Kiana V’s new single “Dazed” opens with a series of glistening electric piano chords so vibey that they can instantly make the outside world melt away, sending you on a journey to dreamland… then, when the Filipina R&B-pop artist’s voice comes in, it’s clear that you’ve arrived at your destination.
With no drums, V’s ethereal melodies—carrying introspective lyrics—float around in an uber-smooth soundscape with beds of shiny harmonies coming in and out like the Northern Lights in a deep night sky. This makes sense considering her process. “I really enjoy writing the lyrics and melody first and then finding the right producer to interpret the song and build the beat with,” she tells American Songwriter.
The single “Dazed” comes off a corresponding EP—also named Dazed—which dropped on July 30. Demonstrating her prowess as a top-line writer and her ear for tasteful arrangements, the work as a whole is a glossy testament to her talents. “Dazed” itself was the product of some time she took away from the world to reflect on her life through music.
“I wrote this song at a point when I was really unsure of who I was,” V says. “I felt like I needed a bit of a reintroduction to myself. It’s about the push and pull of finding inner healing and fighting negative self-talk—learning to move on and break self-imposed limitations. This is the most stripped-down song I’ve released, making it great for quiet introspection, which is exactly what I wanted.”
To that end, “Dazed” is also a product of V’s holistic approach to songcraft. While she highly values the process of turning her personal experiences into meaningful tunes, she’s also a hard worker and understands that there’s more to songwriting than just having the “feel” down. When asked about the best and worst advice she’d ever received regarding writing, she started with the best: “Save everything,” she said. “The short verses, the footnotes, the seemingly irrelevant ideas… you never know what those can lead to when the time is right! The worst advice I’d ever received though: ‘Be yourself.’ What does that even mean?”
Candid, direct, and bold with her artistry, V is part of an exciting new wave of Filipino creators who are sharing their music and culture through a variety of innovative, genre-bending lenses. Based out of Los Angeles now, everything from her music to her visuals to her themes show that V is a formidable voice—she may have transported listeners to dreamland with “Dazed,” but her own journey is still just beginning, and its destination is bound to be somewhere great.
Kiana V’s new EP Dazed is out now—listen to the single “Dazed” below: