Exclusive Interview With Kayana

Welcome to Melody maker Kayana. Mind telling our readers a bit about your background and upbringing?

I’m Japanese and Haitian, born and raised in New York. Music played a big role in my upbringing, with my parents being musicians and former jazz concert producers. I learned to play the piano from my mom at age 3 and have learned several other instruments since. I’ve been writing songs since middle school, and singing in the church worship band. I’ve always known I wanted to make music!

What or who would you consider one of your main inspirations for music and why?

I recently had the opportunity to see Alicia Keys perform live in Brooklyn. That was such an amazing experience because I’ve always looked up to her as an artist. I’ve learned all of her piano ballads, and studied the way she mixes her deep chest voice, mixed voice, and head voice, and her effortless riffs. She’s also an incredible live performer, knows how to command the stage, and is a true BOSS. I strive to be more like her!

Let’s talk about your single. Where did you draw most of your inspiration from for this song?

 My newest release Trippin’ is about a new relationship. The song is very sensual, revealing my temptations of wanting to be intimate with my lover. You’ll later realize it’s all a tease in the bridge of the song, when I say, “I’ll give you all of me when I say ‘I do’.” The soon-to-be-released music video captures this playful vibe, with choreographed dancing and all!

 You also have a new album on the way. What can fans expect from this project? What are some challenges you faced in creating this album?

 I’ve been hard at work for the past year developing my album. It’s now complete, and I’ll be releasing a new single every six weeks, with the full album scheduled for release in the fall of 2024.

The album, titled Unraveled, is essentially the story of my life. I take the listener through my childhood experiences with my broken family, navigating difficult relationships, and picking up the shattered pieces of my life by learning to forgive and love myself. There’s a happy ending that I won’t give away just yet!

 Initially, I was trying to do everything myself from producing the beats, playing piano and guitar, recording the vocals, and mixing the tracks. With my limited production and engineering skills, it was proving nearly impossible to have a high-quality album without professional help. It took months of searching to find the right partner, but once I connected with LowKeyBeatz, an incredible producer and mixing/mastering engineer based in Ghana, things started moving very quickly. He shared the same energy as me of wanting to complete a full album. We kept each other disciplined, as he repeatedly said, “No chillin’.” This is exactly what I needed to reach my goal, and within 6 months of working together, we had the entire 12-track album completed. And now, I be chillin’.

What is the impact you hope this single and your album will leave behind on its listener?

Each of the songs have thoughtfully crafted lyrics, and I use music as my means of story-telling. My hope is that my music is relatable and inspiring to my listeners.

What’s next for you?

I’ll be riding these releases out for a while. I’ve got a release scheduled every six weeks for the next two years. In the meantime, I’ll be finding opportunities to perform live, and collabs with other artists.

End of Interview


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