Kehlani’s SweetSexySavage Is a Breakout Hit for the Rising Star

Graphic by Jeana Kim

By Carly Saada

Arts Reporter

Last week, Kehlani released her highly anticipated debut studio LP entitled SweetSexySavage.  As you may remember, this 21-year-old performer began her career as a runner-up with a band on America’s Got Talent in 2011.  However, most people know her best for her highest charting smash to date, “Gangsta”, from the Suicide Squad soundtrack, as well as for her 2016 Grammy nomination for best Urban Contemporary Album. You may think you know Kehlani, but this girl has much more to offer! This sassy, soulful singer/songwriter has come out with EPs and a mix tape, but this is her first actual album.

The album covers a wide range of emotions in a refreshing way while keeping her songs danceable. Before she dropped the full album, Kehlani put out a couple of singles like “CRZY” and “Distraction”. This R&B album’s message is especially empowering to women.

Prior to the album’s release, Kehlani tweeted, “As women we are told that we cannot be multi layered…we are put in boxes…we can’t be all the above…reclaim yourself…”  This album sure is multi-layered in the best way possible. SweetSexySavage currently stands fourth overall on iTunes and first on the R&B charts.

My personal favorite songs on the album are “Piece of My Mind”, “CRZY”, “Distraction”, “Personal”, and “Not Used To It.”

In an article on, Dan Hyman says, “[Kehlani’s] writing style is distinctly her own and yet combines some of the best assets of other successful artists: the sensitivity of a Frank Ocean; the slinky seductiveness of The Weeknd; the airy ease of Zayn, (with whom she collaborated for a track on his debut album.)” These three artists perfectly combine to describe what kind of music Kehlani makes.

Also on, Kehlani shares that, “A lot of people are so pressed about certain weird titles and weird accomplishments that really don’t mean [anything], that you can’t take with you after this life. I’m just trying to be successful in my own terms and be happy and be healthy and that’s it. I’ve definitely grown up faster, and seeing a lot of crazy shit go down definitely just made me focus on the bigger picture.”

Her music is definitely from the heart and nowhere else, and you would be missing out if you didn’t check it out! Kehlani is also going on tour, which means she will be at the Royale in Boston on February 24th and 25th.