We Talk Music, Diversity & Female Empowerment With Singing Sensation/Sass Queen Kelly Kiara
Her latest music video ‘Sex Faces’ is out now!
Kelly Kiara is a sexy, sassy no fucks giving artist from Leeds, UK. En route to bust a big old hole in the UK music scene, we caught up with Kelly to see how she’s doing and have a good ol’ chat.
It’s so nice to grab you for this interview Kelly, how are you? How have you been with everything going on right now?
Hey, it’s lovely to be here! I’ve been really fortunate to not have any illnesses with myself, within the family or anyone around me. I’ve had down days but I’ve also been really lucky. I know a lot of people who have had grandparents pass away, it’s so sad.
Although in lighter news, my sister has been pregnant throughout this, it has really helped our family get through, we’re really excited! Other than that, I was ahead of my work really before the pandemic happened, you know everything was already in place, by chance!
We’re glad you had everything sorted and hopefully now you’re feeling better, congratulations to your family! Let’s start with some music chat. Your cover of Justin Biebers ‘Love Yourself’ blew up and went viral pretty much overnight a few years ago. Can you tell us about the day you realised how big this was?
Yeah, absolutely! So that was about 4 years ago, a friend of mine asked me to do the cover as a favour. I was working my 9-5, living in Leeds and I was a bit exhausted with music - I felt like I hadn’t done anything substantial, I didn’t know anyone in the music industry or anything like that.
So it picked up really quickly then, what did you do?
Pretty much as soon as it went live it started, within 4 months it was getting to the million mark, then we knew! It just kept on snowballing and I realized this was my opportunity - I would go down to London from Leeds every weekend to do sessions and after a couple of months I was given the opportunity to become a songwriter for Universal music, so I signed with them and I moved to London.
That’s so amazing and crazy! Where did it go from there?
Within 6 months of that I had my release with Mabel and so far I think I’m on something like 800 million streams of music I have written on. It all happened really, really fast, It’s been such an amazing and exciting journey!
So are you still in songwriting for other artists?
I always knew I wanted to write for myself and release something under my own name. I wanted to be independent and put out my first few singles on my own and that’s what I decided to do, once I had formulated what my stance was I just started releasing, that was since August 2019 - I think what I’ve done independently has gone really really well.
The great thing about being independent is that I haven’t had people telling me I can’t do this or that, I've been making my own choices.
So your latest single ‘Sex Faces’ is so sassy, we love the video, we thought it was so fun, can you tell us more about the Mixtape and your music?
‘Sex Faces’ is sexy, sassy and unapolegetic - when I heard the beat it made me feel care free straight away, the words weren’t really that important to me at the time it was the vibe I was putting out with it, that’s what I liked about it. Not everything has to be serious - right now I’m in a position to be an artist that people can enjoy without limitations!
So would you say you are being your true self in your music?
Exactly that, I don’t really want to censor anything and I think that's important to get across otherwise I’m not really a true artist.
So can you tell us the inspiration behind some of the tracks on the Mixtape?
Yes, the inspiration came from being a young woman experiencing love and heartbreak and writing honestly about it. The mixtape sound goes back to my foundations of music as I grew up on Motown & R&B. I’ve focused intently on creating songs that people can relate to and feel connected with because of how personal I’ve been through the creation.
We love that you are passionate about diversity, equality and female empowerment, can you tell us more about why it's personally important to you?
I’ve always had a great family unit and friends, my mum has always ensured that when I was young I was raised around different backgrounds, I’ve grown up around children who are physically diasbled, I’ve never been hidden away from it - my mum would make sure at every kids party everyone in my year was invited, no exceptions, she’s instilled in me a lot of responsibility for my privilege.
In an age like today where we are talking about black lives matter, diversity and white privilege, It’s important to understand where you stand. Since starting my career I've had the privilege to not worry about my actions, my appearance or what I wear, say or do potentially impacting my job. You have to ask yourself, why am I so confident that this is going to work? Why am I so confident that I will be accepted?
When you begin to question everyday incidences, you realise how privileged you are in many ways. For me to go ahead and do what I do and be able to sleep at night and not worry about my career being sabotaged or people attacking me, I owe a lot to people that have suffered - my drive comes from that.
I can’t just be this beacon of how easy it is and “if i can do it so can you” mindset, because for some people that is just not that reality, why should I be able to do what I want and not include those that want to be included? We have to be aware of that and strive for equality, I'm very spiritual, it's important to give back, be kind and educate yourself. It’s important to have peace of mind and be happy where you are at in life AS LONG as you are being proactive!
Do you have anything exciting in the pipeline you can tell us, a new music vid or any industry goss?
No goss unfortunately but my new music video will be out in about a month which will be alongside my Mixtape, the single is called ‘No Manners’ - it’s a bossy track! We’re going to try and get some seaside shots in there depending on how everything works out well, it will all black & white and very ‘artsy’ - showing a different side of me…and I’ve got a clothing line coming out alongside the Mixtape as well!
Loads going on there, are you branching out?
For now it’s just to coincide with the Mixtape but we’re hoping down the road that maybe we could sort out some collabs - I don’t want it to be its own identity. I want to work with others on this, it’s very difficult to manage it all but so worth it!
So we have a few last fun questions, if you could do another cover or remix of a popular song what one would you pick?
Oh Gosh! There is soooo many! This is actually so tough *short period of thinking time* I think I would love to do a cover of ‘Foolish’ by Ashanti.
Now THAT is an iconic choice, well we better see that in a few years time! Okay and final question, if you could collaborate with any artist, who would it be and why?
Another hard question but I think I would choose Post Malone, I feel like he is so diverse in what he can do, that would be an interesting combination, I could not tell you what we would come up with but there would be a wild music video!
Well thank you so much Kelly for taking the time to talk to us today - we look forward to the Mixtape and seeing what you have in store for the future!