The unrestricted creativity of Kya Kyani
Singer, songwriter Kya Kyani describes herself as a “Free Spirited” being. Born in Amsterdam, now based in Berlin, this bubbly musician is on a continual search for openness, optimism and life’s peace. Kya creates with no boundaries – her music, dubbed ‘FutureRnB’, is a genre-blending mix of sonic beauty. In anticipation of of her next EP out on Friday, Glamcult caught up with this ball of energy, talking: city-culture, the art of making creative friendships and shooting this spanking new editorial – External Existence. Urging us to reconnect with our most liberated selves…
So you have a new EP, The Dao, out this week. Can you tell me a bit more about it?
I was inspired by things happening in the past and now – shifting emotions and the way I have gotten over (or not!) events in my life. Genre-wise, it is a real blend.
How does it compare to previous works of yours?
It’s quite an evolution. Every song I did previously, when I was in a shakier mental place, I’d learnt something new or do something extra. Yet with this track I felt so assured about what I’m talking about – so much more trust for myself and my intuition – not to get swayed by the people around me.
You mentioned that you see approach to life as very free-spirited. What does that mean to you?
I was raised as an orthodox Rastafarian. There was a very determined way of living, a bit of – you have to do this, you have to be this. At a certain point I just thought – what is the point of living, if I’m restricted to all these rules? No meat, no animal products, we had the dreadlocks and everything! It was super cute, but mentally it was never my choice. I wanted to position myself unrestricted, free minded, open. What is good, what is bad, who knows anyway? That’s the reason why I say I’m free.The
Can you tell me about how you got into music?
I got into music at a young age. Me and my sisters started a gospel choir, we’d do weddings and little shows.
Whitney Houston style!
Haha yeah, or Mariah Carey. Always so dramatic, so much drama. It was just a fun way to get into it, and my mum never restricted us in our creativity – if we wanted to do gymnastics one day or drums the next, it was all okay. I felt I had a connection with music that I couldn’t let go, so I went into music school, which I eventually failed! I felt I couldn’t express myself in the way they wanted me too. Later, I went to an independent school of arts, which was much more freeing. After this, I just met people along the way, like producers and my team.
You sound very supported by your team, right?
We formed as such a trustworthy team. It all happened from meeting different people from different places and countries, and thinking – how do i feel about you? We don’t always know about the art. Sometimes, we just get together and see what happens [creatively].
You’re from Amsterdam, but you moved to Berlin. What was that cultural shift like?
I was getting more serious about the music, and doing all those things that make me make smarter decisions. 😉 So, two years ago I moved to Berlin with a friend. Finally, I could really spread my wings for real. Even though it’s huge, the underground scene always comes together. After only two months there I already had some quite big shows. I experienced how the city always has a way of giving people a platform. You don’t always have to be famous to be creative there.
Amazing… It sounds like you prioritise experience, and growing your creativity organically.
Yeah, for me it was a good decision to go experience things in life first. I could have been signed to record labels that were interested way back, but my mother always said – what are you in a hurry for? Just enjoy doing what you’re doing, trust the process! I’m happy that she talked to me like that otherwise I wouldn’t be where I am now.
Always a wise mother’s words!
Hahah. Yeah, now I always have these “aha” moments when I’m like “ohhh this is what she meant.”
This editorial you shot – External Existence, is brilliant. What was the idea behind the concept?
Besides music I’m really into art and cinematic things, something with colour, which was also futuristic and atmospheric. I created it with my roommate, the photographer, and a friend who is a stylist. We all really thought it through together – we had just one mind on the project.
How do you think it reflected your music and own personal style?
The boldness in the way it was styled, and the makeup. So dramatic. It’s like a story in pictures. It reflects my music in the way that you don’t know what to expect – it’s not one genre of music, but a real story.
Beautiful. What are your plans for the upcoming year?
I’m currently working on new music with some producers from the UK and Germany and another shoot, something like I’ve never done before. I’m scared to make proper plans in case they don’t work out! Instead, I’m just seeing what this year is gonna bring me.