The Canadian pop-seductress behind deep-house infused chart topping anthem ‘Hideaway’, talks singing, sailing and songwriting
Hailing from Canada Kiesa Rae Ellestad, aka Kiesza, is taking the UK chart scene by storm. If you haven’t heard of her, you will most certainly of heard her deep-house-meets-pop infused anthem – ‘Hideaway’, playing in a club, dance class, rave or car near you. It’s inescapable in fact, but Kiesza who has previously written for Icona Pop, Rhianna and Kylie was shocked by the response herself. “It took me completely by surprise,” she says. “I definitely did not expect it to blow up as fast as it did.” Blow up is one term for it.
Her sound is distinctive, often harking back to the all too familiar sounds of the ’90s and having grown up listening to each and every one of the Jacksons, this comes as no surprise. Whilst she’s topping the charts, she’s also selling out gigs left, right and centre; but we were lucky enough to catch her live at London’s XOYO last night. Decked out in one of her signature crop-top’s with a pair of black sequin adorned track-pants, with her two accompanying male dancers she made sure there wasn’t a single person on the floor who’s feet weren’t tapping. It’s safe to say she’s a born performer. We caught up with the songstress to find out more.
When did you first discover you could sing?
When I was born I scored 10 out of 10 on my cry test. My mother told me I sounded like a fire truck siren.
What did you grow up listening to?
Michael Jackson, Jackson 5, Janet Jackson – all the possible Jacksons.
I read you were a multi-talented child when it came to extracurricular activities can you explain?
I started ballet at a really young age, I used to rock-climb, I sailed. I was raised to work really hard at everything I do and to finish what I start.
What made you choose singing over sailing?
I was able to connect with people through music and I felt like I could contribute something to other people through my music.
How did it feel when Hideaway topped the charts? Were you expecting that?
It took me completely by surprise, I definitely did not expect it to blow up as fast as it did. But I feel very grateful for the response it has received.
It’s very ’90s is that something close to your heart?
Yes I love the 90’s!! Always have, always will. It’s one of my favorite eras of music.
The video is amazing, have you always wanted to perform as well as sing?
I love performing and have always been passionate about it. The stage was the first place I felt like I could express myself as a kid. Otherwise I was very shy as a child.
You’ve written for Kylie, Icona Pop and Rihanna, who else have you written for and do you prefer songwriting or performing?
I can’t really compare the two. They are two things I am passionate about. One without the other feels incomplete. I continue to write for, and with, really cool people.
How would you describe your sense of style?
My style is influenced by the music I listen to, a hybrid of old and new, street and high fashion. I like to combine things that don’t normally belong together.
What else does the rest of 2014 hold for you?
I am working on an album for the Fall and I will be touring throughout the summer in Europe! I am also launching my own fashion line SteamPop closer to the New Year!