Earlier this month, multi-talented, Brussels-born and Berlin-based singer, songwriter and artistic director K.ZIA shared her latest new release; her breath taking new single, I Got Your Back, released alongside a stunning new music video. The latest in her series of 2021 singles, K.ZIA has been going from strength to strength; showcasing her eclectic artistry and stunning vocals that infuse elements of R&B, Soul, Pop, Trap and Afrobeats. With another exciting year, and more new releases on the horizon, I Got Your Back is taken from her upcoming debut album Genesis which is set for release next February. Following her latest single release, we sat down with K.ZIA to chat all about the track and her plans for the year ahead.
TSU: Can you tell us about your journey in music so far?
K.ZIA: Music has been a part of my life ever since I was born, even before I was born! Haha! my mom was on tour while pregnant with me, and back on the road with me three weeks after my birth. My dad also being a performer, circus this time, I grew up around a lot of shows. On every album of my mother’s I’m involved, she always had me singing or talking in the back. Then in my teens she took me on tour with her, where I did my first live gigs as an official backing vocal; Truly a blessing to have had that kind of schooling.
I started singing for other people in studios and making some money to work on my own Songs. Then, It’s right after I finished my Master’s degree that I started music professionally as a solo artist. I was in Berlin and started by going to as many jam/ open mic sessions as I could to get to know musicians and feel the LIVE MUSIC scene in the city. Within the first weeks I already had my first bookings where I was performing my few semi-finished original songs. From there, small gigs kept popping up, usually unpaid until small paychecks came in. I developed my artistry, worked on my craft, artistic direction, lives and have come quite a ways from 4 years ago, I’m grateful.
TSU: A multi-talented creative, where do you draw your inspiration and creativity from?
K.ZIA: Music and its connected art forms are like therapy to me. I use it to reflect and to exteriorize my inner thoughts and emotions. My inner purpose also had a big part into pushing me to do what I do. I feel like I’m here to share my emotional and personal journey to help people going through similar struggles/feelings. The core need is really a translation of an emotion, not because I dreamt it or saw it, but because I felt it.
TSU: With your music spanning across a range of genres, blending elements of alternative R&B, soul, pop, trap and afrobeat; where, sonically, do you find yourself most comfortable?
K.ZIA: I guess my thing remains R&B… But MY R&B. I don’t sound like Beyonce, Chris Brown, Summer Walker or Jorja Smith who are R&B artists. I sound like K.ZIA’s R&B that’s a little mix of a bunch of influences. I sound the most comfortable being me without trying to – by all means- fit into one box.
TSU: Can you tell us a bit about your new single, I Got Your Back?
K.ZIA: I Got Your Back is the last single before the album comes out. It’s on the K.ZIA side of the album – My album is divided into two. K.ZIA’s part and my alter ego ZIA’s part.-
I started with the basics of the beat and a topline a while back with producer T-NO But then the song just stayed in our computers for quite a while. Then when I wanted to write the songs for my friend I remember this topline “I GOT YOUR BACK” and was like THAT’S the song. I dug it back out, wrote the verses, T-NO sent it to second producer Agajon, I got more friends to jump on the song to add some spice and here it was 🙂
TSU: What were you wanting listeners to take from the song?
K.ZIA: Comfort, a deep breath, groove, a smile and the will of sharing it with their loved ones. <3
… Oh and interest in the rest of my sh* haha of course ! 😀
TSU: What was the inspiration for the song, and can you tell us a bit about the creative process?
K.ZIA: I wrote this song for one of my best friends. My oldest friend. We were both going through a lot in 2021 and with the lockdowns and everything we couldn’t see each other. She felt alone and in deep need of a friend. It was so hard with the distance and the depression we were powerless. So the one thing I could do from afar – and with the little energy I had from all this – was to write my feelings into music and send her a musical long hug of comfort and love.
TSU: Released alongside some stunning new visuals, what was your vision for the music video?
K.ZIA: So, I wanted several things:
something very aesthetic.
For it to express how depression can be experienced differently according to different people. Thus, my three very different dancers, each expressing themselves in their own unique way.
There to be this feeling of comfort, togetherness, peace.
And from there, the rest was created 🙂
TSU: What was the most memorable moment from shooting and creating the music video?
K.ZIA: Seeing the set take form with the cast, the light, the outfits, the set design, the dancers…It’s so satisfying to see an idea you have in your head come to life, so beautifully. I’m grateful for all the people that helped me realize this.. Oh, and the food! that sh* was fire. Shout out to Afropot Berlin!
TSU: The latest in a series of incredible 2021 releases, where has your main inspiration come from this year?
K.ZIA: My inspiration always comes from the same place. My emotions, my feelings and my life. This year’s main topics for me were growth, spirituality, depression, safe space, heartache, and self love, always.
TSU: With 2021 coming to an end, what have you got lined up for the rest of the year and heading into 2022?
K.ZIA: IT’S HOLIDAY SEASON!! Haha no but for real though, I’ve been working so much the past months I really need to take a break. Take care of my spirit and spend time with my friends and family because 2022 is going to be a whole situation. I mean girl, I got an album coming 😉
Make sure to keep up with K.ZIA on all her socials @kzia.world
Photo Cred: @Jennifer Tuffour