Singer-songwriter Tori Kelly, who recently released her new album, Hiding Place, has achieved multiple successes within the music industry, but as she describes in a short film released today from I Am Second, a global storytelling organization, it was the difficult journey to fame that shaped her into the GRAMMY nominated musician she is today.
Tori released her full-length debut album, Unbreakable Smile, in 2015, which premiered at No. 2 on the Billboard 200 and earned her a GRAMMY nomination in the Best New Artist category. A year later, she starred alongside Matthew McConaughey, Reese Witherspoon, Seth MacFarlane, Scarlett Johansson, John C. Reilly and Taron Egerton in the animated film Sing, voicing the part of the shy elephant named Meena. Most recently, she has been seen in the national “Songs for All Your Sides” Nationwide ad campaign and has teamed with 12-time Grammy Award-winning gospel legend Kirk Franklin to release Hiding Place, her first gospel album.
Tori is the newest individual to join I Am Second for its White Chair Film series, which has featured more than 100 musicians, actors, athletes, cultural influencers and everyday people. In the film, Tori dives into her personal story and her heart, which is so beautifully reflected in her music.
“I Am Second wants to tell real stories of individuals who have been beautifully broken and found restoration through Jesus,” said I Am Second President Lance Villio. “Tori did not hold back in sharing both the joys and heartaches that are part of her life story. I have no doubt people will connect with her in a powerful way through this film and be encouraged by her raw honesty.”
Growing up, Tori was continually lauded by those around her as an “amazing singer.” She embraced this as her identity, which made it even harder when doors began to continually close on her.
By age 12, she signed with a record company, only to have the deal fall through. As she pursued other opportunities, she continued to be told “no.”
“Every executive that I would talk to, there was always some reason they didn’t want to sign me,” she said. “They wanted me to be this outgoing, bubbly personality, which I didn’t have, and that’s when I really started comparing myself to other people.”
In the I Am Second film, Tori emotionally explains how she discovered her voice and shares a powerful message to her 12-year-old self and others who are struggling with finding their true identity.
To see the full film, visit IAmSecond.com.