Kiya Lacey is a Nashville born singer- songwriter that we can honestly say is a force to be reckoned with. Her music melodically blends hip-hop’s hard-knocking 808’s and heavy synth production with R&B’s soulful-sensuality and Jazz’s electronic pulsating rhythm. At a young age, Lacey got her start while singing in the church choir then later began publicly performing with a rock band in her teens. Her first official introduction into the music scene came in 2013, with her jazz-inspired the self-titled project. Following after, Lacey stepped into a different realm of sound as she released Fail In Love in 2015 and her latest releases Earth Wind & Fire which is a 3 track taste of her artistic evolution. Through many successes, Lacey recently announced that she was officially a Red Bull Sound Select Artist! In preparing for her first show on June 28 at Basement East alongside Oddiesee and Kweku Collins, we got a chance to speak to with Lacey about her recent releases, what it means to be a Red Bull artist, and her transition from Nashville.
Checkout the interview below and if you’re in the Nashville area be sure to RSVP for the show on June 28 here
What influenced your transition to Atlanta?
I made the transition first for a personal change of scenery and energy. Battling anxiety I needed to just get away. What started as a break turned into a move. I met amazing artists and producers here, and so far it has been a great learning experience. I wanted to expand my brand and horizon. I knew that it would be interesting immersing myself into a new scene, but I’m up for the challenge.
What’s the biggest lesson you have learned since moving from Nashville?
RELEASE YOURSELF FROM ANY BOUNDARIES. Living here has made me so free. I love being around so many beautiful black and brown people. There are so many creative scenes, and It has helped me blossom.
Where did you get the inspiration from with your last release of the 3 singles Earth, Wind, Fire?
I actually came up with this concept before I moved to Atlanta in 2015. “Fire” was the first song I recorded in Atlanta with production duo- The Prodigies. It is still one of my favorite songs I have ever written. I developed the concept off of that one track. Each track represented a significant period in a toxic relationshiFT. Earth- the foundation, Wind- the shift, and transition Fire- lust (thus the cycle continues).
Can you tell us how you came up with the visual concept for the short film for Earth, Wind, Fire?
Director Alyx Walker and I were brainstorming on how to make the music come to life. The visual basically opens with the end. The main character (I) have poisoned my lover as a result of a battle for attention. I am really inspired by the idea of Harley Quinn and the Joker’s love. We kind of took the perspective of Harley with a twist. EWF is about toxic love. The character in the visual seeks attention, she longs to be admired, and when she does not receive what she believes she deserves she takes extreme measures. This visual was very theatrical. It was created to bring awareness, but also dramatize the idea of the millennial. We are all attention seekers and often go to extremes to get what we think we want in a relationship -and that is not always healthy. I was really nervous to release it, but a lot of people respected my bold creative statement.
How does it feel to be a Redbull artist and what do you hope to take away from this opportunity?
- I’m. beyond. honored. The first woman…the first black and Latino person to even be a R&B artist in the Nashville roaster. I’m making history! I know that I feel really special about the age 22. This is a blessing, and I am excited for it to open new doors. I really want to take my show on the road and this is a big step towards that. I have already locked in my second show with Red Bull sound select but cant release those details just yet
Lyrically, you are amazing! What are some of your biggest challenges when writing?
THANK YOU!!! I am always so critical of my writing. I am now an open book. I love to share my journey, because I know that others can connect and relate. I am always challenging myself to find new ways to say things, and indirectly challenge my listeners to think about love in various forms.
Can you tell us about your newest single “Settle”?
This is on repeat at my house! My family and friends love this track and visual; it makes me feel very proud.
Settle co-written and co-produced by 1DA is a combination of our poems about lust. I challenged him to write freely about the idea of love and lust. We combined our poems and created “Settle” my favorite line that I wrote was ” I don’t own your heart, but I’m on your mind. Satisfaction comes only in the night” That line was actually in my drafts on twitter. I find myself diving in there for inspiration. Sometimes I write songs based off of my own tweets! The Settle visual came about just from reaching out on instagram. I found Perfect Hue on my explore, followed him, and we exchanged contact. I love this animated visual. Expect more of that from me as well.
When people hear your name what’s the first thing you want to come to their mind?
A balloon, Amazing live performances, wild vocal ability, and their favorite song!
Known for your astonishing performances, you have developed a signature item that you bring with you while on stage…which are balloons. Can you tell us why did you choose balloons or what’s the connection?
The balloon is my symbol of hope, freedom, and progression. It started off as a prop and grew into a symbolic brand statement. It is my reminder that things will get worked out, to look up, and never let any negative energy hold me down. Balloons represent good times in our lives- birthdays, graduations, celebrations! When I come to the stage its a celebration.
What’s next for you?
I am releasing a new song, new visual and new merch this month! I am so excited about all of it and I cannot wait to share. In the midst of amazing transitions in my life, and I look forward to what this journey has in store. I am working hard and always reppin 6-1-5!