Kali Uchis is a soul singer for the modern era. The Colombian-born artist builds songs from well-chosen samples, and draws on a wide variety of sounds and influences; “All Or Nothing” is a perfect example.
“All Or Nothing” is a one-off Uchis is releasing to thank fans for the success of the music video for recently released, “Know What I Want.”
Listen to “All Or Nothing” below, premiered here on The Juice:
Uchis loves instrumental backdrops scavenged from the sweet sounds of the ’60s and ’70s — reggae, R&B and jazz. For “All Or Nothing,” she borrows from a Ralfi Pagan track, “I Can Never Hurt You.” Pagan recorded for New York’s Fania Records, a label famous for salsa records and Latin soul. Uchis’s vocals channel the tender pain of Billie Holiday over Pagan’s pleasant vibraphones and sugary doo-wop. “Music nowadays is all about having no feelings and being too cool,” Uchis tells Billboard. “I wanted to reference classic shit from times when people let themselves be raw and vulnerable.”
The title of the song refers to commitment in relationships. “Once you let someone in, and you think they’re different than everyone else, you don’t want to give up on that,” she says. “It feels like you’ll never find it again, so you continue exhausting yourself, putting effort into someone who won’t meet you halfway and hoping eventually it will amount to something. Eventually, whether you want to believe it or not, you realize stagnant relationships with no growth are just as toxic as bad ones, and you are a reflection of what you put up with. This song is the personification of that realization.”
Uchis is releasing more music soon: an EP titled Por Vida is coming in 2015. It will include production from Bunx, who produced bass-heavy “Know What I Want,” and Tyler, The Creator.