• Shona Moran

Kiana Ledé Delivers Debut Album 'KIKI'

April 3rd will go down in history for Kiana Ledé fans. Not only is it the birthday of the 23-year-old LA-based R&B songstress, but it is now also the release date of her heavily-anticipated debut album KIKI.

Kiana Lede, KIKI

The 17-track-long album has already gathered some much-deserved attention. To date, music from KIKI has tallied 17 million total streams and counting, with singles 'Mad at Me' and 'Forfeit' alone. Ledé has managed to amass an impressive 721k followers on Instagram and 1.08M subscribers on YouTube – it is clear that the release of KIKI is only the beginning for the R&B talent.

From her well-known singles 'EX', 'Fairplay' and 'Bouncin’' right up until her latest album, Ledé continues to keep the 90s R&B sound alive through a soulful exploration of love and loss. Lead by her vibrant and velvety single 'Mad at Me', KIKI features a range of collaborations with fellow R&B moguls 6lack, Col3trane, Lucky Daye and Ari Lennox and more.

While all of her newly released tracks are close to her heart, the singer feels a particular affinity with the first track on the album – ‘Cancelled’. This track has gained significant attention since release, as Ledé samples TikTok star Jasmine Orlando aka Shorty Bae in the opening lines. Ledé affirms that she wrote ‘Cancelled’ "about a friend, and her getting f--ked over by the same dude over and over again” and Shorty’s words conveniently convey this. For those who know a bit more about the vocalist, Ledé is an advocate for women and uses her music as a way of uplifting them. In doing so, she has a striking ability to speak to millions, while making each track feel very real and personal.

Ledé’s lyricism not only manages to keep her audiences’ ears pricked, but she also continues to showcase her unique creativity as an artist by releasing the first official music video shot entirely on Facetime for 'Chocolate' with Ari Lennox. Through her video, Ledé offers a light-hearted recognition of the current global COVID-19 pandemic during this period of self-isolation. 'Chocolate’s' video creates an aura of relatability while paying homage to the world’s struggle – many of us are practically living on Facetime as a way to stay close to loved ones and Ledé’s video echoes this. Talking of the current climate she comments, “Music is therapy. It will always be therapy for me. I hope Kiki gives you a little entertainment while you’re stuck inside. Maybe it offers some comfort. Donate, do what you can do in your community, and stay home!”

Ultimately, KIKI is not just another R&B album. Ledé exhibits a growing command of her definitive sound, through the release of an album that feels authentic and unapologetically empowering.

Listen to the full album below.

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