Jamaican-born UK singer Khalia is hitting all the right notes with her debut EP, Stay True, and she couldn’t be more excited about it. The project, she told DancehallMag, encapsulates who she is at this stage of her life — rolling with the punches and ‘staying true’ to her creative purpose.
“I started recording music at age 15 but I started working with Tony Kelly’s label in 2017 officially so I been doing this now for about six years and I would say its definitely been steady growth for me. I have been slowly collecting fans over the years,” she said.
The latter is part of the reason she said she decided it was time to put out a body of work. According to Khalia, she wanted something that would help track her growth and development in the industry.
“I think Beyonce said it, ‘people aren’t putting out albums anymore’ and I think its still important,” she expressed. “It’s important to have something collective that people can listen to and reference and it helps you as an artist gauge your growth. It’s good when people can say I loved Khalia in her ‘Stay True’ era. If they can reference the album to reference a time frame then it defines who you are as an artist in that time. If I keep doing singles then what is there to tack the development, the growth?”
Stay True, which was released on Friday via Ineffable Records, features seven tracks and several guest artists including Shaggy and Tanya Stephens, whom Khalia considers her musical role models.
“Shaggy was like a full circle moment for me because he actually introduced me to Tony and so I kinda have him to thank for where I am today in my career, to be honest, and so because of that, it just made sense that my first body of work feature Shaggy,” she explained.
“For Tanya now, I knew I wanted a feature with her and we had two songs and decided whichever one she liked would be good for us. Turns out, the one she chose was just perfect for her. The concept, the riddim, how she delivered. I was in awe of what she did on the track.”
“We also have Blvk H3ro and Mortimer on the album and they also did exceptionally well delivering on the tracks they featured on. This EP is just a great body of work and I am so proud,” Khalia beamed.
With Stay True being executively produced by Tony Kelly, Khalia has high hopes for what comes next.
“I definitely wanted it to catapult my career,” she revealed. “There are seven new songs for people to listen to and there is definitely something on there for everyone. I wanna be touring next year and so I definitely expect the EP to open doors in my career going forward,” she said.
“I have been working on this project since the ending of 2021. I put my everything into the music. I stayed true to who I was at that time in my life and I just really want it to resonate with people.”