Oakland, California songstress Kehlani Parrish electrifies the world of soul music on her new mixtape, You Should Be Here, which is a follow up to her 2014 project Cloud 19.

The 20-year-old invites her faithful tsunami mob and slew of new listeners to a space of harmonic ballads drenched in jubilance, discovery, romance and longing. The colours of Kehlani’s life experiences are poured into each song – some vibrant, others somber, but each tune just as delightfully consuming as the next.

Her flair for storytelling is as impressive as ever, thankfully without the need for confusing metaphors. The honest quality in her music adds a refreshingly relatable element to her lyrics and sound.

You Should Be Here dropped less than a year after Cloud 19 and already her growth is evident.

The mixtape recruits the talents of Lexii Alijai, Chance The Rapper, BJ The Chicago Kid and Coucheron, each artist bringing his or her own eccentric charge to Kehlani’s strong vocals.

While the tape does dabble in the realm of heartache, ’Lani doesn’t linger on the negative. On tracks like “Niggas” and “Jealous” she talks about loving the wrong person, and overcoming their antics with her ‘I-ain’t-taking-none-of-your-shit’ mindset.

You Should Be Here is riddled with the many shades of the Bay Area bombshell, all reflections of her very intricate soul and it’s that authenticity that allows her to connect with so many people.

The atmosphere then swings into the sweet divinity of being truly loved and appreciated with songs “Wanted”, the Chance The Rapper assisted joint “The Way” and “Unconditional”.

Things take a turn on “The Letter” where Kehlani deals with the absence of her mother growing up, even choking up towards the end as she questions her worth and whether she even deserved the love she sought. In fact, shortly after releasing the tape she tweeted “Excuse my shaky voice on “The Letter” I was physically crying while recording it.”

You Should Be Here is riddled with the many shades of the Bay Area bombshell, all reflections of her very intricate soul and it’s that authenticity that allows her to connect with so many people.

While the trend in R&B has steadied on either instigating a night of ice cream binges and raging tears or Netflix and a sock on the bedroom doorknob, Kehlani dominates in a separate lane. A soul-child with a thrilling energy that’s all her own and at only 20 years old, she has a lifetime to reveal just how radiantly she can shine.

@SmokeAndRoses_