Bay Area-born singer Kehlani (they/them) takes centerstage on their new album Blue Water Road — the star-studded follow-up to 2020’s It Was Good Until It Wasn’t.
With appearances from Blxst, Jessie Reyez, Syd, Thundercat and more, Kehlani has yet to drop an unimpressive project — and Blue Water Road is just another example of their skillset. With a refined knack for showcasing a penchant for pain, Kehlani lets an overwhelming sense of comfort wash over them throughout the LP — finding the meaning of it all at the end of the road.
Along with an all-star cast of vocalists, Kehlani continues to run the R&B game with their beautiful and melodic deliveries. They also explained the meaning behind Blue Water Road in a new interview with Apple Music, saying that the concept came from an AirBnB they rented out on a recording trip — which was originally intended to produce the deluxe of their 2020 effort.
“It was an Airbnb that we got for a recording trip that was supposed to be for the deluxe of my last album. Mentally, I was super far away from my last album in general. And a couple songs resonated with something… we didn’t want to lose that, but we also knew we couldn’t just keep renting out this person’s house down the street. So we found a studio, luckily, really close, and it still felt the exact same as the house down the street, so we just stayed here and made the whole album here.”Kehlani via Apple Music
Leading in the record with “up at night” — a passionate single that brought in Canadian superstar Justin Bieber — the love-torn track sees Bieber and Kehlani match each other’s energy perfectly, as they croon about how their love interests keep them up at night. The duo proves that their chemistry is undeniable once more — gliding over the track’s jazzy instrumental flawlessly.
“And what could I say? I knew that it would go this way
Or could you blame it on fate? I couldn’t let it just escape
Now at the end of our days, I’ll run back thoughts of you”Kehlani — “up at night” feat. Justin Bieber
This isn’t Kehlani’s first time working with JB, though, previously joining him on his 2020 album Changes. According to an interview with Vulture, Bieber was set to appear on It Was Good Until It Wasn’t, however, the proposed track didn’t fit the clean-cut image he was going for at the time.
Making up for lost time on this single, both artists bring unsurprisingly impressive vocal performances. Alongside singles “altar” and “little story,” Blue Water Road packs a punch for those immersed in Kehlani’s ethereal oasis — a soundscape clad with love-stricken quips, heartbreak and rising above adversity.
With a glistening track record, Blue Water Road fully reasserts why Kehlani is beloved within the R&B community.
Check out ‘Blue Water Road’ by Kehlani below!