Chart Beat

Kali Uchis Trusted Her Instincts & Got Her First No. 1 Album: 'A Lot of People Didn't Want Me to Make This Album'

Kali Uchis
Jora Frantzis

Kali Uchis

Fueled by the TikTok hit "Telepatía," the album "Sin Miedo (Del Amor y Otros Demoninos)" is Uchis first No. 1 on a Billboard album chart.

Powered by the TikTok hit "Telepatía," Kali UchisSin Miedo (Del Amor y Otros Demonios) hits No. 1 on the Latin Pop Albums chart (dated March 6). The set -- which is her first Spanish-language album -- is also her first leader on any Billboard albums chart.

“I feel so proud because this is a testament to following your instincts,” Uchis tells Billboard. “A lot of people didn’t want me to make this album or tried to make me feel it wasn’t a real contribution to my discography, all because it was in Spanish.”

Sin Miedo is Uchis’ second studio album. Prior to Isolation, her debut English album that tested the waters with Latin Pop (“Nuestro Planeta,” featuring Reykon), she released Por Vida, her first all-English EP.

Uchi’s sophomore effort rises to the top in its 15th chart week with 10,000 equivalent album units earned in the U.S. in the week ending Feb. 25, up 129%, according to MRC Data. The surge concurrently takes the set to a No. 3 high on Top Latin Albums, a new peak. It previously topped out at No. 8 on the Dec. 5, 2020-dated chart, the week following its debut at No. 21 (from two days of tracking activity in the week ending Nov. 19).

As Sin Miedo rises to the top of Latin Pop Albums, Uchis becomes the first female solo act to rule with her first Latin Pop Albums entry since Rosalía’s El Mal Querer in November 2018.

Sin Miedo traces its surge to “Telepatía’s” streaming gain across services like YouTube, Spotify and Apple Music, sparked by its popularity on TikTok. (TikTok itself does not contribute to Billboard's chart rankings.) The set’s third single has stormed TikTok as millions continue to share their videos using the song. It propels to a No. 2 high on Hot Latin Songs -- Uchi’s highest ranking there -- boosted by 10 million U.S. streams earned on the week ending Feb. 25, almost tripling its clicks from the previous week (3.4 million in the week ending Feb. 18), which yields a No. 24 start on the overall Streaming Songs chart.

“Honestly, I had downloaded the app during the pandemic,” Uchis muses. “I found interesting the amount of creativity there but for me it was just good fun.  I noticed that ‘Dead To Me,’ from my first album had gotten a resurgence even though it was a couple years old, and I respected the app’s ability to share like that.  I see all kinds of songs on TikTok and rarely stream or buy them afterwards, so it’s humbling to know people saw it around and it actually stuck with it beyond that.”

Beyond its Hot Latin Songs swell, “Telepatía” debuts at No. 54 on the all-genre Billboard Hot 100. It grants Uchis her first entry as a lead solo act and her highest ranking there.

“I’m still shocked, very grateful and humbled,” Uchis adds. “I feel this is good karma returning itself to me and tables turning for the best, part of why I tweeted before I dropped this album ‘todo lo que me han quitado, la vida me lo va a duplicar’ (all of which has been taken away from me, life will give back) and I’m really watching that come true.”

Sin Miedo concurrently launches at No. 77 on the all-genre Billboard 200 albums chart. “As an artist and person, it’s so important to know who you are without outside validation,” the Colombian-American adds. “I was going to be OK if the album was a success, or if everyone got it all wrong and thought it was horrible. I still would have felt just as proud.”