Kiana V Crafts the Perfect Valentine's Day Vibe With "Heartbeat on Me" [Q&A]
Photo: Andrei Suleik
Kiana V is an artist that we've had on our radar for a while but haven't gotten to pepper with questions as she's busy on a cross oceanic schedule between the Philippines and the US. With her latest release, "Heartbeat on Me," making our heart pump past the point of anxiety, we finally got the chance to ask Kiana V about her latest release and more.
Who is Kiana V?
I'm an artist from the Philippines currently jumping back and forth between Manila and LA. I'm a very spiritual person, an introvert by nature but an extrovert by nurture, a mental health advocate, and I appreciate people who inspire, push and challenge me. This isn't the easiest question to answer hahaha.
What is the very catchy "Heartbeat on Me" all about?
In the Philippines, we have this word that doesn't have an exact English translation: kilig. It's that thrilling feeling of butterflies and tummy-turns at the beginning of a new romance or when you experience a romantic gesture from someone you're into. "Heartbeat [on Me]" is about that feeling of getting started, wanting more, giving what you can and just taking in that kilig sensation.
The song has that disco glisten, happy retro vibe. What inspired that?
For a long time, I had been really stuck worrying about what I wanted to say through my music. I was creating this sort of toxic environment for myself, over-analysing every aspect of my creative process instead of just having fun and being honest with myself. When I got in the studio for this track, we had no idea what we were going to come up with that night. We kind of just fed off of each other's energies and went with what felt right in the moment.
Who were your collaborators and producers on the track?
I worked on this song with Jesse Barrera and Albert Posis. Those guys are a riot and we had a great time producing this song.
How do you feel your sound has changed post-pandemic?
I think I'm a little more lenient with myself and more open to mixing different genres. This track is probably the happiest one I've released in a while and I think that says a lot hahaha. It's quite difficult for artists these days when "branding is everything" because I feel like that idea really does stifle creativity for many.
Any longer release or album plans?
Absolutely. I'm taking my time though. Producing an album is a lot of pressure and a lot of hard work - technical, mental and emotional. I want to make sure that, when I dive into a project that intricate, I'm ready.
Besides this excellent single, what else should we be on the lookout for?
I'm excited to be releasing more music this year as well as playing in SXSW in March. Back in 2020, I was part of the lineup and had already started preparing for the show when the pandemic hit and derailed those plans. Excited is an understatement.
What's inspiring you right now outside of music?
Honestly, I've been really interested in History and Philosophy lately. I can't claim that I'm immensely knowledgeable on both subjects, but I am quite fascinated and I enjoy reading and watching educational videos. I also love spending time outdoors, camping, hiking and enjoying the beach.
Valentine's day is around the corner. Is that a heart throbbing or heart sobbing holiday for you?
I've never thought of Valentine's day as a romantic "couple" thing because I've enjoyed so many with my friends and family. This year I think I'll have my hands pretty full with this release though and I can't complain at all! So... heart throbbing!
Who are your Ones To Watch?
I am OBSESSED with Hope Tala and Joy Crookes. Love them both so much. They just don't miss.