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Saturday, June 19, 2021

Tori Kelly Creates the Playlist of Her Life

Credit: TEEN VOGUE
Duration: 17:42s 0 shares 4 views
Tori Kelly Creates the Playlist of Her Life
Tori Kelly Creates the Playlist of Her Life

Singer Tori Kelly creates the playlist of her life!

From soulful and authentic lyrics from India.Arie to Lenny Kravitz's most intense chord progressions, Tori shares the soundtrack that's inspired her musical career and proves she has great taste.

New EP, Solitude, available now.

- It's one of those songs whereI've actually caught myself lookingout the window and like being super emo.I know that all of youguys have done that before,okay, I'm not the only one.We've all looked out the window andlike had a moment andjust like pretended thatwe're in a music video or something.Hi Teen Vogue, I'm Tori Kellyand this is the playlist of my life.[upbeat music]I think I'm gonna be doingthese in chronological order.I'll kinda take you through some ofthe songs that I grew up listening toand that are super special to me.Oh my gosh, I'm gonna get emotional.First song on my playlist isShackles [Praise You] by Mary Maryand this song just nevergets old, honestly.I feel like it's followedme through my entire life.I mean I grew up listening to Mary Mary.I grew up listening to a lotof gospel music growing upand it's just a huge part ofeven just the way that I sing.The chorus, I think, is themost fun about this song.And it's literally about dancing.♪ Take the shackles offmy feet so I can dance.

♪I just think it's so fun.Every time I hear it, I feel like dancingand I'll even play this song like beforeI go on stage just to like get me hyped.But yeah, this song isjust really special.It's followed me througheven my adult life.I'm not like a club person,like I don't go out tothe clubs or anything,but I was like at a club one timeand they literally playedthis song in the cluband I lost my mind andeverybody was like dancingand freaking out and soI just love that even ifyou like didn't grow uplistening to gospel musicor you don't know much about gospel music,like I feel like this song, alot of people really know it.And the fact that it canbe played in the cluband people will still getdown is so dope to me.The next song on my playlist,Not the Same by Crystal Lewis.If you know anything about me,you know that I grew uplistening to Crystal Lewis.She's probably the first artist thatI think of when I just think about singingas a kid 'cause she was so influential.Just her technique is so amazingand I have such a specificmemory with this songthat will probably get me emotional.I was probably like five or six.So I'm in the back of the car,we're listening to this song.My family is in the car and mydad, who is a singer as well,he was trying to teachme what a diaphragm is.And if you don't knowwhat a diaphragm means,it's basically like you're singing fromlike down here, like from within.It's not like up here, where peoplemight think that you sing from.It's like the actual technique of likehow to belt a really big note is likefrom your diaphragm,from like your stomach.I'm only five and I'm like,Dad, I can't hit this note.We're listening to this song,there's this big noteat the end of the song.♪ Yeah.

♪And I'm so mad because I can't hit itand I'll never forget,he literally was like,put your hands on your stomachand like push out andbasically like tighten,you know, tighten your stomach.And I actually hit the noteand I just remember freaking out.It was such a cool momentand such a cool memoryfor me as a kid, just because, you know,I was so in the early stages ofeven just figuring out my voice,figuring out who I was andjust like learning how to sing.And so, that's definitely a memory thatsticks out to me andI just love this song.And I love Crystal Lewis.She's just such a hugepart of my childhood.Fly Away by Lenny Kravitz.This song just reminds me of home.It reminds me of my family.All of us are huge Lenny Kravitz fans.We always loved that he likeplayed every instrument.He's like funk but soul but rock andmy dad actually grew upplaying in rock bandswhich is why, I think why,he was so drawn to him.We just always, alwayshad Lenny Kravitz playingin the house so when I hear Fly AwayI just think of being with my family.I think of being at home andjust like belting out this songand like doing a lot of hair flipsand thinking I'm a rock star.He's just like a legend, likeLenny Kravitz is so dope.His song writing style is so simple,I think, and it never feels forced.Even just his chord progressionsand the way that he sings.It all feels so organic andnatural and not overly produced.And I love that he's always stuck to that.♪ I want to fly away ♪I think that's actually a really big partof my upbringing waslistening to music like thatand, you know, my parentswould always play musicthat was just really soulful and authenticand I think Lenny Kravitz wasa big part of that, for sure.The fourth song on my playlist isThat's What You Get by Paramore.This song slash this whole entire albumwas such a huge part ofjust me as a musicianand kind of figuring myself out.I actually played drumsbefore anything elsebecause my brother got a drum setand he like never playedit so I would likesneak into his room and Iwould literally put Paramore onin my headphones and just go crazy.I had so much fun and obviously her voice,like Hayley Williams' voice is so amazing.Like if I ever met her,I would fan girl so hard.So vocally, it was fun too 'causeI would get to like play drums and go nutsand also kind of try andlike sing at the same time.It's just one of those songs thatreminds me of like my early teens when,you know, I was just at home all the time,picking up instruments,writing songs and it was justa really creative era of my life thatParamore is very much part of.I was so emo during this time.I literally had like an A line haircutthat was like really short in the backand then like long in thefront and my hair was darkand it it had two blondstreaks coming out of here.And at one point, I evenhad a straight bang.Paramore and the emo phasedefinitely went together.The emo phase didn't last but my lovefor Paramore did last so love them.In Your Atmosphere by John Mayer,which is on his live album,live from Nokia Theater.I was so inspired bywhen this came out andit really even still, tothis day, is something thatI pull inspiration fromfor my own live shows.I just love the set list.I love how he chooses certainsongs to do acousticallybut then brings the full band in.All the times that he, youknow, uses talking points.It all feels so thought outand just so well put together.But this song in particular, I love.One, because it actually never hascome out as like a studio version.I'm pretty sure he's never put it out.It's just acoustic.The way that he playsis so beautiful I think.And this was during a time for mewhere I was starting to get into lyricsand really diving intomy feelings, my emotions.You know, at this point,I'm a little bit olderso I'm starting to have,you know, relationshipsand have things to write about.There's just something about this song.It has like this nostalgic feeling to it.I think the lyrics are just beautiful.It's like sad but like not too sad.It's like sad-happy which islike my favorite type of song.I mean, he literally says,I don't think I want to go to LA anymore.♪ I don't think I wannago to LA anymore.

♪And you're like why, John?Why don't you wanna go to LA anymore?And then finally he says,because you're there.Like I don't wanna gothere because you're thereand I would be sad if I sawyou and sad if I didn't see youso I might as well juststay away and I just love.The next little chunk of songs.There's kind of a theme going on hereand you'll see why because my next songis Last Goodbye by Jeff Buckley.This was during a time inmy life where, you know,like I said, I was reallygetting into lyrics.I was getting into my acoustic guitar'cause I realized thatdrums and singing togetherwould probably be kind of hard.And it's really hard towrite songs on just drumsso I was like maybe Ishould pick up guitar.So that's exactly whatI did and I started toget into artists thatwere just really soulful,really authentic, true to themselves.Jeff Buckley is one of those artists.I think he's just like gone way too soon.So, so tragic that he's not here.But the stuff that he did give usis just so incredible to me.I was so inspired by itgrowing up and listening to it,especially this song, Last Goodbye.One of the things I love about this songis that there's really no chorus.And he was so known for likebreaking the rules in music.So he just kinda liketook you on a journey.He's like here's some strings,here's some chords, here'ssome more chords thatwe'll never repeat ever again in the song.♪ Oh, no, no, oh ♪And here's some reallybeautiful, poetic lyrics.And so you just feel like you're kind ofin this whole world that he's createdand his voice justtakes you away to this place.I love that his voice isn't perfect.It's almost like hepurposely was showing youlike little imperfectionsand just kind of like,sometimes he would just wailand it would just come outand there's so muchemotion packed into that.And that honestly taught mea lot even just as a singer'cause I'm very much a perfectionistand I want everythingto sound a certain way.And when I heard him, I started to realizehow important it was to show emotion,just to let the emotioncome through in your voice'cause that can be moreimportant, you know,than just hitting the note perfectly.So Jeff Buckley, hugeinspiration, love him.So the next song on myplaylist, Video by India.Arieand when I discoveredthis incredible woman,I was so happy becauseup until this point,I hadn't really felt connectedto an artist in this way.I mean, she plays guitar,the acoustic guitaris like a very big part of her lookand her sound and this was right whenI was starting to kinda get into guitar.You know, a lot of the younger artiststhat I would see were more into pianoand I just, as much as Iwish I could play piano,I just never really gravitated towards it.So there weren't really a ton of artists,female artists especially,that I gravitated towardswho sang really soulfullyand played guitarand wrote their own songsand India.Arie just likechanged the game for me.This song, Video, I believewas her first singleand she just like game out the gatelike with this amazing anthem.Even to this day likewhen you hear this song,it's a great song I thinkto even like get ready to'cause it just, it'sall about like self-loveand, you know, loving yourselfexactly the way that God made you.♪ And I ain't built like a supermodel ♪♪ But I learned to lovemyself unconditionally ♪It's just one of thosefeel-good songs, you know,especially, I think, assomebody who's struggled withlike comparing themselves, you know.And I think a lot of ushave struggled with that,especially growing up and being so young.It's like so natural to compareyourselves to other peopleand I think this isone of those songs thatit was definitely needed in my lifeand I still listen to it and I'm likeyes, preach to me, likeI needed to hear this.So I mean, even lyrically,I think India.Arie has really inspired meand showed me that it's okay tonot sing about love sometimes.Like you can sing about something thatyou believe in thatdoesn't necessarily have tobe about a relationshipand she did that too.Lauryn Hill kinda did a similar thingwhere they would justkinda talk about lifeand it didn't always have tobe in the context of love.That was really cool for meas a young, female artist,growing up, figuringout who I wanted to be.Very great to have India.Ariebe there for me to look up to.Like I Love You by Justin Timberlake.I'm already getting giddy just thinkingabout this song, likeit makes me so happy.I'm a big Justin Timberlake fan,I was a big NSYNC fan growing up.This would be an era whereI actually started toget a little more into pop music and,you know, up until this point, I was likesinger-songwriter, like in my room,kind of like weirdo,artsy person and then,you know, as I got more intojust what was on the radio,I realized like I didn't have tobe so serious all thetime and so in my head.I think it was groundbreakingwhen it came out.Like nobody was really doing that style.I mean, you hear the acoustic guitarand then the drum come in.♪ Don't fear me baby, it's just destiny ♪♪ It feel good right ♪So it's like this live soundbut then it's like he's dancingand it's like Justin Timberlakeand I don't even know.I'm rambling now, I just love this song.Next song on my playlist isYou and I by Stevie Wonder.Of course, a classic, it'ssuch a beautiful ballad.I've always known about this songand I've always kindof heard it growing upbut I really didn't appreciate this songuntil I got older.As I got more into songwriting,as I started putting out my own music,I started kinda looking back in timeand this song is just so beautiful.The lyrics are gorgeous.The chords, as well,are just super classicand I think this song really shows offlike his vocal capabilities as well.I don't know why, maybe 'causeit's just like he's Stevie Wonder.I forget that like he haslike this amazing voice.He's just like the greatest everand you can't say anything bad about him.And just, the music that he's given us,it'll just live on, it'll be timeless.Every time I hear songs from him,especially the song You and I,it just has such a timeless feeling.It's like a poem.Here we are on earth together,It's you and I,God has made us fall in love, it's true,I've really found someone like you.♪ God has made us fall in love.

♪Like.[sighs]It just sounds like so simple.It's the most simple phrase,like literally you and I.You can go in any directionwith a phrase like that.As a songwriter, you canlike go anywhere with itbut I just love the linethat comes before it.Like in my mind, we can conquer the world.I think it just gives likeconfidence to a relationship.And I remember beinglike super emo one dayand hearing this song andbeing like yeah, you know what?Like we can conquer the world,like we can do anything and likeit was just one of those moments whereit just kind of made me feelrefreshed in my relationship.The last song on my playlist,Bluebird by Alexis French.And this song's actuallyjust instrumental.I was just on a flight andI usually try and sleep on planes.I usually would find like some sort ofsleep playlist, you know, on my phoneand I think this song just popped upand I just started cryinglike on a plane for like no reason.This song is instrumental.There's something so magicalto me about this song.I don't know if it's the chordsand they way that hetransitions from different partsbut it's one of those songs that justmakes my mind kind of wanderdifferent parts of my life,whether that's looking back andthinking of a memory, happy or sad.That's the crazy thingabout this song is it's likeyou can literally insertwhatever memory you wantand I probably sound so crazybut this is just how Ifeel about this song.Like I have cried happytears to this song,I've cried sad tears to this song.Maybe it's something todo with the fact that,you know, it is instrumental.So you kind of have room toinsert your own story into it.But I really grew tolove instrumental musicand just like, you know, beautiful pianoand orchestra from being on planesand, you know, trying toget myself to relax andit really has been anamazing journey to go downand just discovering justa different style of music.I think it's kind of like apalette cleanser too for mebecause I'm around music so much,always thinking about like a catchy chorusand so it's kind ofnice to take a step backand just literally listen to some strings,just kind of get lostin your own thoughts.I'm kind of all over theplace when it comes to music.I mean, I think I specifically chosethese songs for the playlist of my lifebecause I have such anemotional attachment to themor there's some memory that sticks outso strongly in my mind.I have other playlists, you know,where it's just like, it's just a fun songor I just like dancing toit or I like a lyric in itbut it doesn't meanthat it is connected to,you know, a personal moment in my life.So I think that's why I chosebecause they're just reallyspecial and they hit different.If you guys wanna gocheck out all those songs,feel free to do so.Let me know if you cry, if you dance,if you laugh, if youcry again, let me know.[laughs]

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