Her last name could easily get anyone’s attention. However, Kiana Valenciano made it clear that she is embracing her individuality with the release of her first full-length album entitled See Me. The album is a product of collaborations between different creatives such as producers Moophs and Marcus Davis, and artists Curtismith, KINGwAw, and Sofia.
Getting to this point has been quite a ride for Kiana from the album’s creation up to the moments that led up to the release. “It’s been a lot of stress. I’m breaking out! [Laughs] It’s been good. There’s a lot of anxiety and excitement. I think I have a really good team backing me up and I’m just excited for everyone to hear the music,” she says.
Last year, Kiana released the lead track See Me on her birthday, a teaser of this 10-track album. Prior to that, the singer had released Grey, a four-track EP, in February 2018, which was initially slated to be a full album. Evidently, that wasn’t the case and Kiana shares why:
“I realized that wasn’t who I was anymore, you know. Even listening to Grey sometimes, I just feel like that wasn’t very me. I just listen to that music now and I can’t really relate. It was when I was starting to be more honest with my lyrics that I was like, ‘Alright we gotta continue this.”
And so, Kiana crafted this album with a “go with the flow” approach—she let the words come to her when she would write songs in her bedroom. As a result, See Me is a mix of the many facets of Kiana Valenciano, which she's expressed as honestly as she could. There are songs that speak of heartache, songs that speak of confidence, and songs that speak of anxiety. Whatever the case, Kiana emphasizes that it’s this rawness and realness that make this album stand out from her previous works.
“I think it’s just someone who isn’t afraid to embrace who she is because I wasn’t that person before and I’ve mentioned it earlier. There’s a lot of self-discovery that came with the album and now it’s just like, ‘What can I do? I can’t expect others to like me if I don’t like me.”
Kiana discovered that writing about emotions is not the same as owning up to them because the process doesn’t end once the words are on paper—it’s continuous and a part of everyday life. And so, while listeners can expect a few trademark Kiana songs (like a couple of breakup songs, she points out!), listeners can also expect a “versatile” album mix that represents a Kiana who’s grown so much as a musician.
As Kiana spreads her wings through her new music, she never forgets to keep her feet on the ground by acknowledging her roots. This can be seen in the album’s artwork, wherein she sports retro pieces she borrowed from her father’s closet. Her Instagram stories featured a behind-the-scenes look into curating her outfits, which consist of pieces her father used in the ‘80s: Think bold shoulders and a lot of leather.
“You know, people look at me and they see that I’m the daughter of someone, I’m the best friend of someone. I’m whoever I am on social media or whoever I’m not on social media, and I think that I just want people to look past that and to hear the music and, you know, just deal with it—this is who I am, like it or not.”
In a nutshell, prepare to listen to a fearless Kiana who isn’t afraid to tell it like it is.
See Me is available on Spotify, Apple Music, and YouTube.