Melbourne was impassioned Sunday night by the powerful presence that is Kehlani Parrish. Rocking stages across the globe on her Sweet, Sexy, Savage World Tour, this woman is a force to be reckoned with. Following Brisbane and Sydney performances, the R&B singer outsold her original venue, opting to perform instead at the pristine Forum Theatre for the Melbourne Show of her Australian Leg. Standing with the likes of artists Rihanna and Tinashe, her sassy persona directed every bold step accompanied by crowd astounding vocals and choreography. At just 22 years old, this growing star uses her shine to not only inspire with her muse, but also to cast a spotlight the important issues of today’s society. Sporting the Australian Aboriginal flag and a daring confidence like no other, make way, Kehlani is taking over down under.
The value of authentic connection with her audience is what makes Kehlani more than just a singer. During her Melbourne show, she ‘held us all by the heart’ as she took time to emphasise the importance of self-care to her fans, a concept she has become very familiar with in her own life battling depression. Making it her job to disarm vulnerability, Kehlani detailed that in order not to lose your “whole ass mind”, you must “remove every single layer” you’ve taken on from the world’s problems and walk away. Reiterating that listening to “your inner voice” is essential for being there for your own wellbeing, and then for the people around you.
The ability to identify your own weaknesses and flaws takes courage, one that she clearly embodies in both her lyrics and performance. From start to finish, her outlet on stage showcased an intricate artwork of emotion, so much so you could genuinely sense the personal bond being created amongst her fans. Through pure passion she utilises her sound as a means to highlight her own experiences of pain, love, and all the feelings in between; conveying a strong respect for the uncertainty of life and the remarkable wonders of it too, – a humbling attribute not many artists get right, and something she portrayed through her effortless vocals performing ‘Advice’.
In addition to expressing the daring strength there is in vulnerability, Kehlani used her performance Sunday night as a platform, to address the ever-continuing discussion on marriage equality. Describing herself as a ‘full on lesbian’, she doesn’t shy away from being from being vocal about her sexuality. As generation Z we are the voice of the future, and she made it clear we need to be fighting for our rights before it’s too late. Motivating those who are now enrolled to ‘vote YES for love’ in the upcoming postal plebiscite. Following the inspiration, to both Kehlani and the crowd’s surprise, we were able to witness a literal representation of freedom and equality, when a young woman stepped onstage and proposed to her girlfriend. The room went wild with cheering as they reminded us all of the importance of moving forward as a country and the reason we fight towards equal rights, for LOVE. The theatre’s atmosphere overflowed with acceptance, support and hope - proving that love is fluid, felt by everyone and no matter what your sexual orientation; you should have the right to express it.
Closing the night with her standout breakthrough track ‘CRZY’, it was clearly evident that this influential musician is an explosive fusion of power, sincerity and talent. Coming towards the end of her world tour now, we are keen to see what unique artistry she has in store for us next.