Rolling Out

Tori Kelly discusses her new album and working with gospel great Kirk Franklin

Tori Kelly discusses her new album and working with gospel great Kirk Franklin
Tori Kelly (Photo credit: Myriam Santos)

Tori Kelly is a singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist with a wide range and diverse sound.

The Califonia native was raised in a household where music played an important role in her daily life. With a father who sang and played bass and a mother who was proficient on the keyboards and saxophone, she grew up listening to various music styles that would inspire her future writing.

Kelly began pursuing a professional music career at 10 years old. After facing many trials in the music industry, she made a decision that would dramatically alter the course of her career.

It happened after she posted a video of her cover of Frank Ocean’s “Thinkin’ ‘Bout You” on YouTube. It was viewed more than 17 million times, and Kelly developed a massive following on social media.

The singer stopped by rolling out studios to discuss her new inspirational album, Hiding Place, which releases Friday, Sept. 14.

As the singer was working on the follow-up to her debut album, Unbreakable Smile, she considered featuring one gospel song on the new project. That quickly changed as she began to work with a gospel legend Kirk Franklin.

“I thought maybe I should put a song on this album. I brought it to my team, and they were really excited about it. It was their idea to put me with Kirk Franklin. They called him up to see if he was down and he was, thankfully,” the “Never Alone” singer recounted.

“What I thought would be one song turned into an EP, and that developed into us putting out a whole separate project because it was so organic and fluid the way the whole process went,” she said.

Honored to work with Franklin, Kelly said she let him take the lead on the project and tried to learn as much as she could.

“It was cool to have him take me under his wing and teach me without even forcing it. Just watching him was inspiring enough,” she said.

The soulful singer shared advice that she would give her younger self and those who may want to follow in her footsteps.

“When it is the time you’re going to see why all of those no’s had to happen because now you have something to sing about and you have something that can inspire other people,” she said.

Hiding Place is available for streaming and purchase on Apple Music. Based on the album’s eight inspiring tracks, it’s clear that Kelly isn’t an artist who can be boxed into one category.

Audiences will get to see and hear more of her soon. Kelly recently announced that she will be hitting the road beginning in October for a 19-show North American tour.

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