EXCLUSIVE! Kiana V: ‘I Can’t Imagine a Life Without Music’
She talks about growing up surrounded by music, expressing herself through movement, and choosing to be vulnerable
“Music has always played such a huge role in my life,” Kiana Valenciano says over Zoom one Wednesday afternoon, Manila time. Kiana’s been shuttling back and forth from the Philippines to Los Angeles, where she is eagerly anticipating the release of her newest offering, Dazed EP, which comes out today. The EP features five songs, including the title track and lead single, and is Kiana’s exploration of—and ruminations on—self-love.
As the daughter of iconic entertainer Gary V. and veteran talent manager Angeli Pangilinan Valenciano and the sister of two equally creative brothers Gab and Paolo, Kiana’s been surrounded by music and creativity her entire life. She spent her childhood going to sleep in her dad’s studio and watching in wonderment as an idea turned into a full-blown album. “I was always so intrigued by that,” she tells Metro.Style. “I like to spend all my time in [his studio] just experiencing his work.”
But it’s also tricky being the musician-daughter of another artist, especially with the pressure and expectations that come with it. For Kiana, it was essential to her that she carves her own path in the music industry—something that she tried to resist for as long as she could.
“For so many years, I tried to run away from this calling,” she reveals. It was a form of rebellion, explains Kiana, and realizing that made her see how continuing to run away from it would just keep her from something that gives her so much joy. “But, you know, it is a calling,” she adds. “It’s something that I do believe I was meant to do. And so I can’t imagine a life without it.”
“I think the importance of being able to express how I’m feeling through my music is kind of hard for me to put into words,” Kiana says. “That’s why I make music. I’m not always very good at explaining my emotions in conversation—that’s why they’re in a song.”
And sometimes, even music can feel insufficient. So Kiana turned to dance.
The EP’s lead single, “Dazed,” is accompanied by a movement visual directed by Shayna Cua, owner and co-founder of Makati-based dance studio Nude Floor. It’s haunting, it’s raw, and it’s something Kiana had never done before. “It was so therapeutic for me to be dancing to my words in a manner that I don’t usually move,” she says.
“I learned so much about myself,” Kiana continues. “I’d become so aware of my body and what my body can do. Things that I didn’t know about myself before this whole process had come to light. And sometimes it’s hard for me to watch the visual because I remember everything that went into it to get it done, and everything that I still wanted to do, to add on to it that didn’t happen, or that hasn’t happened, because I’m believing it still will.”
The songs on Dazed EP—from the title track to “How Do I,” “Better,” “Simple,” and “Only You”—were written as early as 2019, in journals that Kiana returned to later on. It wasn’t a linear process: “I didn’t write them in one go,” she says. “I wrote them at different times. And these weren’t the first choices to get done.” But in the middle of a bout with writer’s block last year, Kiana went through those notebooks again. “I thought, ‘Sayang naman. These songs are already here. I already have melodies for them. Why don’t we just see where these sessions take us?’”
And so she did, resulting in a lush, atmospheric collection of songs that celebrate self-love and vulnerability, and that remind us how our love for ourselves affects the love we give others—and vice versa.
Watch our full Metro Chats interview with Kiana V below:
Dazed EP is now available for streaming.
Photos courtesy of Manila Genesis