Kiki Rowe On Her Recent Projects, Music Journey and What The New Year Holds

Canadian R&B singer Kiki Rowe first made waves back in 2016 when she reached #1 on the Canadian Viral 50 list on Spotify with her track “Trust Issues,” produced by industry legend DJ Mustard. Since then, Kiki has been making continuous hits, collaborating on music with talented artists such as Khalil and Toronto rapper Preme.

Over the course of a year, Kiki has released a combo of infectious R&B and pop singles, from “Promo,” to “Use You” and finishing off 2018 with her smooth holiday single “This Christmas,” singing deep-rooted lyrics on coming together for Christmas, “Tell me where we went wrong, all year long – maybe this Christmas we can – fix us.”

With 2019 officially upon us, Kiki gets her year started by dropping her music video for “Use You” – directed by Alex Gayoso (Promo), in a “winter waterfall” setting which is expected to drop very soon.

XMPL got the chance to interview Kiki Rowe on her recent projects, music journey, what the New Year holds and more. Listen to her single “Use You” and read the full exclusive interview below:

XMPL: How did your relationship with music begin and what made it evolve into you recording R&B tracks?

Kiki Rowe: I’ve always loved music. Ever since I was a little kid I would sing and write songs for fun. I feel like it was only a matter of time before I started recording them and trying to really pursue it. I’ve also always loved R&B, the way it sounds and flows.. But at the end of the day I just write what I feel and what I connect to musically.

In 2014, you released your own self-titled mini album – where we got to see you work with other artists. What was it like to release a project like that and what did you learn from working with other artists?

It was amazing. It was my first ever full-length project and it was awesome to be able to release a bunch of my favourite songs at the time all at once. It was also amazing and super humbling working with other major artists and producers that believed in my talent and vice versa. It showed me how other artists like to work and how to work as a team. It also made me realize that my dreams can really be a possibility.

2016 gave us ‘Trust Issues’ & ‘Enough’, two stand out tracks highlighting your growth and development as an artist. Can you talk to us about the vision and meaning you had for these tracks?

Yes, these tracks are both very important tracks to me. I actually wrote trust issues on the piano when I was in my room thinking. I was seeing somebody that I really liked but I couldn’t let myself trust him completely because of my past relationships. I had major trust issues and I didn’t want to enter anything new where I would get my heart broken. When I wrote it I loved the song but I didn’t have a beat to put it on until DJ Mustard sent over a dope track that ended up working perfectly with what I had written.

Enough was also important to me. Being in the beginning phase of a relationship can sometimes be confusing when you don’t know exactly where the other person stands. I would always have the thought in the back of my mind if I was enough for them to settle down.

‘Come My Way’ was the track highlighting 2017 for you, featuring Khalil you two combined for an amazing single. How much of the production aspect are you involved in on this track and what made you feel like Khalil was the perfect fit?

Thank you! Come my way is one of my favourite tracks and was super fun to create. It was done in LA with Blaq tuxedo and Khalil in the studio. I felt like Khalil was definitely the perfect fit for the track because he has an amazing voice, which I felt would really suit the record. I also felt like he could probably relate to the record. As an artist you’re often really busy working or on the road but at the end of the day you gotta make sure to make some time for the people you care about.

You released three new tracks in 2018, ‘Promo’ & ‘Use You’ were the first two. What was the meaning behind those two tracks? Did they come out the way you envisioned them?

Being an upcoming artist, you never really know who is in it for the right reasons. I’ve been in situations where I found out that that people weren’t completely genuine and had other motives. I was dating someone who was very obviously using me for “promo” and didn’t end up being a nice person.

Use you is kind of the opposite where I wanted to let somebody know that I enjoy their company and that I wasn’t trying to “use them” for anything but their company. It didn’t have to be love or anything complicated but I wanted them to know that I’m someone they can trust and someone they can let in, love and feel good around without feeling any type of anxiety.

Kiki Rowe

Your third track was a Christmas track titled ‘This Christmas’. R&B is one of the best genres to capture holiday vibes. What inspired you to make a song like this one?

I’ve always wanted to make a Christmas song, but I didn’t want to make a typical “cheesy” one so I decided to give it an R&B feel and talk about something more emotional and real to me. (missing somebody on Christmas and wishing things were how they used to be) . Another cool part is that this song was produced by my twin sister MYYA, and it’s the first song we’ve ever released together.

As a Canadian artist, how would you describe your journey through the music scene has been?

I love being from Canada and being a Canadian artist. The music scene has definitely expanded over the years and there’s so many talented and major people coming out of here. A lot of them also live here which makes it awesome to work here. But it’s definitely important for me to expand to different countries. As weird as it is to say, I feel as though a lot of artists from Canada get more recognition when coming out from different places. But when they do and make it the entire country has their back and are super supportive.

Can you walk us through your creative process when making music?

Writing songs happens in different ways. Whether it’s writing while playing the piano, writing to a beat or just writing lyrics and concepts with a clear mind.

While in the studio I usually like to freestyle a melody to the track that the producer plays before adding lyrics to it. To me melody is super important and then finding what works lyrically with the vibe afterwards is what I personally like best.

What does the New Year hold for you? Can we look forward to more music, maybe an EP or even some live shows?

Definitely look forward to TONS of new music and videos. Definitely thinking of releasing an EP as well. Also look forward to more shows and more appearances for sure.

With 2018 holding 3 amazing tracks from you, how would you describe the year personally?

The year was great. A lot of change and a lot of creating. Definitely look forward to a lot more music this year.

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