Before the release of the Dazed EP, Kiana V announced her latest single Dazed which is the title and lead track of the EP. The single came with a movement visual that gives you a different angle of Kiana as an artist. The five-track soulful EP gives listeners a chance to reflect on self-love.
2016 ushered in the Kiana we see now – a fully-formed, independent woman of color not afraid to use her voice – beginning with her debut single “Circles.” Her latest track “Safe Place,” was released via Tarsier Records and 88Rising and gained recognition from Grammy.com who named her an artist pushing Filipino music to the forefront.
The EP’s title track Dazed is a contemplative number about being overwhelmed by your inner thoughts. “This song is a moment of quiet introspection,” Kiana shares. “A personal exchange between negative and positive self talk in an attempt to find inner healing.” Kiana’s feather light voice dances over a luxurious yet wispy synth soundscape that slowly builds over the track’s four minute run-time until it reaches a climax of crushing emotionality with Kiana proclaiming, “Set me free.”
How Do I opens with a cascade of Kiana’s honeyed “oo’s and aah’s” and the sound of rushing water that effortlessly pulls you in. “If I can’t love myself, how do I love you?” Kiana entreats on the wall of sound chorus. Kiana explains, “it focuses on the need to confront things within before being able to pour anything out.”
The EP’s focus track Better is a song about personal salvation and for Kiana, she morphs heartbreak into a newfound confidence with the self-assured lyrics “I could do better.” “It gives me a feeling of sweet, reckless abandon,” Kiana reflects on the track. “It’s an awakening to newfound courage.”
On Simple Kiana distills love to its essence. Over blissed out synths and silky multi-tracked vocals, she croons “We don’t hear the outside pressure / Break it down to simple pleasures.” Here, Kiana’s understated vocal dexterity really shines.
The EP closer Only You is a love song for oneself or for a partner, and Kiana’s intentionally left that open to interpretation. It follows Kiana’s journey throughout the EP from self-doubt to clarity. “It can be about the moment everything falls into place,” she shares.
According to Metro Magazine, 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, Kiana explains, “I didn’t write them in one go. I wrote them at different times. And these weren’t the first choices to get done.” But in the middle of a writer’s block last year, Kiana went through those journals thinking, “Sayang naman (that’s too bad). These songs are already here. I already have melodies for them. Why don’t we just see where these sessions take us?’”
Now splitting her time between Los Angeles and Manila, Kiana still holds close to her roots. Her father continues to be a source of inspiration in her career, and her go-to photographer DJ Magbanua has been a friend since grade school. Jesse Barrera, the co-producer of Kiana’s “Dazed” EP, is a Filipino-American who’s worked with other Filipino musicians including Jeff Bernat, AJ Rafael, and Jeremy Passion. These are the people who know and understand Kiana best, and who have seamlessly been able to tell the Dazed story. “It’s a soft exploration of how self-love affects the love we are able to give to others,” Kiana says of the EP.
Upon putting the project together, Kiana dug deep and got vulnerable. She rediscovers herself and learns to love herself her own way.
Cover Photo Credit: Kiana V Facebook