KZIA is a Berlin based Afro-european Future-Soul and RnB Artist on the rise. The young artist’s music is about expressing her key values: self love, acceptation, respect and togetherness through vocal experiences, groove and lyrics in both French and English. We had the chance to talk to about her muscial background, visual concept on social media, important factors when collaborating and much more.
How would you describe your music to someone who never heard of the term RnB before?
Smooth, like mango juice haha, no seriously i’d say mainly focused on vocals and harmonies my sound can sometimes get groovy but always keeps a chilled vibe somehow. It’s a little cocktail of different influences such as Jazz, Afro, Soul, Blues and Pop.
Your mother is afro-pop artist Zap Mama. How is it growing up as the child of an internationally acclaimed musician?
It’s been a hell of a ride, but a great one! Growing up, nothing was ever normal, my father is an artist as well, a horse acrobat, which just made my childhood very unusual, with a lot of travelling, being around adults a lot and having so much input from a variety of humans and cultures. I missed out on having friends a little because of the constant moving around and my off the wall personality, but on the other hand I learnt so much about life, about being an artist, about being free.
What are the biggest challenges you face as an up and coming artist in the digital age?
Your value being linked to your social Media Following. The internet is great because it gives artists the opportunity to communicate, release and connect with fans by themselves, but it’s kind of a poisoned gift as nowadays very little people that are part of the industry pay attention to people under 5k followers, and when I say 5k I’m being nice lol.
Another thing is the attention time span. The digital world really f* up our focusing abilities haha. People today, and I count myself part of those people, just get tired/bored so quickly. We need to be fed with new content constantly, and consume so fast. I feel art gets less appreciated because of that and we have to keep producing producing producing…
(© Gianna Kirschner)
How do you deal with your visual concept on social media?
I communicate through Instagram mainly. The aesthetic of my feed is something I try to pay attention to. I think about colors, usually post in groups of three to have a little more of a storytelling and/or visual universe rather than random pictures. It makes it a little harder to post, but I like the look it gives when you land on the page.
Could you sum up some personal milestones in your artist development?
Starting to write my own music. / Liking my own music/ My first releases / Making a living off Music/ having fans that aren’t only my friends and family / Having gigs and people sing my songs with me. / Being able to stay an independent artist…
You recently released “Hit Me Up” featuring Leroy Menace. What are some important factors when collaborating with other artists?
Being true to yourself and staying authentic to what you do without being closed to new experiences or scared to get out of your comfort zone. The beauty about collaboration is being able to build a common universe with another artists. Aka another crazy mind full of amazing ideas.
Do you have some insights on running a smoothe live show?
I feel like my answers are all the same haha, but I find that answer to be such an important part of being an Artist, and human: stay true to yourself. When I first started doing live shows, I tried to do what I saw other performers do, I wanted to do it right! Then one day I just stopped thinking too much and went on stage as my true self. Talked for 40% of the show ( I talk so much in everyday life lol), did jokes, danced and was goofy. That’s when I started having the most fun, and when my crowd really started being touched in a meaningful way to my performances. What works best is when I am myself, best realization ever.
Name 3 artist social media feeds that you dig and tell us why.
I actually can’t think of any.. I love conceptual feeds but I can’t find musicians who really do that anymore. Even the most conceptual artists I follow like FKA TWIGS or Solange have random posts these days 😛 The algorithms I tell you ! Maybe I should reconsider my strategy lol
Do you have a songwriting routine or ritual?
I have several and they depend on my mood, objective and who I’m working with. Pretty long to explain but something that always remains: food.
How important are data insights for your (strategic) decisions?
It’s becoming more and more important and also interesting I love to learn about who are my fans, how they interact, what they like, where they’re from, what songs are liked where etc. I am actually currently learning how to analyse all this data better.
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