Khadia Che
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Khadia Che

Los Angeles, California, United States | SELF

Los Angeles, California, United States | SELF
Band R&B Soul


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"Vallejo High School grad returns to sing at Havana Sol By Rich Freedman / Times-Herald"

Khadia Che, VHS grad, 23, performs Saturday at Havana Sol. (Chris Riley/Times-Herald)
If you're looking for Vallejo High School graduate Khadia Che in Los Angeles, it's safe to say you won't see her shopping in sweat pants or at the movie theater wearing curlers.
As the up-and-coming singer discovered almost the second she arrived in Southern California, it's a another world.

"It's very different from Northern California," Che said. "Everyone there is trying to be somebody. So you run into people who do hair, sing and produce. And I hate to say 'more fake,' but they are a little more plastic."

To a certain extent, Che has to join the show business rat race if she's ever going to get the cheese at the end of the music maze.

"Since I've moved to L.A., I work out a lot. I run a lot. I exercise and try and stay in shape," Che said. "I do try and look nice when I go places because in Los Angeles because you can meet anybody, anywhere."

Che gets to meet new friends and reconnect with old ones and family this week as she performs with her jazz band at Havana Sol in downtown Vallejo on Saturday.

"This show is going to be interesting," she said. "I know there will be a lot of family members. And I'll be doing choreography which is something I've never done with my singing. It will be a first for me and a first for them. I have to remember not to look at their faces. It might throw me off."

The 23-year-old got an inkling of her future at 5 when she started piano instruction, taking it classically when she was 10. Still, her singing

is what drew gasps from the church congregation.
Still, Che began studying jazz piano, which led to a scholarship at Berklee College in Boston. After a year, she switched to vocals and was allowed to transfer her scholarship.

At Berklee, "I learned how important stage presence is," Che said. "It's not just about notes and vocal technique."

And the not-so-secret tip: Practice.

"That's the one thing," Che said. "Keep practicing."

Che believes adding choreography gets her closer to becoming a consummate entertainer -- think Beyoncé, James Brown, Michael Jackson -- rather than just someone up there singing.

"It's not just vocals but movement, facial expressions, how they engage the audience," Che said.

After Berklee, Che did a three-month internship at ASCAP -- American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers in L.A.

"I got to see how much people actually make for a commercial," laughed Che. "And just what happens behind the scenes."

When she returns to Vallejo, "it brings me back to Earth," she said. "This is home. And it motivates me a lot, but it brings me down a lot. It seems like it's gotten worse after going into bankruptcy and all that. It motivates me to succeed. That's the main thing. It brings me back to reality that these are regular people in Vallejo where in Los Angeles, it's everyone trying to be a star. At least I can come back and have a glimpse of real life."

At least Che's been excepted as a singer in her apartment complex, as far as she believes.

"Everyone on my floor knows I'm a singer," she said. "They actually say they like it. I was a little nervous at first when I moved in. I sing loud. I was scared of getting evicted. But they tell me it sounds great. I don't know if they're trying to be nice."

After Wednesday, Che returns to Southern California to pursue her dream. And yes, she has seen celebrities. There was LL Cool Jay working out on a treadmill. And a cordial Sly Stewart of Sly and the Family Stone, whose former residency in Vallejo wasn't lost on Che.

Yes, she instantly said, "I'm from Vallejo!"

"I acted like a fan," she said. "I couldn't help it. He was really nice about it."

If you go

Who: Khadia Che sings jazz

When: Saturday, 9 p.m. to midnight

Where: Havana Sol, 324 Virginia St., Vallejo

Cover: $5

Info: 554-7777 - Vallejo Times Herald

"Voices and spirits raised at New Orleans-flavored gospel concert"

...Women of Virtue... featuring one talented soloist after another, had given the crowded house plenty to respond to. They had swayed with Khadia Davidson on the midtempo ''I'm a Believer,"... - The Boston Globe


Khadia is currently writing new material which will be posted soon!



(singer, songwriter, producer)

At a young age musical songbird, Khadia Che, was destined to bring a melodious charm to the world through music. Born to interracial parents in Vallejo, Ca., her name, "Khadia" is a derivative of Chaka Khan, her mom's favorite singer which her father made up using the "Khan" part and changing it up feeling that it would be a really strong sounding name. "Che" comes from the revolutionary Che Guevarra. Her parents being an interracial couple, felt that their relationship was revolutionary, breaking racial barriers in their own lives.

Khadia began studying the piano at age 5 and has been classically trained since the age of ten. It wasn't until she was chosen to sing a selection at church however, that even her own mother had realized she was blessed with the gift of song as she blew away the entire congregation at the delicate age of five. Her mother was an exceptional gospel singer and her grandmother was also an exceptional very old school gospel pianist/organist and had a gospel group with her sisters called the Hodge Sisters. For Khadia, with her mother being the minister of music at her uncle's church consequently made Khadia a permanent fixture as she began directing the choir, playing piano, teaching songs, singing solos and all things music related with the church. Her duties as the “unofficial Minister of Music” at church helped her segue into her role as one of the founding members, vice-president and one of the main directors of her school, Vallejo High School choir, which was nonexistent for years.

Soon thereafter Khadia began studying jazz piano which led to her receiving a scholarship for piano at Berklee College of Music, playing “Lush Life.” Berklee requires that you choose one instrument to focus on while studying there but after a year in the piano department, she decided to switch her primary instrument to Voice and was able to transfer her scholarship as well.

Khadia began leaving her musical footprints on the local Boston scene performing at the Berklee performance center, doing backgrounds in Singer's Showcase and many other shows, as well as singing lead in the esteemed gospel show. She soon found herself as the singer in a local Boston based hip-hop band called “Rebel and the Truth” which played all of the local Boston hot spots. Also recording with a few local producers, Khadia made the most of her time there by staying busy laying vocals and writing for other artists as well.

Upon returning from Berklee, she went back to her uncle's church as the minister of music and stayed from September of 08 until Feb 09 when she moved to LA to intern for ASCAP and U Can Fly Holdings headed by music industry veteran Kevin Black, which was her final requirement for her bachelor of music, music business and management degree. Immediatley thereafter, the young vocalist began putting together music for her demo in order to begin her pursuit of her lifelong dream of being a formidable prescence in the music industry. A rich, full voice with a soft smoky undertone remnicent of an early Mary J. Blige, the singer/songwriter often gets comparied to the multi-talented Alicia Keys, but the accomplished pianst, though flattered by the comparison, is determined to deliver her own unique voice and purpose to the music industry.

With an amazing grasp and knowledge of music theory and the ability to analyze and compose musical works, Khadia feels this is what will set her apart from the current scope of up and coming R&B songstresses. “Usually when I write, it comes from a place of inspiration,” she explains, “I try not to treat it like a task or a job, but as art.” Writing and producing all of the songs on her demo Khadia is positioned for her journey. She intends to paint the world with her art and is currently busy writing and performing on the west coast.