Rising Music Star Kiia On The Five Things You Need To Shine In The Music Industry
You are ‘good enough’ & more! (A lot of new artists and even older more established artists struggle with this internally) Believing in yourself and knowing this simple truth will save you years of heartache and pain, and it’ll open up your heart and mind to allow you to perform at your peak state. This is a spiritual/ mental game don’t forget that.)
As a part of our series about rising music stars, I had the distinct pleasure of interviewing Kia Ahadi, better known by his stage name KIIA.
A multi- talented artist, KIIA is a sought-after songwriter and performer, with performances in venues from Toronto’s iconic Dundas Square to the Los Angeles Convention Center. KIIA’s fans see and feel the intensity of the performer brings to the stage. There is no doubt, when venues open and tours resume KIIA will return to the stage. He will again bring the passion and high energy to his fans. KIIA is fresh off his well-received last single “Around the Globe” sponsored by Toronto Raptors’ Player Norman Powell and his videos have garnered over 2 million hits worldwide. KIIA’s new single “King of The Night” is his next single available now. The new single is in memory of his best friend, Danni Homayouni, a.k.a. “DanniBoy” who was violently killed in our city.
Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Can you tell us the story of how you grew up?
I was born in Tehran, Iran where I started my musical journey with the traditional Persian instrument Setar. My family moved to Toronto when I was 11 years old where I grew up and evolved in my musical journey and continued to express myself through writing music.
Can you share a story with us about what brought you to this specific career path?
Ever since I can remember, I’ve always been fascinated by music and began singing & playing since I was 7 years old. I have always expressed myself through writing. When I was 21, I had written a song called “Fantasy” on the guitar, after my good friend and producer Kc Bondar heard the song, he loved it and agreed to produce it for me. That was my first recording & start of this path.
Can you tell us the most interesting story that happened to you since you began your career?
So many amazing things have happened since I began my career as a Singer/ Songwriter, and I’ve always felt ‘divinely guided’ like the Universe is pointing me in the right direction. From “coincidentally” meeting and becoming friends with some of my idols, to being commissioned to write for World Class artists, to performing at LA Convention Center or Dundas Square etc. it’s all been such an exciting journey.
Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
Yes, when I first started, I was super passionate and excited about performing. I was quite young when I first got on stage and I remember nailing my first performance, only to completely freeze and choke on my second song. Lol I mean I literally could not remember a word or sing, and my band member quickly grabbed the mic and we pretended like nothing happened and it was part of the act. lol That experience taught me to overprepare for my performances and it always drives me to go the extra mile to make sure my live performance is on point & impactful.
What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now?
All of the projects I’m working on at the moment are super exciting. Among these I am writing a few tracks with International Rapper Yas, and multilingual singer Dia. Finalizing my EP Love in Every Language which is super exciting, and I can’t wait to share it with you soon.
We are very interested in diversity in the entertainment industry. Can you share three reasons with our readers about why you think it’s important to have diversity represented in film and television? How can that potentially affect our culture?
I love diversity and embrace it in my music and all my videos. I believe it is vital to the culture to show the different colors, backgrounds, values and morals that comes with diversity. Diversity not only gives flavor and beauty to the production, but it’s a way for all of us to come together as human beings and embrace our similarities as well as our differences.
What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why. Please share a story or example for each.
- Be patient and take your time. (When I was first starting out, I was in such a rush to put music out, and knowing what I know now I would totally take my time and let my catalogue build up before releasing music)
- Don’t compare yourself to anyone. (It’s so easy to get caught up in numbers and comparing your # to major label artists etc. which is recipe for disaster)
- Stay true to your inner voice. (It doesn’t take a lot of time for you to realize that a lot of things you see in this industry are fake or inflated or bought with money. So instead of focusing on any of that, staying true to your inner voice is guaranteed to bring out the REAL artist in you and only then, will YOUR fans start to feel your essence.)
- You are ‘good enough’ & more! (A lot of new artists and even older more established artists struggle with this internally) Believing in yourself and knowing this simple truth will save you years of heartache and pain, and it’ll open up your heart and mind to allow you to perform at your peak state. This is a spiritual/ mental game don’t forget that.)
- It’s a Marathon, not a race! (A lot of artists are trying to make a “HIT SONG” and that’s why we have so many one hit wonders. But if you think about this as a career, you don’t want a short-lived “flash in the pan”. Instead, go for longevity, focus on perfecting your craft and improving daily. This way you will definitely have hits along the way and a long fruitful career that’s going to evolve with you.”
Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?
Focus on quality, instead of quantity. We put a lot of heart and soul into a song, so anytime you feel the need to step away, feel free to give yourself the time and space to reflect, recharge and rejuvenate to avoid burnouts and always make sure you’re in Peak state.
You are a person of enormous influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. :-)
The “Pay it Forward” movement or “Random act of kindness” movement! Each person would have an assignment to do something meaningful and provide value for another without any expectations. Each person touched would in turn Pay it forward to someone else with a random act of kindness. Also, raising money for charities around the World to help those in need.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?
Yes, thankfully I have been fortunate to have some amazing people in my corner helping me behind the scenes. One of the most influential people who has helped me along this journey is Iranian Rapper, YAS, who has always played a pivotal role behind the scenes. Whether it’d be brainstorming direction for a specific song, critiquing my music, or hooking me up with his producers to make sure I have World class sound, he has always had my back like an older brother. Also, Amir Koushkani (MY Setar Maestro) has always inspired me and encouraged me to follow through and express myself through music.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
“One day I woke up, with a spark of interest. I fed that spark, and it became a fire. I fed that fire, and It became a roaring blaze” This is one of my favorite life quotes because it literally represents my life. When I first started in this field, it was like a spark of inspiration and now it’s a fire and the more I feed it, the more this fire will grow into a roaring blaze.
Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this, especially if we tag them. :-)
Yes, I’d love to have a private breakfast with Tony Robbins. I’ve been listening to his audiotapes and reading his books since I was 15, I would love to pick his brain over breakfast one day!
Also, I’d love to have a private breakfast with J-Lo and I’ll tell you the reason after! 😉
How can our readers follow you online?
Readers can follow me on Instagram under @kiiamusicofficial on YouTube @kiiamusic on facebook @kiiamusic and they can find me under “Kiia” on Spotify and apple music. My website is kiiamusic.com where you can access all my other social media accounts.
This was very meaningful, thank you so much! We wish you continued success!
I’s my absolute pleasure. Thank you so much for having me!