KIAN lifts the covers off his debut EP BLISS today; 6 tracks that showcase this fresh global talent to perfection, including multi-platinum breakout track WAITING which has been streamed over 40 million times globally, follow up single CHILDISM, and new cut TELEPHONE.
Kian, who is currently touring UK/Europe including a show tonight at The Great Escape, burst into the hearts and minds of Australia after winning last year’s triple j Unearthed High competition. He further cemented his arrival with #20 spot in triple j’s 2018 Hottest 100 for ‘Waiting,’ the song leading him to Most Played Australian Artist on radio in Q1 of this year.
The EP’s title track BLISS is the lens through which this fresh global talent sees the world.
“The song is pretty dark and it feels almost haunting,” he explains, “but in a way it’s kind of beautiful as well. If something bad happens, then something good will happen. And vice versa. That’s the philosophy I have.”
Eked out on acoustic guitar in his bedroom, BLISS captures the reality of being a young person making their way in this complicated world. And while it grapples with some heavy subjects, it’s hard to go past the inspiring message at the song’s core: it’s okay to be vulnerable, it’s okay for boys to cry.
WAITING was the first song Kian ever wrote, an experiment of sorts – “My 15th birthday was coming up and I wanted to try my hand at writing a song” – but not even Kian could have predicted how far it would take him. For the rest of us, it was impossible to deny his distinctive delivery and lyrical integrity.
CHILDISM was born from a lo-fi beat discovered on YouTube, showing a different side to Kian. REMINISCENCE is a dreamy soundscape with spoken-word vocals that Kian mixed himself; SUMMER INSECURITY explores themes of solitude over lush R&B beats; while closing track TELEHONE playfully incorporates samples and skits.
“As much as I have a sense of seriousness in my music,” he explains. “I think it’s fun to show people another side of my character.
“I think that in my adolescence I have experienced things, both good and bad. So I just want to express that for myself and get those emotions out. But also let other people relate and feel like they’re not alone.”
Mature beyond his 16 years, Kian grew up in a creative community in the Victorian goldfields town of Castlemaine. His father runs hip-hop dance workshops in remote Indigenous communities, while his mum played in bands in her youth. “I was around a lot of creative people and I learnt a lot about expressing myself without being judged by anybody.”
These days his inspirations include Frank Ocean, Earl Sweatshirt and other artists with a sense of lyrical integrity. “I’m really inspired by hip-hop and rap and that whole rhyme scheme. It has really inspired my writing. I write in the same way as someone writing a rap and then I’ll broaden it out melodically.”
Following his UK and Europe shows he returns home for Adelaide’s Spin Off Festival and Splendour In The Grass in Byron Bay, before embarking on his own headline tour dates.
BLISS Australian tour dates: Ticket on sale now
FRI 19 JULY – SPIN OFF FESTIVAL, ADELAIDE
SAT 20 & SUN 21 JULY – SPLENDOUR IN THE GRASS, BYRON BAY
SAT 27 JULY- OXFORD ART FACTORY, SYDNEY – Tickets here
WED 31 JULY- UC CANBERRA, CANBERRA – Tickets here
SAT 3 AUGUST – NORTHCOTE SOCIAL CLUB, MELBOURNE – Tickets here
SUN 4 AUGUST – NORTHCOTE SOCIAL CLUB, MELBOURNE(U18 MATINEE) – Tickets here
UK and Europe tour dates: *With Conan Gray
FRI 10 MAY – THE GREAT ESCAPE, BRIGHTON, UK
SUN 12 MAY – BITTERZOET, AMSTERDAM, NL*
MON 13 MAY – LA TRABENDO, PARIS, FR*
TUES 14 MAY– KANTINE, COLOGNE, DE*
THURS 16 MAY – COLUMBIA THEATRE, BERLIN, DE*
KIAN’S ‘BLISS’ EP – OUT NOW