From Whitney to Mariah to Lauryn and beyond, you’ll hear the influence of master R&B divas in the work of Philly’s Karlia. Give her a follow on social media, and you’re just as likely to be treated to covers of today’s most introspective singer-songwriter icons, from Maggie Rogers to Boygenius and SZA. This rising Philly star is versatile, mixing up soaring pop with vulnerable lyricism, and she shows off her creative range in this stunning Key Studio Session.
Karlia first got our attention in 2022, with a stellar performance of the gorgeous slow jam “Violet,” filmed for NPR Music’s Tiny Desk Contest. A few impressive gigs packing MilkBoy back in January (for a stellar Plaze-curated showcase) and World Cafe Live’s lounge in May, and we’re stoked to invite her and her band into WXPN studios to perform live. Backing Karlia in this performance are Nathaniel Lemisch on guitar, Olias Raúl Bendian on drums, Ken Blake on keys, and Luke Riley on bass, and they start the set off with the song that started it all, jamming “Violet” out to expansive and expressive proportions. The infectious “I Feel It” follows, a favorite at Karlia’s live shows that echoes the energy and emotion of Beyoncé’s “Love On Top.” Closing the set is her latest single, “Crazy,” which releases this Friday October 27th — pre-save it here — and finds Karlia confronting overwhelming feeling of self-doubt in a burning jazzy rock anthem.
Watch Karlia’s full Key Studio Session and check out a gallery of photos from the performance below, and keep in the know about what she’s up to by giving her a follow on Instagram at @karliamusic and on TikTok, also at @karliamusic.