Kiana Valenciano is coming into the spotlight stronger than ever

Photos by JV Rabano

 

When people ask who Kiana Valenciano is, most of them answer, “She’s the lovely daughter of Mr. Pure Energy, Gary Valenciano.” Or: “She’s the friend of *insert celebrity name here*” But beyond that, who is Kiana Valenciano?

People have their own versions and expectations of who Kiana is. Having all eyes upon her can be fun but sometimes it leads her to questioning her identity, especially when those expectations dictate what she should do. Having all of this on her shoulders, Kiana began to have deep personal and mental struggles. It got to a point when it was all just too much.

This phase of her life is reflected in her album’s debut single, See Me, and bonus track, Soldier. Both songs embody Kiana’s hardships. During that time in her life, she was doubting herself, and whether she should even continue her career in music. But with the support of her friends and family, she soldiered on.

Kiana wants everybody to see her for who she really is. Not only as her father’s daughter, but as a stronger person who has survived tough times while still remaining vulnerable.

Young STAR chatted with Kiana during her “See Me” album launch last Feb. 28 at 20:20 in Makati. We talked to Kiana about her creative process, album influences, and the message of her first full-length album.

Breaking free: With her first full-length album, Kiana Valenciano is distinguishing herself from her famous last name

YOUNG STAR: What were your influences in shaping “See Me”?

KIANA VALENCIANO: I listened to a lot of ’90s R&B and ’90s pop. There’s also at least one track in the album that I would say is dedicated — at least the music production — to the Puerto Rican side or the Latina side of the family. It’s kind of a weird track to have if you listen to the album as a whole but then I wanted to do that. It’s so weird, but it’s a part of me, so I just wanted to try.

 

What is your favorite lyric?

“Don’t want to do this thing halfhearted / Overlooked and disregarded / In the shadows since I started / But they don’t warn you ‘bout that.”

I think that is just exactly how I was feeling when I wrote it. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to continue in the music industry because I think I wasn’t confident being myself. I always felt like I didn’t fit in, so I wrote that song.

 

What do you want to say with this album?

It’s just me being myself and if people don’t like that, then bye! So many people have different perceptions of who I am and who I should be with growing up in the limelight. But with this album, I’m just letting go of all of that and singing about what I want and how I want.

 

What else do you want to explore musically?

Musically? Oh, my gosh… I want to learn how to play instruments for myself. I don’t even know, I’m just so focused on this (album) right now.

 

That’s so cool! Any instruments in particular?

Piano and guitar! Because I used to play when I was a kid and now I just never practiced, so I lost the skill completely. But if I could, it’s a goal.

 

 

Listen to “See Me” by Kiana Valenciano on Spotify, Apple Music, iTunes Store and Deezer.

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