Victoria Loren Kelly (born December 14, 1992) is an American singer, songwriter, record producer and voice actress who slowly gained recognition after starting to post videos on YouTube at the age of 14. When she was 16, Kelly auditioned for the singing competition television series American Idol. After being eliminated from the show, Kelly began to work on her own music. In 2012, she independently released her first EP that she produced, wrote, and mixed herself, titled Handmade Songs By Tori Kelly. The following year, Scooter Braun became her manager after seeing her videos on YouTube and introduced her to Capitol Records, with whom she signed in September. Kelly's second EP Foreword came out in October 2013 as her first major label release. On June 23, 2015, Kelly's debut album, Unbreakable Smile, was released. The lead single, "Nobody Love", was released in February 2015 and became her first US Billboard Hot 100 appearance. Kelly was nominated for Best New Artist at the 58th Grammy Awards. She voiced a shy teenage elephant named Meena in the 2016 animated film Sing.
Tori Kelly first rose to attention when her cover of Frank Ocean’s “Thinkin Bout You,” went viral, racking up over 22 million views. To date, her YouTube channel boasts over ONE MILLION YouTube Subscribers with over 89 million views. Now, two EP’s later Handmade Songs, which Kelly self-penned, produced, mixed and released, and Foreword, she plans to release her first full length debut this spring.
Kelly co-wrote “Nobody Love” off her 2015 Spring debut alongside Rickard Goransson and Max Martin. Martin says, "After hearing Tori sing, we felt so inspired that we had no choice but to get involved. It’s been such a pleasure to be a part of her journey.” She also co-wrote with such vets as Savan Kotecha, Toby Gad, Claude Kelly, Chuck Harmony, Wolf Cousins, and Ed Sheeran. The album, she says, does not depart from her soulful roots. “It’s like a marriage between that soulful urban thing and a mainstream pop vibe. It was hard to get to that place, but once we had ‘Nobody Love,’ I knew we’d cracked the code. It felt seamless.”
Working with one of the most successful hit makers in the industry is a long way from Kelly’s early years making songs in her bedroom and posting them online. Born and raised in Temecula, California, Kelly is the daughter of musicians, her dad is a singer and bassist and her mom plays piano and saxophone. She sites early influences like gospel singer Crystal Lewis, Jill Scott, Jeff Buckley, and Maxwell.
Over the past year and a half, Kelly has sold out shows in several major cities (including The Troubadour and The Roxy in Los Angeles, the Bowery Ballroom and Gramercy Theatre in New York City, and Bush Hall in London), headlined a nine-city sold-out U.S. tour, and supported Ed Sheeran, and Sam Smith on tour.
“I'm excited to get out and play for people. That's always the dream.”