In her latest EP Dazed Kiana V explores positivism even in the loneliest of times, the importance of taking time to look inward and find yourself and to cherish those closest to us. Kiana V is a multicultural traveling musician from the Philippines and now LA native. Dazed EP was created mostly during the first year of the ongoing pandemic. Emotions were at an all time high for many of us and to release multiple tracks with such prestige goes to show how important Kiana’s impact is and will continue to be.
Kiana, congratulations on the release of the Dazed EP. Listening through each track left me with a heightened sense of self-worth and a reminder that surrounding yourself with positive people and experiences is key to one's mental health and overall state of mind. Could you explain a bit about the process and concepts behind the EP?
Thank you so much! I’m glad that’s what you got from it because that’s what I received from it as we were building it too. Getting into the production of the EP was different from my other projects because we weren’t quite sure what was going to come out of the whole process. This collection of songs were all written throughout 2019 and were only brought to life in the middle of last year’s lockdown. I think that says a lot about the emotions I had to confront while I was stuck at home.
The EP as a whole has a very ethereal and floaty feel to it. What was the songwriting like and were there specific people and or times in your life that you used as reference in this process?
What makes this project so special to me is every song is based on something I personally went through. In my previous work I based a lot of my lyrics on other people’s stories, but with Dazed I focused on my own experiences.
Could you tell us a bit about what led you to an artistic and musical career? And is your travel heavy lifestyle a core piece of this identity?
I was raised in a very musical home, not only because both parents and brothers thrived in the PH [Filipino] music scene, but also because my grandparents and cousins were all music lovers as well. Traveling definitely has its influence on me as it exposes me to different cultures, but ultimately my upbringing is what drives my need to create.
Going between two major music scenes within The States and the Philippines must be quite an experience. What about these places helped shape what you are working on now?
Growing up within the Philippine's music scene, I witnessed the good and the bad that come with this profession. I think that when I was first starting out, that knowledge drove me to make business and creative decisions I wouldn’t necessarily stand by today. Being in LA has given me a lot more freedom to examine myself, what I want and where I’m going. The ability to bounce from Manila to LA has really awakened my senses and allowed me to be more open to different ideas.
You seemingly love to immerse yourself wherever you end up and enjoy these experiences with friends and family. What artistic aspects of yourself are a result of the way you approach life and culture?
Something that I’ve noticed has been so central to who I am is my constant longing for freedom and adventure. I believe I approach my process the same way, which is why I prefer to try different styles and not to put myself in a box.
Looking over your Instagram and your YouTube channel you use social media openly, honestly and are having a great time doing so. Do you find that taking this approach helps to connect with your fans around the world?
Absolutely. There’s this intimate group chat I’m part of on instagram that was put together in the middle of 2020 by a few followers who were constant viewers of my instagram lives. I love that I’m able to converse with them so openly… I feel like I’ve built friendships through social media and really, that’s something that I’ll always be grateful for.
What was the experience like creating the Dazed Movement Visual video? How much creative input did you have and was there anything you wanted represented in it that didn’t make the final cut?
It’s crazy because with the amount of thought and emotion that’s been poured into this movement visual, it almost feels like a living, breathing thing. I knew after the production of the EP that I could’ve dug deeper and given more, but I also felt like I had said everything I needed to say. The only way for me to further develop my thoughts was to tell the story through movement. I knew, almost instinctively, that Shayna Cua of Nude Floor was the woman for the job. The Dazed Movement Visual is just a fragment of what we want to to achieve together, and I’m looking forward to the day our vision comes to fruition.
Are there any aspects from your previous work that helped guide the direction you took towards the creation of the Dazed EP and its graceful depiction?
As I mentioned earlier, a lot of my previous work was based on other people’s lives. To be honest, I think that’s taken a toll on how I personally connect with my music. I didn’t just want to be singing my music, I wanted to be living it too, and so going into the studio my main concern was making sure that the music felt authentic to who I was at the time of production. I tried not to be too concerned about what people would think and what was playing on the radio. Instead I focused on my energy and what felt right for me in the moment.
Your continuous lyrical themes have me hooked with the EP on repeat. Not only dealing with your own emotions and mind space but also the various difficulties of personal relationships and the idea that criticism should only be taken by those who you would ask advice from. What was it like opening up this intensely?
I’m so happy to hear that, thank you! It felt easy at first, letting it all out on paper and then sealing the deal with a melody. It’s when you realise just how many people might be tuning in that things get a little more difficult. I had this project in the vault for nearly 10 months and letting it go was nerve-racking! There are a few songs I’ve written that dive deeper into my psyche and my struggles with negative self-talk, as well as my confidence in myself and my hopes for the future… I’ll get there. I’ll get to the point where I’m ready to release that into the world... But for now, Dazed is my baby step into self awareness and my reality.
Is there a specific track from the EP that you feel most connected with and, if so, what aspects of that song lead you to feel this way?
How Do I. Writing it felt so natural, it was almost like I didn’t really have to try. That says a lot about where I was mentally and emotionally when I was writing it and that’s why I have such a strong connection to it.
Are there any fields of interest that you would like to explore in your future works? If so, is this a result of possible inspirational moments and or people throughout your life?
Fashion design really sparks something in me and so that’s one thing I would like to explore in the future. Another would be film, either behind or in front of the camera. I’m inspired by the creatives I’m surrounded by - my brothers, Nude Floor, friends of mine who continue to break through boundaries and artists like Joy Crookes, Solange, ((O)) and FKA Twiggs.
What can we expect from Kiana V in the future? Any projects currently in the works?
We’re working on more music, more visuals and collaborations. Tune into my socials for updates!