by | Published:

Decoding Kehlani’s Roots: Race, Parents, Heritage And More

If you have never heard of Kehlani, then boy have you been missing out. This singer in the entertainment industry is well, not just another lucky-by-chance pop star that shot to fame through Disney, or a godfather. No folks, Kehlani is an enigma. A drop-dead goddess, studded with tattoos from head to toe. Don’t worry, looks is not just all that she has got.


Kehlani is blessed with one of the most sultry, evocative voices in R&B. Not just that, this groovy singer, famous for her track from Suicide Aquad, also writes and produces her own music. In short, the word talents starts with Kehlani.

Apart from her music, Kehlani is also quite the center of attention due to her race, upbringing and mixture of cultural identity. So, keep reading this article as we navigate Kehlani’s race and roots with music.

Kehlani Growing Up: Parents and Early Life

Most stars give a shout out to their parents for where they are in life. We have seen Drake serenade his “mamma” in God’s Plan, and many other artists. Unlike this usual setting, Kehlani is quite the contrary, strongly refraining from speaking about her parents or growing up with them. She however has good reason for doing so.


The singer-songwriter and producer was born on April 24th, 1995. Kehlani grew up with a tough childhood to her parents, Kehinde Ashley Parrish and Kehlani Parrish Sr. To describe the singer’s relationship to her parents in singular and simple terms is – not great.

Kehlani’s parents battled and struggled with drug addiction while she was growing up, therefore she lived a mostly isolated life. Then after, her parents divorced while she was still young. This sudden split only added more to her confusion. Reports and interviews also tell us that her mother served some time in jail, and her father died when she was still young.

Also Read: Vinicius Junior Wife? Who is Maria Julia Mazalli?

Kehlani And Her Aunt

Kehlani, the star, although looks tough and starking now, has had quite the battle in her life. Post the struggling life with her parents, Kehlani’s aunt adopted and raised her to be the talented singer, songwriter and the dancer that she is today.

Kehlani’s aunt was a big fan of music that influenced her as well. She often played neo-soul and vintage R&B songs, and was a big fan of Erykah Badu, Laurin Hill and Jill Scott. This transferred into a young Kehlani as well. She became intrigued with music and joined the neighborhood pop cover and Poplyfe in 2011.

Where Does Kehlani Live?

Kehlani currently lives in Oakland, California in the United States.

Also Read: What Did Eminem Do For His Sister?

What Is Kehlani’s Race?


Before we dive into answering this, we need to understand why Kehlani’s  race is important to know. Is it because it is easier to label her? No, the answer lies in representation of black people in the music industry.

Kehlani is of mixed-ethnicity. In fact she falls under the category of what people say as “white passing”. This term belongs and describes a group of people who have Black ancestry, but have lighter complexions and more defined Eurocentric features. This term became popular when being used in reference to lighter-skinned mixed-race folks who had the ability to pass the crowd in the south of Jim Crow.

During a Billboard Interview, Kehlani stated on her own that she is of mixed race. She was part Black, Caucasian, Mexican, Filipino and Native American. Kehlani’s name has a Haiwaiian origin, but Kehlani is not from Hawaiian ethnicity.

Also Read: How Tall is Morgan Wallen? Age, Career, Songs, Net Worth

Importance Of Kehlani Race


However, Kehlani seems proud of her heritage and often flaunts her cultural heritage in her music, with Afro-American terms and music beats. Now, being of mixed race, Kehlani’s race is often up to debate among the community to understand where credit is due.

Her mixed race identities make the black community argue that she is a black woman first and hence her music credit is to the black community. However, Kehlani’s success along with Kehlani’s race as mixed often bring forward the white community to claim her credit for their community, given she is part White as well.

Also Read: Is Carrot Top Gay? Exploring His Relationships


Whether Kehlani embraces either side of her racial identity is completely up to her. All we know is that right now, the singer is repping for both the Black Community and the music community. Her flawless writing, music coupled with her talent in dancing has definitely made her one of the celebrities that shine at the top.

Leave a Comment