Female empowerment is taking over from the big screen to the stage; it’s only right to mention the fearless and determined Ms. Cali Luv. This poetic soul is sugar, spice, and everything nice when it comes to her smooth sound with a street edge. Her sound is something we both like to call “trap R&B”.
Born in California, Cali grew up in church and at the age of 11 she joined a gospel group where she got her start in music. Searching for a change, in 2008 she was determined to be a star and moved to New York to further her career in music. Quickly finding her way, both Cali and Heather Hunter were given the opportunity to join a rap group formed by Treach who is known as the lead rapper in the hip hop group Naughty by Nature. Cali realized that her passion wasn’t rapping, singing, and writing her own music.
She never gave up and continued working hard on her craft by forming friendships with artists such as Huddy 6 and the Cam'ron.
We had the honor of getting to know this songstress and obtaining an exclusive interview to allow our SLAYers into her world. Here's what she had to say.
Slay: What makes you slay?
Cali: My passion and drive is what makes me slay. I love fashion, I love being able to express myself, and I love to show my hard work
Slay: What made you want to sing in a gospel group? Why did the gospel group disband?
Cali: Music has always been a passion for me. I keep in contact with the girls from the group; however, the passing of one of the member’s mom caused the group to disband since she (her mom) was a heavy influence on the group. We slowly drifted after she passed. I still love gospel music. I’ve even considered doing a gospel album. One of my favorite gospel artists is Marvin Sapp and I love the song “Best in Me”.
Slay: How did you come across the opportunity to work with someone like Treach and become a member of his rap group?
Cali: People would always say that they like my sound when I am rapping; however, I never wanted to be a rapper. When presented with the opportunity to join this rap group known as “2069”, I took the opportunity; however, I never really liked the message that it presented. They wanted us to present ourselves as bisexual but that’s not something I wanted to represent.
Slay: I read that rapper Cam’ron gave you the name “Cali”. How did you get to meet Cam’ron and what role did he play in your career?
Cali: Cam’ron is a good friend of mine. Huddy 6 introduced us when I moved to New York. When Cam’ron asked me my name, he just said “imma
call you Cali” and it stuck with me since that day.
Slay: I noticed your unique style of fashion. Are you a fashion lover? What inspires your style?
Cali: I love fashion. I used to have a fashion line and have since considered revamping the brand. I am somewhat of a tomboy, but my stylist is always telling me to dress a certain way. I’m kind of simple yet I make a statement. The Barbie image is so common which is why I have made my style unique, but it is often based on my mood. I don’t want to be considered one of the plastics.
Slay: Congratulations on your latest project titled “Homage”! What artist would you say you pay homage to?
Cali: I love Mary J. Blige, Xscape, and Lauryn Hill. Lauryn Hill is who inspired me to write poetry. I idolized her and her authenticity.
Slay: Do you write your own music?
Cali: Yes, I love writing music. I have more of a laid-back
approach. Although I could sing and show off my vocals, I love riding the beat
and just vibing when I sing.
Slay: Your background is an adult dancer; would you say that it
has put you at a disadvantage or at an advantage in your music career?
Cali: I would say both. You have the advantage of meeting so
many different people in the clubs. You meet so many rappers and producers in
the industry; however, it’s a disadvantage because they sometimes will always
see you in that light. Sometimes, they never take you serious because of your
past. I never strongly embraced my life as a dancer. I always respected my
parents and my church background. I’m not ashamed, but I knew where I wanted to
go in my career.
Slay: Let’s talk about the recent events regarding Cardi B and
Nicki Minaj. Do you feel that social media and industry beef will cause you
have to change yourself to conform to your new celebrity status?
Cali: Sometimes you don’t care. I love Cardi, but it is time to
make better decisions. Expecting something different would be crazy since these
are the things that made us love her! I feel that her “realness” has helped her
become as huge as she is today. I think that Nicki should reinvent herself
instead of folding. Beyonce don’t fold with all the things that she deals with
in the media. She just gets better with time. I recently had a similar
situation. I had to realize that there is a better place and a better time for
Slay: Are there any female artist that you would love to work with?
Cali: I would love to work with Remy Ma! People always say that I favor her.
Slay: What projects and new music (aside from “Homage”) can we expect from Ms. Cali Luv?
Cali: I have a new single titled “Petty”. I haven’t released it yet and I am thinking about featuring another female artist preferably a female rapper. I have a lot of unreleased music that I am just waiting on the right time to release it.
Slay: Where can our SLAYers find your music?
Cali: They can download my music on SoundCloud and iTunes. I also sometimes release snippets on my Instagram @luvcaliluv.
We want to thank you for taking the time to SLAY with us Ms. Cali Luv! We had a great time getting to know you better and we cannot wait to hear more of your unreleased music!