Kiana Valenciano: The Emerging Millennial RnB Icon

  • March 16, 2019
  • INSIDESHOWBIZ.PH TEAM

Kiana Valenciano is not one who goes about life with a mask on. Even as a celebrity, she refuses to put up a front and keep up with an image. With her, what you see is really what you get. The singer-songwriter does not even have qualms about disclosing her ups and downs. She continues to be true to herself as she strives to release more songs that reflect her soul. Her d ebut album, See Me, is a testament to that.

Kiana Valenciano

 

“I mean, there are still elements that are connected to the EP [Grey] that I released this time last year but I just wanted to be more playful and experiment a bit. I wanted to just have fun with it. I didn’t wanna get too pressured by making sure that the whole album sounded a certain way. It’s still me and people will know that when people will hear it, but I’d say there’s an angle to it that it’s a little more grown-up,” she tells Inside Showbiz Exclusives.

Kiana continues to talk about her new album which is her first full-length release. “Obviously, with my songwriting, it’s deeper. I guess because it does connect with a different side of me. Even with the production. Just listen to it and you’ll be able to tell when it’s fun, when it’s heartbreaking, and you’ll go through my year with me when you listen to the album.”

MOST PERSONAL RECORD

Kiana reveals that it took her a little over a year to wrap up See Me. “Some songs didn’t make it and new songs were added when I thought it was finished na. But I think it’s an interesting album because the one thing I’ve been hearing is that it’s confusing. And I guess it’s safe to say it’s because I had a pretty confusing year. Up and down, up and down, up and down. So, you’ll hear that when you listen to it. I guess you’ll really get to know what I had fun working on, what songs I was working on when I was really happy, and what songs I was working on when I was kinda going through the lowest.”

Kiana Valenciano

The 26-year-old goes on, “There are even certain songs that I didn’t wanna put in ‘cause I just felt like I was maybe a little too vulnerable. But, you know, my friends pushed me to release it because other people would be able to connect to that. And ultimately, I was able to really express what I was going through at the time and so I decided to put it in the album.”

She credits Tarsier Records, a division under Star Music, for guiding her throughout the creative process. “They’re supportive and they make their presence known. They back you up. And I love that the head of the label, Chris Lopez, he’s a good friend of mine and you know the different artists of the label, they’re not afraid to tell me what I need to hear because they are friends as well and I really respect them for that.”

As for her influences for the See Me album, she mentions, “My producer, Marcus Davis. He played a huge role especially when I’d be scared to experiment or when I’d be scared to leave my comfort zone. He would really push me and it’s always fun, it’s always thrilling to leave your comfort zone. My musical influences are Janet Jackson, Aaliyah, and Jhené Aiko. I listen to them a lot and you’ll hear that throughout the album. And my friends, obviously.”

GETTING THROUH A TOUGH YEAR

Looking back at the previous year, Kiana mentions the highlights of 2018 which influenced her album in one way or another. “I wouldn’t say they were in the lyrics but more of like the production of the music. It’ll be like out-of-town trips with my friends ‘cause I love that. I’d say my hike up Mt. Ulap with my friends was a huge inspiration. My dad getting better was a huge inspiration. My Siargao trip with my friends is a huge inspiration.”

Kiana Valenciano

 

She continues, “Some of the songs would be directly connected to how I was feeling at my highest of highest.” She also talks about her low points. “I would say it was when my depression was at its peak. My brother [Gab] got sick. My dad got sick. I had a failed relationship. Yeah, you’ll hear all of that I guess in the album.”

Kiana shares how her family remained strong. “It was tough, of course. But it always helps when your family just wants to support each other and I guess I’m really blessed to have that type of family where when they need to step up, they really step up. I helped out by being happy-go-lucky and trying to make everyone laugh or keeping things light. But I had my days, too, where someone else in the family would have to step up and make me feel better. But you know, we made it through. And I guess it’s just a blessing.”

Kiana Valenciano

As for her breakup with Sam Concepcion, she comments: “It’s so hard. There’s so much stuff that I learned in that relationship. I think you guys have to remember to respect your past because you wouldn’t be where you are without that. I also learned that you should just learn how to love yourself entirely because you wouldn’t be able to share love if you don’t have it for your own life. And I’ve learned to appreciate the small things and I’ve learned to appreciate all the people in my life that rush to my side when things get sour.”

DRAWING FROM HER COURAGE & STRENGTH

While it was difficult to deal with the breakup, Kiana shares that she has learned to endure it. “You know, it’s just part of life and when you accept that things like that happen, I guess it’s easier to close the book and move on.” She points out, “‘Yun din, you wouldn’t really completely heal. I don’t know. I mean, I guess I just learned how to live with the fact that these things happen and sometimes it’s out of your control.”

Kiana also found the courage to speak up last year about her depression. “When I opened up about my depression and I realized that stepping up and letting people know that it’s a common thing, and it’s something that we need to talk about—that was when I realized, ‘Okay, I can’t hide this just because I’m a little scared.’

Kiana Valenciano

She was overwhelmed when she received fan messages on Instagram and Twitter regarding depression. Some were messages of support and compassion while others stated that her fans have depression, too. “I liked the fact that I was able to connect to them through my story and I guess that connection is just gonna grow deeper when the music’s released.”

She also shared her depression story in a mental health awareness campaign video of Lustrous, the makeup line of her friend, Nadine Lustre. “It was hard. At first, I didn’t think I could do it and the shoot itself was hard. But, you know, being able to connect with my followers and my listeners on a different level, like that was also very heartwarming for me. And it really opened my eyes to the fact that it’s something that we shouldn’t be scared to talk about.”

GOING FOR GREATER GOALS

Now that Kiana has moved on from the year 2018 with greater wisdom and maturity, she has her eyes set on conquering 2019. She kicked off the year by performing at the closing concert and media event of the Asian Television Awards in Malaysia. She and her father were the official representatives from the Philippines. She then closes off the first quarter of the year by dropping an album. She teases what’s coming up: “If things go as planned: more music, more travelling, and being able to share what I’ve created with the rest of the world.”

Does she mean that going international is her next step? “I don’t know. I think that’s the dream of everyone. That is a goal. But right now, I’m taking it a day at a time. I’m doing as much as I can with what I have. I guess what people can expect from me is I’ll just keep releasing my music and doing what I love and hopefully if that takes me international, then thank God. If it doesn’t, then He has other plans.”

Kiana Valenciano

She elaborates, “It is something that I want. I would love to travel and live abroad, and you know, cater to more people and express myself more. It’s scary. Of course, it’s always scary. But is this what I want? Yes, it’s what I want.” She also adamantly declares that she will stick to doing music. “I still love sketching. And anytime I can make my own fashion design, even my own looks. But I’m just so scared to look away from the music. I just know that if I go into fashion, I wanna make sure that my attention is on the fashion. But right now, my heart’s into music. So, I don’t wanna be taken away from that.”

Kiana Valenciano

Words by Rosy Mina | Photography by DJ Magbanua | Art Direction by Nix Villaruel | Assisted by Bria Cardenas &  | Styling by RJ Roque | Editor Vani Altomonte | Associate Publisher Walter de Jesus | Publisher Archie Carrasco | Special Thanks To MEGA Magazine and Manila Genesis

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  • Go go go Kiana.. make most of that gift, talent from above..! Just believe in yourself and with God’s grace you’ll make it..!

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