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Singer-Songwriter Tiana Kocher Is Making a Case for Music Identity and Individuality

The Los Angeles-based, Manila-born talent expresses herself through music-making

From the Philippines to the United States, singer and songwriter Tiana Kocher is slowly finding her footing in the spaces of Los Angeles, California. The music maven tried her luck in the territory, where pressure is always at peak and being oneself is a big move. “Still, to this day, it’s so competitive out here because there’s hundreds of thousands of artists that moved to LA, you know?” she mused.


“There’s only so many music venues you can play at, or there’s only so many agents that can book you in shows. So you really, really have to be unique. You have to give something that these other artists aren’t giving. You have to give them a reason to listen to you, to watch your video, to come to your show.”



Starting out as a theater student and finishing with remarkable feats at the Cambridge School of Visual and Performing Arts in the United Kingdom, the two-time Royal Academy of Dramatic Art Shakespeare Award recipient took a risk to bring her music beyond the local landscape. In an American town where there is always a certain way to catch attention, Tiana goes about her career with utmost consideration.


“It was tough in the beginning—really being comfortable in my own skin. But thankfully, I have a really, really good support system around me,” she told Metro.Style, asserting that the right path and the right people won’t lead an aspiring artist astray. 


Armed with her love for the craft, Tiana considers her environment and the ones in it an essential part of pursuing her dreams. “Eventually, you’ll find your voice, you’ll find your people, you’ll find your tribe, and you’ll find your sound. You just have to go through that. It’s a lot of trial-and-error. I went through a lot of managers and a lot of publicists and a lot of stylists. Eventually, you’ll find what’s right for you.” 



Between having done the arts—styling, acting, dancing, drawing, and writing—the R&B wonder is actually the reserved type who honed her repertory abilities and confidence with help of her coaches and her background in musicals. “I’m very shy,” Tiana blushed. “If I meet someone for the first time, I’m so quiet. You won’t really get a word out of me.”



“But eventually, over time, I kind of break out of my shell a little bit and my personality comes out. I have a big guard up but once you get to know me, I’m like open arms,” the artist added. “I got a lot of my foundations and my training—especially when it comes to performing—from musical theater, so I am very comfortable on stage because of my theater background.”


Having been able to work with Grammy award-winning bigwigs like Faith Evans, J Álvarez, Sage the Gemini, and TLC, Tiana has landed a truckload of takeaways. She looked back, “You know, it’s huge. And I’m very grateful and I remind myself every day that not everybody is able to have that opportunity. So I am just so grateful to have been able to do that.” 



Tiana continued, “One of the things that I really, really took from that experience—from working with these people—is that there’s a reason why they have awards, they have the accolades, they have the resume. What they have is because of how professional they are. They show up to work on time; they show up to work sober. You know, they get the job done! And so I was really able to learn a lot and to apply that into my own career.”



With her debut record “Just My Type” recognized in the Top 40 Indie Chart in 2019, Tiana’s desire as a music-maker further flourished into unique ideas, studio recording sessions, and two albums to date. She arrived at a track titled “Daisies” following her first tunes, fresh out of a “situationship” fling and moving towards moving on.


“I called it ‘Daisies’ was because I got a DM from this girl named Daisy practically warning me about this guy that I was seeing at the time. So this is really just an ode to that and just girls kind of saving other girls from—for lack of a better word—sh*tty relationships,” Tiana explained, expounding on her single’s lyrics. She said, “I’m a big storyteller. Part of the reason why I like songwriting is being able to tell stories or other people’s stories.”



Now that Tiana is navigating fresh tracks and finishing up some singles that she lined up for 2024, she takes on another challenge—to communicate to her audience the message and the value of her music. “That’s probably my favorite part—just having a conversation with the crowd and just seeing how they react to my music because I feed off their energy,” she noted.


“If the crowd’s kind of dead, the set’s going to be kind of dead, so I try to make sure that they’re alive with each song that I perform. As much as you can go on Spotify and play a song, are they really, really going to get the meaning right away?” Tiana asked rhetorically. “Or they can come to a show. I can do a little explanation, then they can go home and listen to that song and it’s like a whole new song to them.”


“Someone told me when I first moved here that you will set the tone for whatever room you walk into. And I’m going to take that with me to the grave because it’s true. If you’re having a bad day and you walk into a room and you let that affect the room, [it’s a] waste of your day—[a] waste of a session,” Tiana replied when asked what best advice she received.



As someone who is able to bounce back seconds after being criticized or belittled, Tiana deciphered what her work dynamic is: “If you’re having a good day and you just keep those vibes going, it’s just going to continue. People are going to see that and people are going to want to work with you again. You have to put in the most effort so that everybody around you is like, ‘Oh, okay, she’s doing that. I need to match that.’”


Lead photos from www.tianakocher.com

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