Sometimes, starting can seem like the scariest part. For many of us, fear has driven away the creative dreams we have once imagined our entire lives. All it takes is that one step. The one step to start something beautiful. For Kiana Zara, that step is now. The 20-year old artist came through to the House to tell us the creative journey she experienced releasing her debut single, “Nobody”, which is out now on all platforms.
Being your first single, how have the last few years shaped yourself not just as a music artist, but as an individual?
“Ever since I was little, I always knew I was artistic and music was the one thing that drew me in like nothing else. I grew up really into poetry and it's always been something that's allowed me to gain a deeper connection with myself. I played piano throughout my childhood, did musical theater, and when I was in middle school, I was the lead singer in a rock band. These experiences all made me realize being on stage felt so natural and it just sparked my passion for performing even more throughout the years. These last few years, I put my music aside a bit and I focused on getting a college degree. Although I’m still in school, I just woke up one day and realized that I couldn’t wait anymore. I made my music a priority and just focused on creating until Nobody was eventually made. I’m doing what I love to do now and I couldn’t be more excited!”
What was the process like creating “Nobody”?
“A friend of mine introduced me to Charlie and Eric (“Feels”) who produced Nobody. We had an instant connection and after jamming out a little bit, they started creating the vibe for the song. We were talking about our personal lives and about our current relationships when all of a sudden I started humming the chorus in my head and wrote the entire song in less than 30 minutes. We pretty much had the complete demo done in less than four hours and it was an incredible experience.”
The song dives into an attempt of letting go of past mistakes and there comes a realization of how those mistakes have shaped yourself. Where did you find the inspiration to incorporate this theme into the song?
“Instantly, I was thinking back to a recent time where I was on a break with the person I was dating and I just remembered that feeling when literally nobody in the world can make you feel the way they do. Being in current relationships, Eric and Charlie were also able to relate to me on this concept. The song means a lot to me because even though it has the catchy chorus and the chill vibe, the words touch on a very real aspect of the struggles of being in love.”
How did your personal experience and lifestyle shape this song into what it became to be?
“Something that definitely influenced the song was that I actually had my first ever boyfriend at the age of 19. Of course, I had crushes and dated a bit in high school. However, having an actual relationship and understanding the responsibilities that came with it was something I didn't truly understand till just recently. In reality, nobody can prepare you for what it's like. Growing up I was raised by a single father who I'm extremely close to and he always taught me to have a sense of independence. Understanding that you have to naturally and willingly give a little bit of that independence up when you enter a relationship, was difficult for me at first. With time, I started to understand the balance a relationship truly required and that’s what this song is about.”
When people listen to “Nobody”, how do you want them to feel?
“When listening to a song like this, I feel everybody will interpret it in their own way. I created this song so people could relate to it and possibly even gain a sense of relief. In life, it's nice to know somebody else understands what you're going through. Whether people have found that special somebody yet, they will always relate to the fact that there are people in our lives that mean so much to us in a way that nobody else compares to. This is a universal emotion and I hope that it resonates with people.”
Many artists tend to have many role-models that inspire their style of music. Are they any artists you listen to that helped create the sound you showcase in “Nobody”?
“I grew up listening to a plethora of genres in multiple languages. Honestly, I love all types of music. However, there have been a few artists I've listened to that have been very influential for me as a creator. I have some jazz influence in my music and listening to Bill Whithers and Frank Sinatra growing up definitely inspired that. A few of my favorite bands/artists that have inspired my music are The Rolling Stones, Norah Jones, Allen Stone, Benee, H.E.R, Dua Lipa, and SZA. They all inspired me either as an artist, a writer, or both.”
Who is Kiana Zara in terms of a musical artist?
“Something that I feel really makes me unique is my ethnicity. There aren't that many young Persian women breaking through the industry just yet and I really want to change that. In addition, I’m trilingual (I speak Farsi, French, and English) so I've been exposed to many cultures of music growing up. This is something I definitely want to showcase in my writing and in my music.”
Following the release of your debut single, what are some of your short-term and long-term goals in regards to music?
“Nobody is just the start for me. These days, I'm focusing on writing and creating as much as I can. I definitely want to work towards putting out an EP and grow as an artist. So I would say my short-term goal is to keep putting out more music and my long-term goal is to start doing live shows.”
For Kiana and many of us, we have been walking past blurry lines our entire lives. Whether it is a relationship or a new job, life is full of unexpected ideas. I get it. Blurry lines are meant to scare you. They are full of doubt, uncertainty, and obviously, blurriness. This idea of not knowing what to expect pushes us away. However, those same blurry lines become the ones that guide you to your creative destination. Once you get past the blurriness, life becomes a lot more clear and colorful. And like Kiana, you get the opportunity to start something extraordinary.