When singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist Tori Kelly first played her new single “Nobody Love” for her friends, their initial reaction to the rhythmic, big-sounding pop track was, “Oh, this is really different for you.” “That was interesting to me because in my head, this is the style of music I always envisioned myself doing: urban pop with a hip-hop type of Lauryn Hill twist on it,” says Kelly, who first rose to attention with her intimate, acoustic guitar-driven EPs Handmade Songs and Foreword.
Kelly co-wrote “Nobody Love” alongside Rickard Goransson and Max Martin, the Swedish songwriter and producer who has ruled the Billboard Hot 100 for over a decade with a string of No. 1 singles for Britney Spears, Katy Perry, P!nk, and Taylor Swift, to name a few.
Working with one of the most successful hit makers in the industry is a long way from Kelly’s early years making songs in her bedroom and posting them online. Born and raised in Temecula, California, Kelly is the daughter of musicians, her dad is a singer and bassist and her mom plays piano and saxophone.
Kelly began singing at age three, took up drums at 12, and asked for the music production software Logic for her fifteenth birthday. In 2009, she borrowed a guitar and posted her first cover, Paramore’s “The Only Exception.” In 2012, Kelly got a major break when her cover of Frank Ocean’s “Thinkin Bout You,” went viral, racking up over 22 million views. To date Kelly’s YouTube channel boasts over ONE MILLION YouTube Subscribers with over 87 million views.
Kelly began playing shows at local cafes to build more support for her music. Her first show in LA, at Room 5, was attended by music manager Scooter Braun (Ariana Grande, Justin Bieber). Impressed by her sweetly soaring vocals, graceful guitar-playing, and knack for blending breezy melodies with boldly heart-on-sleeve lyrics, Braun signed on to represent her and secured her a deal with Capitol Records.
Over the past year and a half, Kelly has sold out shows in several major cities (including The Troubadour and The Roxy in Los Angeles, the Bowery Ballroom and Gramercy Theatre in New York City, and Bush Hall in London), headlined a nine-city sold-out U.S. tour, and supported Ed Sheeran, and Sam Smith on tour.
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