In an industry where most artists struggle to find their own voice, 25-year-old singer Kiana Valenciano has truly proven herself to be one of the most distinct and promising artists of her generation. Once only recognized by her surname, Kiana has truly become a force to be reckoned with in the local music scene as she blossoms into an artist of her own making. This talented stunner has worked her hardest to make sure we never forget her name, face, and voice.
We were enchanted from the very first note when she released her debut electronic-pop single "Circles" but her transition to a more soulful genre with her more recent RnB single "Does She Know" only pushed her further up on our list of top artists. Kiana's emergence in the OPM scene has been a long time coming. Living with a surname as prominent as hers, she had admittedly avoided what everyone had expected her to do—to follow in her father’s footsteps. Kiana explained that she wanted to explore her options first before settling down into the one thing she decided she wanted to do most.
The singer ended up studying fashion in London for a while but confessed that once she had started writing her own songs, she couldn’t deny the calling any longer. When it comes to which path captures her more, Kiana quipped, "I can’t say that I enjoy one more than the other but I guess that I connect with music more." She added, "Fashion is like a shoe that I have to put on, but music is like my foot. That’s the only way I can explain it."
As a musician, Kiana aims for her music to be as honest and authentic as possible. “There are a lot of things in this world that are fake—music shouldn’t be one of them,” shared the singer. With a sensational sound that stands out from the rest, we couldn’t help but ask her about her inspirations when it comes to her vision for her music and her sound.
Growing up, Kiana had been exposed to nearly all kinds of music given that her father and brother were into various genres. But that never stopped her from listening to the kind of music she innately preferred. “Personally, I was listening to Christina Aguilera, Jojo, Destiny’s Child, and NSYNC,” Kiana revealed. “Some people say that I copy Jojo, and I’m not even offended by that. I admit to it because she’s one of my idols growing up.”
Her taste in music developed exponentially over time. When we asked about the music she listens to now, the singer shared that she had a playlist that consisted of artists that inspired her such as Daniel Caesar, SZA, Jhene Aiko, Rihanna, and Sabrina Claudio who inspired her current sound just as much as her childhood icons did.
In terms of the local music scene she currently belongs in, Kiana says it's a lot different from the one she knew growing up. "Back then, all I knew were ballads, bands, pop and rock," mused Kiana. "Now, you have people doing RnB, hip-hop, and electronic, and I think it's great that the OPM scene is more experimental now. It means you have a lot more options."
And it is this flourishing vibe in the local music scene that inspires Kiana to do something more with her own sound. "Lately, I’ve been challenging myself to write lyrics or songs that aren’t just about relationships," the artist shared. "I hope to release music that isn’t shallow. I want to be able to write music that everyone don't just relate to but rather, to an extent, cling on to that it could be like the soundtrack of their life."
With her authentic drive and game-changing sound, there is no doubt that Kiana will do just as she aspires. We don't know what exactly she has in store for all of us yet. But if there's anything we're certain of, it's the fact that it's going to be phenomenal, and we're all ears from here on out.
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Photographed by Miguel Alomajan
Creative Direction by Madel Asuncion
Styled by Matt Panes
Makeup by Janell Capuchino using BYS Philippines
Hair by Jaat Dela Paz
Words by Niko Dacanay
Shot on Location at Crystal Beach Resort