July is Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) Mental Health Awareness Month. Recently, talented LA-based Philippines-born artist Kiana V, released new music via The Orchard. The themes she explores within her music speak to her mental health journey and her advocacy. The 28-year-old Filipino R&B artist connects to her fans by addressing the struggles she faces with mental health as well as the importance of normalizing conversations about these topics. Through her music, she opens up, displaying a vulnerability and authority while speaking from her own experience.
On Friday, July 16th, Kiana released her title-single “Dazed” off her upcoming EP, a hushed stripped-down track that reproduces the feeling of being stuck in one’s head. Lyrically, the piece exchanges between negative and positive self talk, and details an attempt at finding inner healing. The balladry verse leads to a harmony-filled chorus in which Kiana sings, “Set me free / I’m stuck in my head again / Set me free / I’m stuck again.” She describes the process of creating her newest EP, including how her mental health challenges inspired her songwriting. Sharing with her Instagram followers, Kiana explained, “I wrote this song at a time when nothing felt certain and I was feeling like I had forgotten who I was.”
I wrote this song at a time when nothing felt certain and I was feeling like I had forgotten who I was.
Kiana V has opened up about her mental health journey before: “My battle with depression started at a very young age. I just did not know what it was called yet. I felt alone, even when I wasn’t. A short amount of silence would somehow lead me to tears. It didn’t make sense.” On Instagram, she shared to her thousands of followers that a friend of hers noticed the scratches and scars at the back of her neck. This experience helped her realize that she felt lost and needed help, and has explained how the support of her loved ones and therapy have helped her deal with her anxiety.
Kiana V has always been an advocate for the importance of open conversations regarding mental health and the struggles it raises. Kiana V notes how she often felt isolated by her mental health, how depression and anxiety are “a very hard burden to carry on your own.” She now believes that creating a safe and open environment for others to share their stories is a crucial step: “Back then this was not a topic that you could openly discuss or even understand,” she said, “When I asked for a therapist, from family members or school counselors, it was taken personally and offensively.” Having received the help she needed, she advocates, “These are conversations we need to continue for us to understand how we can heal.”
These are conversations we need to continue for us to understand how we can heal.
In addition to opening the space for conversations within her art, The R&B artist has used Instagram and other outlets to bring up these topics with her fans. She spoke at “#StartANewDay: Let’s Talk About Mental Health (Insights for Millennials and Gen-Z),” a webinar hosted to help create a safespace for Fillipinos to discuss their mental health alongside other panelists such as Sen. Risa Hontiveros, psychiatrist Dr. Angela Cuadro, and #MentalHealthPH cofounder Roy Dahildahil.
Coming out on July 30, Kiana’s 5-song Dazed EP centers around strategies for healing, serving as a soft exploration of how love for oneself affects the love we give others. She has previously emphasized the importance of allowing love in your life: “My advice is to really, really let your loved ones love you.” Some of the tracks included in her newest EP include “How Do I,” an internal conversation directed at a partner with whom you want to better connect. The EP’s third track, “Better,” explores the frustration of wanting to give more than you can, and also realizing you need to confront things within yourself before you can move forward.
The Orchard is excited and proud to call attention to this young artist’s urgent work, particularly given the important time in which Kiana V shares it with the world.