Get to know Kiana Valenciano better
It's been a while since Kiana Valenciano sat down with Wonder, chatted about Safe Place and discussed seeking balance amid the pandemic. She's settled down and focused her sights on music after moving to Los Angeles for a brand new slate. Since she released Dazed independently, Kiana has occupied herself with learning the ropes on curating and creating materials to promote her music—a glimpse to another side of the music industry—while continuously writing on the side. But in the nearest pipeline is a stage at the upcoming SXSW 2022 Music Festival in Austin, Texas, an opportunity she can only describe as a dream.
Much like its name suggests, Dazed offers a dreamy sound that almost feels like a soothing balm for the soul, where Kiana V explores self-love and its influences in the five-track EP. Quiet and slow, introspective and passionate, the songs depict those quiet moments when we're alone. What goes on in our heads? What do we mull over when we think about ourselves and how we love? Much like a diary, her songs reflect a universal struggle and growing pains. Kiana sings about difficult decisions and much-needed assurances. Better talks about coming to terms with outgrowing a loved one and moving on. Meanwhile, Simple explores love in its barest forms, without the material things and grand gestures. All topics we often approach with trepidation and fear, Kiana dissects, writes on and croons in pure honesty.
In terms of musical sound and style, Kiana's has noticeably changed through the years. From her first wave of singles, such as Circles, Does She Know (which blew up on TikTok years later, by the way) and Misfits, her songs have tapered down to the smooth, R&B and neo-soul ringing through the entirety of Dazed. As heard through her lyrics, Kiana’s done her fair share of growing up. She shares that when listening to Circles, “Hearing my delivery reminds me of how much the lyrics meant to me as I recorded the track…really, I felt like I was having a conversation.” But back then, she was less confident and focused on getting the notes right. These days, though, she has more room to experiment.
There are many words to describe the power of change. A reframe, an evolution—but there's nothing as poignant as “transformative.” Instead of a swift alteration or an adjustment made in a snap, the word offers a longer journey, a tedious process and a narrative that illustrates the growth from beginning to finish. And for Kiana Valenciano, that's the power music wields, may it be through listening to your favorite tunes, writing songs or performing on stage.
For the singer, the transformation doesn't only lie in the cathartic process of creating music. The listener goes through their own journey, too—one she hopes her art can be part of. Learn more about Kiana V ahead:
What else can we expect from Kiana Valenciano this year? She replies with only two words, “More. Music.”
Stream Kiana V’s Dazed EP on Spotify.
Kiana V is wearing Puey Quinones
Art Matthew Ian Fetalver