Late last year, Kiana Valenciano released a song called “See Me”. For the past months, it has been a constant on a lot of people’s playlists, including mine. It had, of course, a deeper reason more than just an earbug. The song has lyrics that tackle what seems to be an identity crisis—an issue a lot of us has gone or has been going through. Her songs were like letters a lot of us have failed to write to ourselves. She sang feelings we have been failing to verbalize. This has to be reason why personally, I have been drawn to Kiana as a person. In this conversation in partnership with Converse, she shares with me how authenticity helped her step out of the box people has caged her in and breakthrough in the industry as her own individual.
How would you redefine or describe being a girl in this day and age?
I think the modern girl or woman is more confident. She’s aware of her femininity. She isn’t afraid to be more feminine or more authentic, I would say. I think more and more, at this day and age, girls are just willing to just be themselves and I think that’s awesome.
What is your experience in breaking through your own walls to come out strong and one of kind in your field?
I would say, being more authentic because if you aren’t pleased or happy with yourself, then how can you expect other to feel that way towards you? And I guess that’s why when people listen to my work or they see me online, you know, they’ll feel happy when I’m feeling happy ‘cause I show it. They feel confused when I’m feeling confused ‘cause I show it. I guess, that’s my way of breaking through and making people know that I’m different. I am different but I’m also like you. So I guess that’s how I do that.
How did this help you get to where you are right now?
Where I am? Where am I? Laughs. I would say where I am is a comfortable spot. Where I am is a place where I’m not afraid to experiment and I guess that’s helped me reach this comfort zone by learning to just accept who I am and I’m comfortable because I’m comfortable of who I am—I love who I am. When other people say otherwise, or when social media [gets] mean, it’s easy to turn the other cheek because I’m secure and I know who I am so I don’t really care what other people think about me.
In your own words, what makes you bold and unafraid to go beyond your limits?
That I guess would be like an everyday struggle—to push yourself to be bold because you can’t just knock out fear and not expect it to not come back. But I think that, in itself, the acceptance that fear will come, the acceptance that you have to strive daily to be bold, that’s a good start. And I keep that in mind on off-days or days when I think that I could do better. The fact that I know that I could do better is what keeps me going.
What tips do you have to empower women to break through their own personal hindrances and seek out greatness?
I say, take it a day at a time. Don’t compare yourself to other people because that’s when the anxiety can take over. And that’s not easy because that’s an everyday thing as well. You can’t just decide “I’m not gonna compare myself” and you never do it again. But take it a day at a time. Remember that everyone has their own journey and you have your own journey, and you [will] get to your goals by the time you need to get to your goals.
This 2019, I’d like to see more girls _______.
This 2019, I’d like to see more girls be brave.