Kehlani @ REBEL
Well, not really sure where to start with this one.
Chances are if you have met me you know that Kehlani is my holy grail. Seriously, if there’s anyone on this planet I could choose to photograph (or like be besties with? asking too much?), it’s her, and I’m so ridiculously thankful to have had the opportunity. My respect for this woman goes far beyond her artistic abilities and badass iconic style – it’s what she stands for and the example she sets for young women that really sealed the deal for me.
Not ashamed to admit the first time I discovered Keh was when I went solo to a G-Eazy show at the Danforth a few years back (hey don’t judge). Made it just in time to catch the full set of this opener I hadn’t heard of, after which it’s safe to say…NWTS. The next couple of years I then saw her first headline show in Toronto at Mod Club, followed by an appearance at the 2016 Time Festival, and now this pit stop of the Sweet Sexy Savage world tour. I’ve never seen crowd interaction and a reciprocated respect for her fans quite like this. At her first headline show, she stopped the show mid-song because a girl in the crowd had fainted from the heat (it was a sold out show on a hot July day and I’m 98% sure there was no A/C…but that’s a rant for another blog post). She literally managed to spot the girl struggling in the crowd, stopped all the music, had the house lights turned on, passed water bottles to her via security, and once she knew that she was safe and sound restarted the song from the top. This is pretty GD stellar as it is but then she did it AGAIN at this REBEL show when she saw a small altercation break out in the crowd. Same thing. Song stopped, lights on, ensured security kicked the butts of those ruining the show, and started the song again from the top once she knew everything was under control and that the audience understood it was to be a safe place. If that’s not goddess behaviour I don’t know what is.
So, anyhow, I could write 100 pages on my feelings toward Baelani but I’ll leave it here…until next time. Couple of stills from the show below, but for the full set including hometown hero Jahkoy opening up the night, check it out via Blare Magazine here.