Atlantic’s raspy-voiced crown-jewel Kehlani covers The FADER‘s August/September 2015 “Fall Fashion” issue, on newsstands August 25, 2015.
For her cover story, the 20-year-old R&B singer and dancer reflects on her not-so-distant rough start, from being born prematurely to drug-addicted parents to living couch to couch.
Now a major-label artist with indie success, Kehlani addresses those early hardships and more on her second mixtape, You Should Be Here, which features guest appearances from Chance the Rapper and BJ the Chicago Kid.
“I was literally sleeping on whoever’s couch, and I got tattoos real fast. At first it was like, ‘This is changing me into what I really want to be!’ I’d always wanted tattoos, but I think I actually got so many because I hated myself.”
“There were times where I really had to do shit like wait outside of a train station and snatch iPhones out of peoples’ hands and run and sell them. I went through people’s houses. I ran through cars—all type of shit that I feel like made me grow up so fast. I’ve been banned from Walgreens. I’ve been banned from Walmart for stealing fucking clothes and food. Lucky’s caught me with a box of Wheat Thins and some bread. I was like, ‘Can’t you tell I’m stealing because I’m hungry?’”
“The girl that needs me is the outspoken, awkward tomboy. She looks hard, but she’s very soft. She’s misinterpreted, coming into herself, openly growing.”
Rumored romance with PARTYNEXTDOOR:
“Whether or not I’m in a relationship, I never want that to be the focus of what I’m doing and what I’m trying to accomplish. I prefer to focus on myself.”