Boston Calling kicks off today, and this year the annual festival is featuring 21 local artists.

One of them is rapper kei.

The Dorchester native says she’s only been making music for three years.

“It’s really, really surreal, especially about how fast I’ve been able to climb, within my notability, within my community,” kei said in a visit to GBH News studios before the festival. “I’m super blessed and just honored to be able to have an opportunity like this.”

Like many female rappers today, kei channels an expressive freedom in her music, artistically and emotionally.

“A lot of people will classify some of my music as like rage or a trap or pop. But I feel like if you really listen to the content matter of my songs, there’s a running theme of progression and growth and progress that I talk about in such a fun, funky way,” she said. “I like to make music that people can connect to sonically and move them, whether that’s emotionally or physically. Have them dance, have them mad, have them just feel a whole bunch of things.”

Her path to rap came through poetry, spoken word and journaling as a kid, she said.

Her father, a music producer, would let her goof around and make things with him.

“Being able to do that in a poetic way kind of transformed into rapping over time,” she said.

Since she first released music three years ago, kei said she’s been learning more about Boston’s hip hop scene. She listed off local musicians: Cousin Stizz, Millyz, Bia, Bobby Brown, Oompa and Maye Star.

“And even like my friends like Clark D, just being inspired by those who set a foundation, Vintage Lee,” kei said. “There’s so many names that not a lot of local people may know, unless they really delve deep into the history of hip hop and just the culture of music here in Boston.”

And she’s not the only Black woman rapper who’s going to be at Boston Calling. Grammy winner Megan thee Stallion is performing, as is local artist Cakeswagg. Non-binary rapper Billy Dean Thomas will also take the stage.

In years past, Boston Calling was sometime criticized for lineups without much diversity.

“I remember taking the T my freshman year of college when I went to Northeastern. And even the years after that, when I went to RCC and I would see the fliers of Boston Calling, never really knew what it was until like, recent years,” kei said. “But I think they’re doing an amazing job at highlighting locals, like Cakeswagg and ToriTori and Zola Simone and Stefan Thev, and a whole bunch of others of my peers and the collective here. It’s really, really dope.”

So what can people expect from her performance?

Dancers, a live band, and a lot of inspiration from Boston’s Black communities.

“I’m really about providing my audience and my listeners an experience,” kei said. “There’s this stigma that, you know, Boston doesn’t have Black culture, they don’t have minorities. And I found a page on Instagram called Boston Urban Archive, and I was heavily inspired by the fashion and just the music and some of the artists that are on that page. And I wanted to bring an element of that to the stage.”