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Kehlani makes musical return with “After Hours,” “the most fun” she’s had making music

Written by on 04/04/2024

Courtesy of Atlantic Records/TSNMI

Fans hadn’t heard solo music from Kehlani since 2022’s Blue Water Road, but the wait for a new song ended Thursday, April 4, with the release of “After Hours.”

Speaking to Apple Music 1’s Zane Lowe, Kehlani says she was inspired to write the song after a day of surfing in San Diego, when Nina Sky‘s “Move Your Body” came on, literally causing everybody to move their bodies.

“I remember walking around the house and I was like, ‘Why has nobody sampled ‘Move Your Body?” Because those drums, when they drop, it’s so recognizable and everybody just loses it … ,” she says. “Coming out of this pandemic to global tragedy … I was like, I’m not really in a space of wanting to make something that feels super jarring or super sad … I want my art to provide some kind of life and fun and I want to go outside.”

So, she focused on “making something that feels really good.”

Kehlani says writing the song “was probably the most fun I’ve ever had making music in general.” She recalls going out to a San Diego club with those working on the album and having the song on repeat in their Sprinter.

“You get to the hook and the whole Sprinter is screaming all the words,” Kehlani remembers, adding she “can’t wait to see the reaction from the general public about this, how it makes them feel.”

After years of being “attached to some story … or some trauma,” Kehlani’s now in a “happy place” and wanted her music to reflect that.

“I was like, ‘You know what? I’m just going to have fun, and for once, I’m going to let myself and not think that that makes my art any less creative or any less large,'” she says.

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