If You Love Them, Let Them Go | “I Wish You Roses” by Kali Uchis


Marion Reilly, Writer/Volunteer

Colombian-American R&B artist Kali Uchis has been making heart-touching, genre-bending music from the onset of her career in 2014; she has always embraced her Latin American roots, and the seamless blend of Spanish and English in her songs is proof of that. Kali’s new single “I Wish You Roses” is one of her first songs since the release of her 2020 album, Sin Miedo (del Amor y Otros Demonios). Last year, she mostly kept a low profile, with the exception of a few singles, “No Hay Ley” and “La Única.” This is the first track off her upcoming album, Red Moon in Venus, and the dreamlike quality of her discography paired with her melodic voice continues to comfort listeners, even in the face of heartbreak.

With Valentine’s Day coming up, Kali’s “I Wish You Roses” teaches us the value of releasing oneself from heartache and the ways to love yourself and others. In the song’s psychedelic accompanying music video directed by Cho Gi-Seok, Kali Uchis is painted in warm colors as she bathes in the petals of flowers, picking roses despite their thorns. The song starts with the slow build up of one note into a steady rhythm, the sounds of morning birds singing in the background. Kali’s captivating voice puts us under her spell as she laments about a past relationship, while simultaneously accepting the loss with grace and composure:


“Never thought I’d be without you /

I wish you love, I wish you well /

I wish you roses while you can still smell them.”


In a statement, Uchis says the song is about “how to release people with love — it could be a friend, a lover, or someone else, but the point is to celebrate releasing people from your life without being resentful or bitter.” While we may relish in revenge, sometimes being able to let someone go, accepting the pain and moving on, is the best way to live freely and authentically. This song has a stable beat and harmonious vocals, enveloping listeners in comfort. Nevertheless, it has a very melancholic feel, communicating a bittersweet sentiment. 


“My love’s deep as the ocean /

Don’t you drown on me /

Just know any love I gave you /

Is forever yours to keep.”

Like the beauty of roses, love is fleeting; we should enjoy it while we have it, rather than waiting for it to wither away. This song represents a new era for Kali Uchis; she has teased on Instagram that she has been working on two new albums, one in English and one in Spanish. Despite the changing styles, her hypnotic voice has helped her develop a signature, and she knows exactly who she is. Red Moon in Venus is set to be released on March 3. Until then, I’ll be shuffling Kali Uchis’ discography to tide myself over.