Tori Kelly’s Self-Titled Moment Is Here

(Photo credit: Reuters)

Tori Kelly thought TORI. was finished. Then again, she thought she was certain about a lot of things before  she was rushed to the hospital due to blood clotting last July. She didn’t have time to process her brush with mortality until after her Tori EP release and The Take Control Tour. But when she returned home, Kelly was greeted by unresolved emotions in the silence. So, the two-time Grammy winner did what she’d always done. She filled the silence with music and wrote “High Water.”

“I wanted a song that I would’ve sung to myself during that time,” Kelly tells Uproxx the week before the release of TORI., executive produced by Jon Bellion, due out this Friday, April 5. “High Water” sprung from Kelly’s hospitalization, but it ballooned to include a verse about the death of her best friend’s husband, emphasizing her unshakable faith. “It became this bigger thing where I was like, ‘This isn’t even necessarily about me anymore. This feels like a song that I hope could help other people,’” she says.

TORI. is Kelly’s first full-length studio album since 2019, and Kelly’s growth flourishes across its 15 tracks. Over the past five years, especially during this album-making process, Kelly learned that her desire to serve others could only be fulfilled once she fully embraced herself.

“This probably sounds conceited, but TORI. is inspired by Tori,” Kelly says. (She does not sound conceited, by the way. She sounds like a 31-year-old woman with clarity around everything that was required of her to become a self-assured 31-year-old woman.) “It’s me just digging into myself as an artist and thinking, How do I want to present myself? What are some sounds that we’ve never heard from me? What are some things that maybe I’ve been holding back? It feels so authentically me. It’s exciting to be in this place where it’s take it or leave it. This is where I’m at right now.”

Kelly further explained where she’s at right now here.