ONE-ON-ONE With KIIA
Kia Ahadi, better known by his stage name “KIIA”, is a Toronto based singer- songwriter originally from Tehran, Iran. Musically inclined, he discovered his passion for music at a very young age and started his musical journey by playing the traditional Persian instruments Setar and Tar from the age of seven. By eleven years old, Kia was already regularly performing for large crowds and his desire to share his music with others was evident. In 1998, his family emigrated to Toronto. The move to a new country was tough, with many cultural and personal challenges, but it also opened the door to a new life, one that included learning guitar and beginning to write his own music.
ONETEN MAG: What first got you into music? Pure love and passion. I picked up my first instrument when I was 7 years old and I’ve been passionate about music for as long as I can remember.
ONETEN MAG: How would you describe the music that you typically create? The perfect clash between East & West; Electronic production intertwined with Eastern Melodies, Harmonies, etc In terms of genre my music falls under Electro Pop & RnB Pop
ONETEN MAG: Your musical journey is a little different because you started out in fitness. You graduated from York University’s kinesiology and health sciences program and have spent the past twelve years working in the fitness industry as a fitness consultant, master trainer, manager, business owner, and athletic fitness model. What made you want to transition over to music? Music has been there all along. All through university I remember writing songs in my classes and filling my notebook with lyrics. Every time I was prepping for a fitness show or athletic competition, it was my inspirational music playlists that got me through. I use music in all my classes and have a unique playlist for each client because I believe music is a way for souls to connect. By the time I was in my 2nd or 3rd-year University, I already had a catalog of songs that I’d written and that’s when I started recording. I didn’t release anything until 2014 because I wanted to build a strong enough catalog to continuously put out music. For a long time, it felt like I had two careers cuz I’d be working at the gym during the day and then hitting the studio at night time to record and make music. It’s a burning desire that drives me like an internal compass so I just followed my passion and this is where it's led me.
ONETEN MAG: What is your creative process like? I love writing. That’s how I express myself. I write almost every day & a lot of times I’ll hear a hook or a verse in my head or a specific melody to go along with those lyrics. Sometimes I write songs on the guitar jamming over a few chords, and there are other times my producer will send me a beat that resonates and I’ll write to the beat.
ONETEN MAG: Which famous musicians do you admire? I love Sting. Amazing lyricist, multi-instrumentalist, and the man does Yoga before going on stage. At 68 years old he’s still relevant and I admire that. I also love Michael Jackson… his genius changed modern music forever.
ONETEN MAG: What do you feel are essential qualities that make a good artist? Authenticity, Passion, Creativity, Visionary, Resilience.
ONETEN MAG: What is the best advice you have been given? OPA! Outcome- Purpose- Action! This is something I learned from one of my mentors Tony Robbins, which means you need to be clear on exactly what it is you want and WHY you want it. When you’re crystal clear and find a deep enough reason the how will reveal itself.
ONETEN MAG: Has the Corona Virus Pandemic changed your outlook on life? Yes absolutely. I am more grateful and appreciate the little things in life. I also keep my loved ones closer than ever and realize our time here on Earth is very precious and may end at any moment. So make sure you do the things you love while you’re here, don’t forget to enjoy every moment and tell your family you love them every day.
ONETEN MAG: You dropped a new single “Around the Globe” in May how has the response been? Yes, I dropped “Around the Globe” single at the end of May and the feedback has been AMAZING! We also just dropped the music video for “Around the Globe” last week which was directed by Director SJ, one of the best directors in the industry, and sponsored by Norman Powell from Raptors. The response has been mind-blowing and gave even more momentum to the track so I’m super grateful.
ONETEN MAG: You linked up with some of the best music producers in the industry, Glen Morrison, PooBon & Catchybeatz. How did that come about? I’d like to call that divine intervention. I believe when you’re doing the best you can with what you have and focusing on daily progress the universe conspires to help you on your journey by placing the right people and circumstances in your path.
ONETEN MAG: If you could change anything about the industry, what would it be? I’d make it transparent in a way where the money wouldn’t play as big of a role in artists being heard and rather there’d be a focus on real talent so the true authentic artists could prosper more and have a chance to showcase their talent.
ONETEN MAG: Where have you performed? What are your favorite and least favorite venues? I’ve been fortunate to perform in some of the best venues in Canada & US. From Toronto’s iconic Dundas Square to Los Angeles Convention Center. My favorite venues to this date are LA Convention Center, Metro Toronto Conv