KIANA LEDÉ: " Big Spender" Powerhouse singer, songwriter and actress
Music is Kiana’s life. Singer, songwriter, and actress Kiana Ledé could have sang her way out of her mother’s womb from birth.
This young artist’s undeniable powerhouse vocals resonates confidence, sensuality and power. Her songs empowers the youth of her generation. In this Q&A, Kiana opens up about her sources of inspiration, her first karaoke machine, what book she reads, and her choice of charity as she walks us into her music-filled life.
In a nutshell, tell us about yourself?
So, I was born in California but I was raised in Arizona. I started singing when I was 16 months old. My mom taught me the ABCs and I just kinda never stopped after that and people looked at me crazy—I feel like because there’s this little 16- month old toddler baby walking around belting ABCs.
And I got in trouble a lot in school (laughs) cause I got major ADHD and I am trying to be in all the honors classes but it takes me so long to finish things because I would be singing lyrics all day in my head [and sometimes out loud] and my mom thought that I would just be talking in class and then she asked the teacher one day:
“What does she do? Why does it her take her so long?”
“Why did she get kicked out of class?”
And the teacher would say:
“She won’t stop singing!”
There’s actually a really funny picture on facebook that my mom posted and it’s a letter from one my teachers when I was a kid making me write a letter saying I am Kiana and I will not sing in class.
I will not sing in class. I will not sing in class.
I think it just made my mom realize that I wasn’t gonna stop so she put me in art school instead. (laughs)
Did you come from a musical family or it’s just you singing?
So my mom and my dad are both horrible at singing and no one really played instruments in my family. My stepdad played drums in a rock band when I was a kid and he learned to play guitar later on.
I think I got it (singing) from my grandfather whom I only met once in my life.
He died 3 years ago but I remember when he was dying with cancer and was on his last month, I would send him videos of my singing everyday.
He was like, “I wanna hear your voice because I know you got it from me”
And it was like the first time I saw him and met him.
He took me down to his basement and played the piano and taught me how to play Imagine and I realized oh, it’s probably where I got this (singing) from.
Tell us about your first Karaoke Machine?
Oh, my first Karaoke Machine?
I have no idea if mom still has it or not. But I did have one.
But I remember crying when I was a kid because the voices of the karaoke demos annoyed me so bad. I will be screaming at my mom.
She will make me listen to the karaoke demos and am like “ I don’t wanna listen to this!”
“Cause it sucks so bad!”
Do you still do Karaoke?
I’ve always wanted to go to a karaoke bar. I’ve always wanted but I’m still underage so I can’t. I ‘ll be 21 this April.
If ever you’re gonna do Karaoke then, what will be your go-to song?
I feel like the unspoken rule for Karaoke with singers is that you have to sing badly. Like I don’t wanna go to Karaoke and be like [belts a high note melody] and blow everyone out of the water because I feel like that’s not cool and people will think I’m stupid. So I would purposely sing bad. And I think the best song to sing bad would be “Don’t Stop Believing” or something or like “Hero” by Mariah Carey.
Tell us about your character Zoey Vaugh from MTV’s Scream
Zoey was a nerdy girl that went through something pretty traumatic and had to leave Lakewood and then she came back and fell in love.
How would you describe your musical style?
Musical style would be soulful, urban and pop.
What inspires you?
Mmm. What inspires me… I would say - just life. Going through shit really inspires me to make music and create and write. I ‘m all about writing from my own perspective about things that happen to me or the people that I know and just telling a story
You have a song called BIG SPENDER. Tell us more about this song?
It’s like a feminist anthem. It is a really important song to me. It’s about making your own money and it doesn’t matter if the guy that you see at the bar is super cute but he has no money and he couldn’t afford an uber or whatever, you can do it. He doesn’t have to take care of you cause you got your own shit.
Name top 3 songs from your playlist right now:
1. The Weekend by SZA
2. DNA by Kendrick Lamar
3. Same Drugs by Chance the Rapper
Are you reading anything at the moment?
Oh yeah I am reading a book called “Bad Feminist” by Roxanne Gay and it’s really incredible. She talks about her stance on feminism and why it’s ok to be a “Bad Feminist.” Cause everyone says that Feminism is just only one thing – whatever they believe, like it’s created by some machine, you know? Same thing as religion and a lot of other things you kind of believe what you want to believe and then act on your personal life. And the whole thing is about judging women for what they wanna do and being able to make a choice about what they want.
If you’re gonna be a book, what type of book would it be and why?
Probably a poetry book. I love poetry.
I feel like a lot of thoughts in my brain turn into lyrics anyway and if music isn’t there and it’s just words, then it is poetry.
If you had the opportunity to help any specific organization or charity what would it be?
Probably the Time’s UP Movement.
Because I feel like donating to that cause – they’re giving lawyers to women who feel like they have been wronged and sexually assaulted in the workplace. And they are actually doing something for Women. I think it’s time that we listen to women and make sure that everybody is treated fairly.