Kiana, a freelance filmmaker, artist, and disability rights activist based in Glasgow is set to release her debut single ‘Sirens’ on Friday July 1st. Her debut short film ‘Tax on Me (2017)’, received national press attention and provoked a parliamentary motion. Kiana was also named one of the 30 under 30 most inspirational women in Scotland 2017 and MDUK Campaigner of the Year 2018.
Having had a passion for music since being a small child, Kiana, who has a genetic condition called Spinal Muscular Atrophy type 2, was discouraged from pursuing a career in music by school teachers. Some of her teachers claimed her wheelchair was a safety hazard, and others simply thought being disabled was enough of a barrier.
Despite hard work developing a strong voice with a supportive tutor from the age of 11 to 17, Kiana was still told to choose a different career path. Since leaving school she has studied film, psychology, and law, and now made a name for herself as a filmmaker and activist. With the tools and resources she now has, she is paving her own way as a singer/songwriter in the face of many barriers.
Sirens is a song about how people you love disappoint you and you really learn people’s true nature in difficult times. It’s an acceptance of that, of knowing people aren’t as perfect as they front to be. The song was inspired by a situation Kiana was in years ago when a close friend left her behind in a venue when the fire alarm went off, despite previous conversations where he always said he would never do that. In Kiana’s words ‘I think audiences can interpret it in their own way and relate to a moment in their own life, when they felt abandoned, disappointed or let down.’
The track has many distinct elements including deliberate dissonance, chromatic movement, spoken word and whistle note ad libs which add to the atmospheric soundscape. Kiana recorded the vocals at home, created a demo on Soundtrap, then Axel produced the soundtrack and all the instrumentation in Germany.
New artists are usually able to start small, testing out songs and building an audience before releasing a debut single. For Kiana the focus has to be on writing and recording for release online, and building her audience digitally:
‘I want barriers to be removed in this industry but crucially I want to be seen as an artist like everyone else, I don’t want any extra credit. It’s a tough industry and I’m willing to do all the work it takes, I’m not going anywhere.’
The music industry as a whole is very inaccessible, for both performers and music fans who have disabilities. Known for its music scene.
Kiana added: “Glasgow is home to many wonderful music venues, however a large percentage of them are inaccessible due to steps at entrances. Where access is possible for members of the public, there isn’t the same provision to access performance stages and green rooms. Diversity promotes creativity and innovation – and right now many people are shut out.”
Sirens will be released on 01/07/22 on all platforms.
Produced and mixed by: Axel Goodboy
Lyrics and song by: Kiana, Axel Goodboy
Mastered by Alex Wharton in Abbey Road Studios
Photography: Kevin J. Thomson
Art Director: Jonna Laitinen
Makeup and Hair Artist: Suzanne Christie
PR: Caitlin Miller, Chris Hunt
Project financially supported by Creative Scotland and Edinburgh Napier’s Enterprise Hub, Bright Red Triangle.
Thanks to Petra Raspel, Jamie Houston, Alan Morrison, Victoria Bradley, Pete McLean, Nick Fannin, David Haddow, Cilla Richards, Hannah Davisson, Kendra Byers, Alexander Simmance, Scott Morrison, Iain Donald and Fiona Gault, Jonathan Halperin and all our fans, friends and family.
Kiana’s social media/contact info:
Sirens’ links: https://distrokid.com/hyperfollow/kiana5/sirens
mobile: +44 (0)7800 530 688
twitter: @Kiana Kalantar
YouTube [Music]: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCk4Chmd0vTduY_yE9Gl9k2Q