A night at the SweetSexySavage Tour was one of those events people will tell their grandchildren about in the future. DARLA attended the Philadelphia show of Kehlani's tour on July 10th at the Electric Factory and we're happy to have been able to witness such a beautiful night. Hours before the show begun, fans were lined up for blocks outside in hopes of getting a good spot close to the stage. Once doors opened at 7:30pm, the sold out venue began filling up with people ready to be free to have fun for a few hours.
With such a diverse fan base always in attendance, there's no room for any type of discriminative or close-minded behavior at Kehlani's events. Her shows provide fans with a safe environment where they can come and enjoy themselves, whether they're with a group of friends or solo. People of all ages, races, sexual orientation, gender, and religion have fallen in love with Kehlani's music and bonded with each other because of it. (Actual friendships have bloomed from the common interest of her music and, more often than not, if you're a Kehlani fan, you just naturally vibe with other people who listen to her too.)
During the SweetSexySavage Tour that started back in February, Kehlani has been working with her team to give back to the cities they perform in. After obtaining lists of needs from local women's shelters, she shares them with her fans, encouraging them all to bring donations to the concert venue that will later be given to shelters. Kehlani went to Instagram earlier in the tour to share a video explaining how she receives tons of gifts from fans during meet and greets that she's appreciative of, but the best gift anyone can give to her is to give back to their communities directly.
Kehlani further elaborated on her passion for this cause during the concert by saying: "Some charities are only obligated to give 50% of what they make to the actual cause... And I'm not saying don't donate to charities, but read the fine print and make sure you put your money where your heart and mind is. What you can do is collect donations, bring lightly worn clothes; some white tees, some fresh socks, some feminine products, and drop them off at a local shelter. All these shelters accept donations (and if not 24 hours a day, they have drop off hours). You will be helping your community, your city, your people. It's not about one person bringing 60 items — it's about 60 people bringing one item, because that's community."
Throughout the night, Kehlani took breaks in between her performances to talk to the audience. She discussed the importance of self-care, love, and being respectful to the people around us. There were a lot of young fans in attendance, and it's really amazing that they were able to hear such uplifting words coming from someone they look up to. Beyond her music, Kehlani has a dialogue that makes her big heart and intentions to change the world with positivity shine bright.
As far as the actual show, the SweetSexySavage Tour had the Electric Factory lit! Performances started right on time with an opening set by 16-year old Marteen Estevez. This talented artist from The Bay is also a part of Kehlani's Tsunami Mob, and has a voice and style that's way ahead of his time. The next performance was by Jahkoy, an R&B singer from Toronto. As a newer artist signed to Def Jam, he's definitely one to keep an eye on in the future. The third opening act was Ella Mai — a singer/songwriter from London. Since being discovered by DJ Mustard on Instagram, Ella Mai has released multiple projects and is now traveling the world on this tour. It's always inspiring to learn artist's stories and really get a look at the process they've gone through to make their dreams come true.
Right before Kehlani hit the stage, her DJ, Noodlez spun a live mix to get the audience pumped up and ready. During Kehlani's set, she performed almost the entire SSS album as well as tracks from her You Should Be Here mixtape. She shared the story of how she made SweetSexySavage in a studio upstairs + next to the Electric Factory venue in Philly and how she was really happy to be able to perform it there. The show ended with "CRZY," water guns and a 10-year old fan from the crowd, named Jayla, who surprised everyone with her dance moves with no hesitation... It's almost as if she had a routine ready for that moment! (And honestly, to see how happy and excited she was for that opportunity brought tears to our eyes.)
Kehlani and her crew are great performers as well as activists. In a world like the one we live in today, her voice and initiatives to make a change are very much needed. She's an artist who's confident in her craft and her unique sense of style, and yet is still down to have honest moments and conversations about all it takes to be in the spotlight.
With every night of the SweetSexySavage Tour, Kehlani's creating experiences and memories that people are going to hold onto forever; filled with good music, good vibes, unity, and real love.
[these things take time.] the poetry book available on amazon.com.