Interview Kiesza: ‘I Had No Idea It Would Pick Up Like It Did’

At the head of the charts, say hello to 2014’s next breakthrough success.

From Calgary to London via Brooklyn, Kiesza (pronounced ‘Kaiser’) has travelled far. A former Royal Canadian Army reserve, the to-be massive musician first trained as a highly disciplined sharpshooter for four years before trying her hand at singer-songwriter-ish folk. Now, she makes brilliant house-pop thrill rides and as of last week, already has a number 1 single to her name.

Constantly relocating, she claims her goal in moving to the UK was to immerse herself in London’s dance scenes, taking tips from the likes of Maya Jane Coles, Gorgon City and Route94. This hasn’t actually happened, but soon it’ll be them giving Kiesza the call.

Speaking to DIY just as she rockets off, the musician says she’s stunned by the unexpectedly titanic reaction to debut single ‘Hideaway’, which has amassed over two million hits on YouTube since its unveiling in January. A self-proclaimed “90s kid” with a penchant for latter-day Wacko Jacko, the singer also has a passion for surrealist art. All of this combines in the campaign behind her splashy, energetic debut single. “‘Hideaway’ is about having an affinity for someone so much that when you’re with them, you escape into another reality,” she reveals. “You’re free from your usual concerns and regardless of the prudence of it all.”

Apparently, the song was pieced together in under an hour and a half. “I was about to leave the studio to catch a flight to LA, when Rami [Samir Afuni, producer] started making the bass-line,” she recounts. “I quickly jumped on the mic and the whole thing practically poured out all at once.” Coincidentally or not, this rapid composition process is all reflected in the effervescent feel of the track itself. It builds and builds, but never droops, never resolves. Four, urgent minutes of non-stop hookery, it’s the perfect start for producer Afuni, whose dream was always to start up a indie record label (Lokal Legend) based out of NY. This is their very first release.

Much of the track’s success is owed to its simplistic single-shot video which sees Kiesza prancing and dancing along the Brooklyn sidewalks. “ The video was a real team effort of friends hustling together to achieve something that seemed really challenging,” she explains. “We wanted to pay homage to the 90s, because it was such a great time for both music and dance, but also fuse it with what was going on currently. I had no idea it would pick up like it did.” But pick up it did, and like a shot.

Taken from the new, free DIY Weekly, available to read online, download on Android via Google Play, or download on iPad now.

Tags: Features

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