Brussels-born, world-raised, Berlin-based, singer, songwriter and artistic director K.ZIA chats with Projext Liquid to discuss her new Album ‘Genesis’.
Raised amongst many cultures and traveling the world of Music and Circus during her childhood, K.ZIA has a unique view on art and life itself with Her vibrant music blends up alternative R&B, Soul, Pop, Trap and afrobeat’s.
Whether it was singing backing vocals on tour with her mother, between Japan and the States or performing alongside her father in majestic shows, K.ZIA was practically born on stage, Describing herself as an Afro-European mineral by virtue of her cultural and ethnical background. Her music is created to fuse cultures, genres and bring people from different environments together to celebrate music, LOVE and creating a safe space for us to be free in.
Listen to 'Genesis' below
‘GENESIS’ - the beginning of an ever-evolving artistic journey in both French and English.
The new conceptual album presents K.ZIA’s rich universe, introducing two sides to her persona: K.ZIA is an artist in her original form. Loving, benevolent, spiritual, and warm, she is a mother spirit and the current persona presented to the world. She emulates light, warmth, passion and emotion singing in English.
ZIA is K.ZIA’s alter-ego. She’s in development and appears for the first time on this album. Unapologetic, fierce, with more masculine energy; she is a wild spirit and sings only in French.
You’ve started the year strong with the release of your new album, ‘Genesis’, congratulations, it’s amazing!How are you feeling now that it’s out in the world?
Less pressure of course, a lot of deadlines have been met, and my long to do list only has a third left I can finally start thinking of new things to create. The outside world is just only discovering GENESIS I’ve been in that bubble for at least two years now so I’m excited about the next steps.
The album introduces two sides to your persona, K.ZIA and ZIA, talk us through the journey the whole project has taken you on, emotionally and sonically, Have you learnt more about yourself since working on the album?
Most definitely. I wouldn’t say most of these realisations come from the making of the album, despite a lot being expressed in it. Some things did come with the production of this project, my awareness of some of my abilities beyond singing like video direction, artistic direction and production. How I work and express myself within a team, a better understanding of my flaws and strengths, my will power and then of course ZIA and my whole French/Belgian side coming out again after a few years of her being asleep.
Do you have a favourite track?
I can’t say I do, no. They all have value to me for different reasons. Maybe some more than others for sure but I have no favourites.
Growing up in an artistic family must have been interesting, your mother is an internationally acclaimed recording artist and your father a performer, what was it like, can you share some of your earliest memories?
Art is my world. I know it through so many different forms, music, theatre, dance, Painting, cinema, I was fed with so many different expressions of art growing up and met incredible people with very strong personalities and messages to convey. Despite there being certain things, I felt like I was missing out on - like staying in the same school for a long period of time to make friends for instance - I grew up very aware of the privilege I had when it comes to art. I am so thankful. Not every kid gets to grow up backstage or the biggest show and festivals. It gives a certain perspective on life and art, and makes a certain lifestyle a normal goal.
Since starting your career in music, how has your identity as an artist evolved?
It’s becoming more and more clear how I want to express myself and the transition from a teenager to a woman made me stop holding back from my real identity and traits. The more I grow as a human and artist, the more real and free I feel.
Is there anything you would change looking back?
Nothing, I don’t live with regret, ain’t nobody got time for that.
Your visuals are incredible! ‘I got your back’ is your most recent release. What was the inspiration behind the concept?
Thank you! It was a little bit of a challenge at first because my last two music videos ‘JFMB’ and ‘Sanctuary’ were great videos with high positive feedback. I felt a little under pressure (put on by myself of course being a perfectionist) to have to do better and I am someone that likes topping myself. Here I was in front of a blank piece of paper once again, needing to think of a concept for the music video which I wanted to direct myself. The song is a comfort for people who experience depression. I Sing ‘I got your back’ as a way to say you aren’t alone in this so for the music video, the main elements I know I wanted were something very aesthetic in terms of styling and lighting. For the music video, 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. Finally for there to be a feeling of comfort, togetherness and peace and from there, the rest was created by partnering up with the right team like Elias Köhler as DOP, Divina Kuan as co-director and my sweet mother as Co-artistic director.
What do you hope people will take from the whole album?
I hope I can bring comfort, smiles and a feeling of warmth and love. I hope people can relate to what I say and connect and share it with loved ones to share the messages. I hope I can make them curious about me, my universe but also about different genres, different backgrounds and countries. I want to be a bridge between ages, social groups and identities and can only hope I can connect worlds that way. We are all connected, we just have to see it.