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Kali Uchis

Kali Uchis Travels the Latin Diaspora on ORQUÍDEAS

On her second Spanish-language album and fourth overall, the Colombian soul singer explores the full history of her culture’s music.

by Ben Boddez

All the way back in April of 2022, the soulful Colombian songstress Kali Uchis announced that she had two albums ready to go – one in English, and one in Spanish. They took some time to finally materialize, but it’s now clear that she always had a great idea brewing. Ten months after the release of Red Moon in Venus, a project where Uchis mostly played it safe with her typically ethereal and vibe-heavy work, the continued explosion of Latin music sees her taking the opportunity to get a little more adventurous on ORQUÍDEAS – resulting in what might be her best album yet.

With a title that translates to “orchids” – the national flower of her home country, appropriately representing Uchis’ favourite topics of love, luxury, beauty and strength – Uchis mentioned in interviews that she wanted to “redefine the way we look at Latinas in music,” mentioning that most people envision a single sound. Audibly having a blast as she breezes through dembow, bolero, salsa, corridos tumbados and reggaeton – as well as a couple excellent diversions into neon synthpop – Uchis explores the full diaspora of Latin music, from the classic to the modern, and sounds as cool and confident as you’d expect of her at every turn.

Lyrically, the project serves as a companion piece to Red Moon In Venus, as both find Uchis in a dreamy, blissful state of romance – in fact, the day before the album’s release, Uchis announced that she was due to become a new mom, starting a family with her longtime beau, rapper Don Toliver. While Toliver doesn’t appear on this one, a selection of Latin music’s biggest names, including Rauw Alejandro, Karol G and Peso Pluma, do. Relishing in her power, it’s a worldly and worthy success.