Key Latrice’s first musical memories are of singing in church at the age of four.
Her siblings lost interest in singing, but Latrice continued honing her musical skills. While attending Dunbar High School in Fort Worth’s East Side, Latrice expanded her vocal prowess. Already influenced by musicians like Michael Jackson and Alicia Keys, the aspiring teen musician began integrating hip-hop rhyme schemes into her songs.
“My music has always been soulful,” she said. “I started to listen to more Lauryn Hill and Queen Latifah. I was interested in rapping about real-life situations, not just money and clothes. I wanted to be someone who talked about real-life situations.”
After studying music at Texas Southern University in Houston, Latrice returned home to focus on performing and recording.
“It is beautiful,” she said, referring to the excitement she feels when performing. “I am all about energy, vibe and knowing that I am about to wow people. I’ve gained a sense of confidence when performing. I’m very quiet before I go on. The moment when I shock them by singing and rapping — that’s one of my favorite moments.”
Her first album, "Sorry Not Sorry," was recorded at Music In Focus Studio and released earlier this year. The five masterful tracks show the ease with which Latrice alternates from soulful crooner to agile rapper. Latrice’s storytelling is straightforward and honest. A 2019 single, "Pain," describes her struggles as a single mother.
“Being trapped inside your mind's the hardest place to live,” the chorus goes. “They say be happy and I try, but I can’t fake this s***.”
Latrice doesn’t rap and sing about her personal life to elicit a particular response from listeners. Telling personal stories is simply what drives her as an artist, she said
“When I’m writing, I go into a sense of my own situation,” she said. “I didn’t expect so many people to relate to the things that I relate in my music. I receive a lot of stories [from fans] about how I’m a strong woman for telling my story. A lot of people are very quiet about what they go through, too. Not everyone has the ability to express their own story. In a way, my music helps them.”
The pandemic has all-but-stopped her performance opportunities, but the R&B singer-songwriter has big plans for the future. Fans can expect livestream performances. When live concerts return, she plans to put together a band to replace backing tracks. She plans to churn out singles with the goal of releasing an autobiographical LP with around 13 tracks, she said. Her second album will feature a deep dive in her past.
“It will be more on the personal side,” she said. “Even though I give people that, I haven’t given them my upbringing.”