As the anticipation surrounding Sweden’s annual national final Melodifestivalen continues to grow, we were able to sit down with newcomer Kiana to chat about her music, her decision to participate in the national final at such a young age, and received a tiny hint at what we should expect to see on the Melfest stage.
Kiana is also the youngest contestant in the Swedish selection this year, turning 16 on the same day as her heat on February 25th but she does come with a plethora of TV work experience. Learn more about who Kiana is below!
Hello there Kiana, thank you for interviewing with us here at ESCUnited.com! Why don’t you introduce yourself to our readers?
Hello and thank you for wanting to interview me! My name is Kiana and I’m a 15 year old singer from Sweden who will be competing in Melodifestivalen 2023! I was born in Australia, and later moved here to Sweden at 2 years old. I’m as much of a dancer as I’m a singer. My mother is a dancer which has influenced me my whole life, and I started taking dance classes when I was around 3-4 years old. I competed in “Swedens Got Talent” 2021 and I’m proud to say that I landed as one of the top 3 in the whole competition!
Let’s get to know you better as an artist – who or what are some of your musical inspirations?
I’m in love with old and classic vintage music from the 50s and 70s! I specifically love what Elvis Presley, Ricky Nelson and Elton John bring to their music! Apart from old music, I take most of my artistic inspiration from artists like Madison Beer, Lana Del Rey and Ariana Grande. I would say that Madison and Ariana have influenced my own work alot and that they are huge inspirations to me performance and musically wise.
What is one thing that our readers would be surprised to learn about you?
I love, love, love animated movies and one specific thing about that, without having the slightest idea of how it even is possible, is that I can cite the entire movie “Coraline” word by word!
Now that is a fun fact, you never know when quoting Coraline could come in handy! 🙂 Let’s get down to the real reason we’re both here – you are one of twenty-eight artists that will compete in Melodifestivalen this year! What motivated you to submit an entry and compete this year?
Submitting this song for Melodifestivalen was something that felt so right at the right time! I had watched Eurovision that year and it inspired me so much, and I think that was the reason that made me want to work towards submitting a song for Melodifestivalen! I had been working in the studio with different writers and producers during the summer, but I never felt “that” special feeling about any of the songs until we finished “Where Did You Go”. When we finished the song we played it on a loop and listened to it over and over again while we were dancing and singing around, and I think in that moment we were all 100% sure about submitting the song!
I noticed that this won’t be your first venture into a TV competition, as you competed on the 2021 season of Sweden’s Talang show. What did you learn about yourself as an artist while competing on the show and do you think this experience will help you during Melfest?
I learnt a lot in such a short period of time. I really grew in myself as an artist by gaining lots of experience and knowledge about performing in live tv and learning about how much work that goes into a project. I’m very grateful for all that experience since it’s something I can carry with me all the time, and something that I can grow and evolve over time.
You worked alongside Melfest legends Jimmy “Joker” Thörnfeldt and Linnea and Job Deb to write your entry, what was it like working alongside these talented songwriters for Melfest?
They are the absolute best! They bring such a great energy into the studio sessions and you instantly feel comfortable when working with them! It felt so great working with people who also want to showcase your skills in a song and not just make it sound like an average song. We had some great laughs while making this song!
I watched your performance of “Bang Bang” during Talang and you are a very talented dancer! Can we expect to see some choreography on the Melfest stage as well?
Thank you! I don’t want to give away too much, but you can absolutely expect to see some choreography!
Of course the winner of Melodifestivalen will be representing Sweden on the biggest international stage there is. What would going to Eurovision mean to you as a young artist?
It would mean so much to me to go to Eurovision since it would be such a huge accomplishment. Eurovison has to be one of the most wonderful journeys a person could ever experienced, and I’m so fortunate to have this opportunity to try and get there.
For those who want to connect with you before or after Melodifestivalen, where can they find you and your upcoming music?
Well, I haven’t released anything original yet, but after Melodifestivalen, you can expect lots of music coming from me! I have been working in studios for about 1 year now, and I have made some incredible connections to some wonderful producers/songwriters who love to make music as much as I do! I have posted some covers on my instagram (@kianablanckert_) and my performances from “Talang” are published on Youtube!
In closing, do you have a final message you’d like to share with the readers of ESCUnited?
I’m beyond excited to perform my song for all of you, and I hope you will like it as much as I do!
Kiana is set to compete during the 4th heat of Melodifestivalen on February 25th at 20:00 CET. The top two songs out of seven will go directly to the final, with the 3rd and 4th ranked songs advancing to the semi-final round for a second chance. The winner of Melodifestivalen will win the right to represent Sweden at the 2023 Eurovision Song Contest in Liverpool.
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