Krystal Khali, also known by the stage name The Most Famous Woman in the World, is an artist and Founder at Spacebourne, Inc. She has previously worked as an MBA professor with Westwood Colleges and is currently pursuing a B.S. in Biobehavioral Health with Pennsylvania State University. Khali was the touring guitarist for blues legend Guitar Shorty for the last 7 years of his life. Other artists she has supported include psychedelic soul pioneer Willie Chambers and rockabilly titans The Red Elvises.
Khali has recently given commencement keynotes at the aerospace engineering schools of USC and UCLA, and is growing the mentoring community and podcast Millionaire Mentor Method. Other ventures include sitting on the board at the non-profit Keep Music in Schools Foundation, developing an app in the healthcare field, and reporting for The World Chronicle.
Khali continues to produce music live on her youtube channel, and is currently in the studio for her next album "Krystal Khali and The Heavyweight Champions of Blues."
In an interview, Krystal's older sister recalled that the first memory she has of the new baby in the family is Krystal hitting her over the head with a pink plastic toy guitar. One could say Krystal was born to then go on to discover and fall in love with the music of Hendrix, and then to later get hired to tour with Guitar Shorty, the man who Hendrix attributed his flamboyant stage presence to.
Born in Long Beach, California to a Russian Jewish-American mother and black father, Krystal has often attributed her eclectic style to feeling disconnected to traditional cultural identity norms.
As a teen, Krystal began to express interest in learning to play guitar, and started getting lessons from local players. She soon found that the love she had for music as a fan translated into being able to sustain long hours of practice. She soon joined a local Orange County band called "Elements of Confusion", which was an eclectic mix of rock, rap, and ska. Khali juggled playing in bands with maintaining outstanding academic and extracurricular achievements including being Vice President of her high school's ASB, cheerleading, and attending advanced placement classes in chemistry and english.
During this time, she connected with other young musicians and went on to record some of her first songs. As the bands lead vocalist and rhythm guitarist, she was able to use the opportunity to learn how to be an effective front person and how to coordinate playing and singing, a vital skill for a young performer. Krystal recalls "I thought we were horrible, but looking back now at some of the songs, we actually weren't half bad. We were very serious and passionate about what we were doing, and I can respect that now as an adult."
After graduating from Savanna high school in Anaheim, CA with honors, Khali was offered full ride scholarships to several universities including winning the Chancellor's Scholarship to University of California at Irvine. Khali instead took a leap in the direction of her musical passions and chose to attend The Musician's Institute in Hollywood, CA. Intent on going beyond the surface level of understanding that many musicians have, Krystal was determined to become a well rounded and self sufficient vocalist, guitarist, and producer. Putting herself through MI by working full time as a waitress and bartender, she was able to complete her 2 year technical certificate in contemporary guitar performance in 2008.
Importantly, this not only gave Krystal a deep insight into technicals such as music theory and sightreading, it gave her the ability to always have the safety net of teaching to fall back on and to serve younger generations. In a 2010 interview with Meridian Magazine, Krystal stated that The Musician's Institute "changed [her] life by giving [her] a fast forward button on technical ability, and by giving [her] a lifelong network of peers to lean on in the industry."
After graduating from The Musician's Institute, Krystal moved to Colorado Springs, CO to pursue her music career in a less competitive environment. Los Angeles is notoriously unforgiving for budding bands and musicians, with the "pay to play" scene being the norm. After moving, Khali was able to expand her skills by making a living playing nightly locally.
Mostly playing blues and top 40, Khali, then known as Krystal Black, started paving the way for her future with the Krystal Black Trio, backed by drummers Art Noble, Dean "Woody" Woodward, and Bassist Ted Young. As the saying goes, it's better to be a medium-sized fish in a small pond that a large fish in the ocean, and Colorado Springs proved to be just that. With a lowered cost of living and a plethora of skilled and enthusiastic musicians in the area, Khali recorded her first album "Guitar/Music/Prism". She was also able to get her first press coverage in local news and magazines.
While attending The Musician's Institute, Khali was a staple in the local blues jam scene, including playing regularly at Cadillac Zack's blues jam in Tarzana, CA and The Baked Potato in North Hollywood, CA. Taking what she was learning in the classroom to the stages of Los Angeles, Khali made connections that would last a lifetime and give her one opportunity of a lifetime in particular.
Blues legend Guitar Shorty took notice of the budding guitar slinger and invited her to play a trial show with him at Saint Rock in Hermosa Beach, CA. During this show, Khali was able to impress Guitar Shorty enough that he hired her as a regular member of the band in 2016.
Krystal recalls, "Playing with Shorty gave me everything. It gave me the opportunity to be introduced to blues fans all over the world, to be taken seriously and to gain respect from my peers, and it gave me my little footnote in blues history. Shorty was an angel that handed me my childhood dream."
The album "Ghost" was released in 2019. This marked Khali's first foray into engineering and producing her own material.
According to Krystal, "My intention with my solo projects are to be able to explore engineering, production, and edgier sounds while still retaining brand continuity in the blues community under Krystal Khali."
About the album:
Ghost, the second solo album of producer and session musician Krystal Khali, is a euphorically disorienting mix of masochistic, Weeknd-style pop, slick power ballads, and genre-defining trap metal. Ten years in the making, the payoff is well worth it: the album is like a private carnival ride through the wonderfully salacious mind of a sonically fearless female master of sound.
The Red Elvises
After being a fan for many years, Khali was selected to tour with legendary rockabilly act The Red Elvises. The Red Elvises have been recording and touring for more than 25 years. Founded in Russia, the band grew a massive following after the cult classic film "Six String Samurai" was released in 1998. The Red Elvises have were and still are one of the biggest bands from the surf/ska/rockabilly revival that came about in the 90s with bands such as No Doubt, Sublime, and The Stray Cats.
Red Elvis fans that discovered the band in the 90s are just as rabid as they ever were, and the scene started back then is still going strong. The band never stopped touring and releasing albums, and is currently touring internationally year-round. Being a part of the Red Elvis legacy has been a career milestone for Khali, who grew up in Anaheim at just the time that No Doubt (who also hail from Anaheim) were exploding in popularity. Khali attributes much of her love of music to the rockabilly bands who came to prominence during that time, The Red Elvises included.
The Heavyweight Champions of Blues
Krystal is currently in the studio producing what she calls her "Debut debut album", "Krystal Khali and the Heavyweight Champions of the Blues." The album features a cornucopia of legendary musicians and artists from the blues community.
The first (as yet unreleased) single, a thumping and modernized version of "Hold On, I'm Coming" by Sam and Dave, features Guitar Shorty on vocals and guitar, as well as herself and Jimmy Vivino. It is truly an ode to her hero and to blues and soul, and makes any of us lucky enough to have previewed it eager to hear more.
The Heavyweight Champions of Blues
Khali is currently in the studio producing what she calls her "Debut blues album", "Krystal Khali and the Heavyweight Champions of Blues." The album features a cornucopia of legendary musicians and artists from the blues community.
The first single, a thumping, modernized version of "Hold On, I'm Coming" by Sam and Dave, features Guitar Shorty on vocals and guitar, as well as Khali and Tonite Show icon Jimmy Vivino. Produced by Khali and industry veteran and engineering phenom Rob Heskin, It is a touching tribute to Guitar Shorty and to the history of American blues and soul.