Words by Josh Abraham.
Photography // KISA – press.
The creative genius that is KISA, has always been on a creative journey with her multiple explorations of different worlds such as filmmaking, dancing, music and in this interview we find out more about the talented artist. Whether it’s how she has dealt with creative block or being open about her music video, which touches on mental health in numerous ways.
You’re based in L.A – what’s it really like there?
Normally, very warm weather and lots of entertainment! I was born and raised in LA but in a Russian/Ukrainian household, therefore, I feel I got the best of both cultures growing up. I got to experience LA life but keep the values that my mother brought with her from her birthplace, Moscow. She is beyond inspiring with her drive and work ethic. She always told me that everything is possible with hard work and dedication.
You’ve ventured into all forms of creative work, how have you dealt with creative block?
I am fortunate because I have more than one creative outlet. I tend to feel very strong emotions, both good and bad, and I have gotten into the habit of immediately picking a creative outlet and writing my emotions down. In order to get over a creative block, it is important to realize what causes it. When I sing and dance, I feel that the only “creative block” I have comes from self-doubt. For both singers and dancers, it is important to remember that learning new moves, techniques, and styles may not always come easily at first but that does not mean that they cannot be mastered with hard work and practice. I work through that kind of creative block by forcing myself to try again, and releasing any judgment I may have. Lastly, writer’s block, the most frustrating of them all. I deal with writer’s block by not forcing myself to write all the time. I take days to sit and let my imagination take a break. That is usually when my ideas/stories start flowing; while driving, in the shower, sometimes even in my sleep.
What was the inspiration for the music video?
“Hurting” was the best first release. I believe this to be true because it is simple, genuine, emotional, and very personal. I wanted to start off my career with a track that people could relate to and get to know me better as a person. The music video had the same intention. It was filmed in my room, garage, and shower. I had little to no makeup on and was wearing all black clothing. I played “Hurting” over and over, singing and feeling the emotions into the camera that was placed on a tripod. We projected baby videos of me dancing in order to create a visual where the audience can see into my brain and ultimately play around with feelings of nostalgia. I am very happy with how it turned out. Personal and honest.
Watch the music video for “Hurting” below:
Does performing come naturally to you? Or has it been a lot of hard work?
I perform on the daily for my family and friends, whether they ask me to or not. Since I was a little girl, I loved gathering everyone in the house to listen and watch me do my dance, sing my song, or even just do a skit. It is something that gives me so much joy because I can see it is making others laugh and smile. I don’t feel that saying it comes naturally is completely fair because I do still have to put in the work and be over-prepared yet completely in the moment whenever I perform. I do, however, feel that my love and passion for performing and entertaining, make it more natural for me. I dream of one day, filling a stadium and putting on an unforgettable performance filled with dance, stories, acting, inspiration, and incredible music that leaves every audience member feeling so inspired and happy.
Finally, what have you been binge-watching during the pandemic?
That’s a good question! I watched the show “Hollywood”. It was incredible! I also watched both seasons of “Dead to Me” which was very entertaining and incredible acting.