For her debut, the singer-songwriter offers a project filled with R&B tracks exposing her innermost thoughts on love.
She first caught our attention with her single “EX” which garnered millions of streams on Spotify after it was released. The relatable breakup song introduced Kiana as a voice for the millennials commonly referred to as the microwave generation. The song was a part of the larger 7-track project titled Selfless (2018).
Hailing from Phoenix, Arizona, Ledé moved to LA when she was 15, the switch up in scenery would prove to be instrumental for her career. Prior to moving she was focused on music, theatre, and the arts, according to a previous interview with HYPEBAE. KIKI is a stellar debut album fit for the rising artist, especially since the release is equipped with an effective, stripped-down sound produced by Mike Woods. The full length comes with features by fellow R&B acts Lucky Daye, Ari Lennox, Arin Ray, 6LACK and Col3trane.
Before KIKI hit streaming platforms, we listened to the entire album in full a few times. Keep in mind Kiana finds her sweet spot when she’s singing about facets of dating like trust issues and moving on from partnerships that don’t serve her. Upon our first-listen “Forfeit” featuring Lucky Daye, “Honest” and “Chocolate” with Lennox were our favorites.
“Forfeit” touches on the woes that come with battling within a relationship. It also manages to express how sacrifices must be made when you’re in love. “Honest” samples Brandy’s 1998 single “Have You Ever.” This track highlights what it’s like to be at odds with a partner who might think you’re not the right match for them. “Chocolate” featuring Ari Lennox is a fun track that uses candy as a euphemism for sex. It honestly sounds a bit like most of the songs on Lennox’s album Shea Butter Baby.
“Second Chances” and “Protection” are our last two favorites. With 6LACK on “Second Chances,” Lede serves up a breakup song that is equal parts heavy as it is emotional. It’s a song that evokes reflection. The latter is refreshing and she candidly sings about a lover who exposes her inner issues and also how the same beau guides her and makes her feel at home. Both of these tracks and the entire album sum up Kiana’s artistic journey and point to how her sound is ever-evolving.
Stream KIKI below.