Can you remember the last time R&B music produced a bona fide star? One who’s soulful voice, powerful lyrics, authenticity, passion, honesty and energy had her poised to become the voice of a generation? That time has come once again. And 21-year-old Atlanta newcomer Kiyana is the real deal.
In an age of pre-fabricated R&B/pop “princesses,” mass-produced to fit a rarely-repeated model of previous success, Kiyana has unknowingly been grooming herself for stardom since elementary school. As far back as she can remember, Kiyana has been singing – from church choirs to school choirs to impromptu R&B remakes of popular rap songs performed at home. Kiyana’s father passed away when she was a toddler but it wasn’t until she entered middle school that she felt the heartache of never knowing her dad. Dealing with this issue she discovered her voice, through poetry. By the time she started high school, she married her love of lyric to her love of music and started penning and recording her own songs. All of this was done for the love though. While singing in church had taught her the power of music and its ability to evoke emotion in a way that not too many other forms of expression can, Kiyana still saw it as her own personal escape from the pressures of day-to-day life.
After one year in college pursuing a degree in psychology, Kiyana realized that the only way she would be happy would be to by continuing to develop her music career. She started out in a girl group, an experience which brought her first lesson in music business politics. Not only was the group’s record deal not properly structured, Kiyana found out “on the job” that her group mates didn’t necessarily share the passion she felt. Shortly after that group broke up, Kiyana ended up in another girl group. But this time, life got in the way. As one of the other girls in the group found out she was pregnant, Kiyana violated the terms of her probation stemming from a high school fight and had to serve out a 32-day sentence and four months on work release. None of this was enough to deter her dream however. Following her legal woes, Kiyana decided to try her hand at songwriting, content to stay out of the spotlight so long as she knew that her voice and message would be heard. But fate had other plans. While listening to a song she had written for another one of his artists, it became obvious to Artists 1st Entertainment CEO Parrish Johnson that Kiyana, who he had worked with before, was destined to be a star in her own right. The rest, as they say, is history.
After five months in the studio, Kiyana is readying the release of her introductory project Confessions Of A Virgo, a mixtape hosted by DJ Sense, who happens to be the other half of her behind-the-scenes support system. The project, produced entirely by Artists 1st producer SL Mistro consists of mostly up-tempo songs that are sure to become the anthems of a generation. The ballads included offer that classic, rich sound reminiscent of 90s R&B. Kiyana’s rich vocal tone and strong Hip-Hop influences manage to simultaneously fit perfectly into today’s musical landscape while bringing much needed freshness to the game.
She is sassy, sexy without being overly sexual, confident and strong while still vulnerable as she explores her independence. Kiyana is the real deal. And every note she sings reflects it.
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