Filled with confessions, reflections, and affirmations– Worthy is the new debut EP from Toronto’s LU KALA. The tell-all project reads like a diary; sparing no emotion and withholding no experience. It sees KALA pen her roller-coaster journey of searching for unconditional love, only to realize the keys to that attainment were in her own hands all along.
Worthy is set into motion with the first diary entry, “Yours For the Night”. It’s the first glimpse into what’s driving KALA’s internal dilemma. More than anything else, KALA wants to be appreciated, to be desired–even if just for one night. But time and time again, she has been disappointed. Tears and smudged lipstick stain the next pages. A hopeless romantic, KALA’s disillusionment pours into “Want You”. Despite receiving unrequited love, her heart is looking for a home in the same arms of those that push her away.
Pushed too far, KALA demands not to be underestimated on “DCMO (Don’t Count Me Out)”. It’s a powerful anthem, fueled by the same energy of people who belittled her potential. As a Black woman challenging norms in pop music, KALA doesn’t fit into the cookie-cutter mold. Opting for vocals that showcase sincerity rather than polished perfection, her truths are raw and uncut. Choosing words that reflect vulnerability over typical ideals, KALA is coming to terms with the fact that her differences are indeed her strengths.
What starts off as a plea for one fair chance has now builded up into a confident affirmation of healing. On “Still Mad”, KALA voices her criticism for a nonchalant ex-lover. She wants to move on for her own sake, but can’t find it within herself to hate her ex. To hate him would mean tearing a page from her diary like it never existed. Instead, she bids a warning to those doubting her on “No Smoke”. She warns, “be careful ‘round me, you don’t want no smoke. I don't play no games, I go for the throat.” To underestimate KALA would be to her haters’ own detriment. KALA is now commanding the situation, and she has learned that even when friends and lovers abandon her, she has herself.
It’s on the last track, “Love Shit” where we see the full-circle transformation that has taken place within the pages of her diary. KALA recognizes that she is no damsel in distress; she is worthy of love in the purest form. Unlike the first diary entry, KALA now writes about a long-lasting type of love: self-love. What she’s craving isn’t temporal–it’s unconditional. Imperfections and all, she is Worthy.