With her sparkling EP Myself, Kiana Ledé offers a soul-wrenching take on R&B.
Her two past EP’s may have been directed towards herself, but Kiana Lede is anything other than a selfish artist; her music mixes elements from the dark and light, from self-empowerment to giving in to anxiety, speaking to her audience as though she’s giving advice to a past self. Capturing eyes from the R&B world as soon she entered the scene, she was quick to become a contemporary household name. At the age of 22, with her signature look of glossy lips and statement hair clip, she’s only just getting started – lately making her debut performance at the BET Awards, collaborating with Migos’ member Offset for “Bouncin'”, starring in the MTV horror series Scream Queenswith the likes of Ariana Grande and Emma Roberts, and joining a European tour with Ella Eyre following their call-out track, “Mama”.
We caught up with Kiana to talk about getting through the hard times, inner growth and connecting with fans in the digital age.
You released your EP Myself in June. What would you say is the biggest difference between this one and Selfless from the previous year? The subject matter is quite different. In Myself, I am dealing with the acknowledgement of ME. Talking about what I need and I want. In Selfless I was more outward focused. I love them both, they are both important but very different conceptually.
2. Which song means the most to you personally and why? “Heavy” is the dearest to my heart. Anyone that has dealt with depression and anxiety understands how hard it is to get up in the morning. This song is a story about learning to pull myself up.
Offset were featured on this record on the song “Bouncin’”. How did that come about and why did you choose Offset to collaborate with? “Bouncin'” just called for Offset’s bounce.
You openly confessed through Instagram stories that the music video for “Heavy” centred around anxiety and depression, resulting in a live Q&A surrounding the subjects. Why do you feel like it’s important to have such an open dialogue about these things? People often don’t want to talk about these things. Social media can be used for good too you know and I feel like if my fans know that I am available like that from time to time, its good for everyone. Including myself.
Do you ever find releasing such vulnerable and personal music scary? Do you ever get scared of critique? Of course I get scared. Artists are always under the microscope. We put ourselves there. So it comes with the territory. My music is personal, its therapy for me and hopefully for others. In that way, I recognize that while it might be a little scary to be SEEN so clearly, its ultimately for the greater good and for my own well being. What quote gets you through tough times? Is there a mantra that you swear by? Be a boss-ass-bitch. Own your shit. Own your problems and your greatness. All in one. Being a boss is not about being perfect. Being a leader means you have to have the courage to point the finger inwards…that’s what I tried to do on “Myself”.
What do you feel like is the most significant thing for people to understand about you and your art? I take this very seriously. I take singing and writing seriously. I understand the blessing of being allowed to do what I do. I love and respect my people so much.