relatable, the moment the layered melodies and production hit.
The songwriting is undeniably creative as well, beyond her unique gift is her vivacious sound and rebellious cause. She's even got the fiery orange hair to match her personality. The Toronto-based songstress continues to pave the way for female empowerment and bold, in-your-face pop with her norm-defying look and sound.
Although she achieved songwriting success, behind the lyrics was a voice waiting to be released, a voice that didn't conform to the "black girl" R&B vocal style producers assumed they'd hear. Instead her sound-- raw, intensely emotive and mercurial with an ability to lean into rock, soul and pop, at will-- defied it.
"With me being both black and plus size, I think people expect a very specific voice and style. And while I can sing those songs, I express myself differently," explains KALA.
Unwilling to vocally bend into the box black female performers are often expected to exist in, KALA has embraced her distinctive sound, transforming her trajectory as an artist, and a woman, in the process: "Everything about me says, 'Nah, I'm going to be in any space I choose to be in. And I'm going to command it.'"