Kiana Ledé has been singing her entire life, literally. From the moment she learned to sing the alphabet, discerning the melodic sentiments that come along with the nostalgic childhood tune, the 22-year-old artist relentlessly immersed herself in forming her velvety voice into what is heard on her latest release, Myself.
The six-song EP is completely Ledé, save for a resounding verse from Migos member Offset on the summer-ready bop “Bouncin'” and relationship advice being dropped by the legendary Jenifer Lewis on the acoustic track “Heavy.”
Comprehensively, Myself encapsulates feelings and emotions of anxiety, dread, love, hurt, and pain into a neat package for anyone who thinks they’re alone. Kiana’s honesty and soothing voice warmly wraps around the heart as if to say, “It’ll be okay, keep going.” Through her music, Kiana wants to empower and sing confidence into the hearts of those who listen.
Speaking with the burgeoning R&B singer about the making of Myself, Kiana was vulnerable enough to open up with Uproxx about her past relationships, the road to discovering who she is, and dealing with mental health. Read an edited and condensed version of our conversation below.
When was that moment you realized you wanted to be a singer?
There wasn’t really one moment. It was kind of something I always knew I wanted to do. I tell the story of me singing the alphabet and changing the melodies and I just never stopped. It became like a third language. I was getting in trouble for a long time and my mom taught me how to use it as a superpower, not a weakness. I started to get focused on music at a very young age.
Knowing you got signed to RCA at 15, left the label and had to start on your own as an indie artist, what did you learn from that situation?
Just to trust myself. I think I spend so much time in a short space of my own. In my brain, I failed on account of somebody else’s belief and vision for myself. Now, if I fail I can say that I at least did it out of respect for myself and I did it because I really believed in it. I think it’s better to fall on your own sword than somebody else’s. So, just to trust yourself, believing in yourself and going with your gut.
What do you hope your old fans and new fans alike get out of listening to Myself?
I want my fans to feel the growth between Selfless and Myself and feel confident within themselves to feel like the most extreme version of themselves that they can be. I want to empower them to be a goddess and also be the anxious girl who is being vulnerable about her feelings and finding strength in that.