Two years ago the song ‘Alive’ by artist Kehlani appeared on my YouTube feed. The song, which boasts lyrics such as “Let it all go cause right now’s the time. Let go, live on so you can be free, yeah free to fly I know it’s hard but it’s worth it,” came to me at a time where I was struggling to find myself. Her lyrics are breathtakingly honest, raw, and most important to me at the time, full of hope. The lyrics and melodies of Kehlani’s songs helped bring me back to myself. Fast forward two years later and I’m watching her perform at Life is Beautiful Festival. The songs that had moved me through some rocky times were being brought to life right in front of my eyes, and guys it was fucking amazing.

Dressed in an Alexander Wang Strict Lace t-shirt, Unravel lace-up leather pants, and a sickening short cut Kehlani captivated. She entertained us, her energy never wavering as she moved through upbeat tracks such Did I, Gangsta, and Jealous before gracefully transcending into slower ballads such as the painfully-honest Tore up. She joked with us as we fumbled our way through Chance’s verse in her single, “The Way. “A for effort you guys,” she laughed. “Come on, don’t do my boy Chance like that.”

SHOP KEHLANI’S LOOK:

Watching Kehlani perform I was hit with the realization that what I was witnessing in front of me was a woman who was unapologetically herself, and was damn confident about it.

There is something special about a woman who stands in her own power. Her confidence wafts through the crowd, wrapping itself around those in close proximity, and encouraging those to stand in their own light. As she closed her set with her latest single CRZY, she encouraged us to keep going, to proudly stand in our weirdness, and to never give up hope.

As a woman still trying to figure it all out, I needed to see another woman trying to figure it all out, but being damn happy while doing it.

For the second time, Kehlani brought me back to myself. Thanks, girl.

 

Words: Zauni Tanil
Photos:
 Moses Alexander