Born Kiesza Rae Ellestad in Calgary, Alberta, Kiesza is an accomplished singer/songwriter, who outside of music, boasts a multifaceted background that spans a crosswind of creative disciplines. Prior to her career as a musical performer, the talented artist first found a home in the competitive world of dance while attending The Young Canadians School of Performing Arts. Kiesza developed a deep appreciation for tap, jazz and ballet, while also getting her first taste of theatre life.
Her love of music stems all the back to her childhood youth, however, really blossomed during her time at Selkirk College, where she studied keyboard, voice and guitar. The multifaceted artist then parlayed her time at the institution into a scholarship at Berklee College of Music in Boston; the rest is as they say, history.
Arguably best known for her hit smash “Hideaway,” Kiesza first cut her teeth as a folk singer, before finding her footing as a lively pop/dance artist. In 2010, she relocated to the bustling streets of New York as a way to fuel her creative passion, which over time, helped inform the ‘electro-pop’ sound she is known for today. Shortly after “Hideaway” tore up the charts, the eccentric artist dropped a video for Haddaway’s “What Is Love?,” garnering her even more congratulatory praise from a plethora of international press outlets. An accomplished musical performer in her own right, Kiesza has worked alongside a throng of industry heavy hitters, including the collaborative track “Take Ü There” with Skrillex and Diplo, in addition to appearing on Duran Duran’s album, Paper Gods.
Kiesza has had a busy run of things over the past few months, releasing her first track of 2020 “When Boys Cry” with “All Of The Feelings” following closely behind. On a mission to close the year out with a bang, the artist recently dropped her heavily-hyped sophomore album, Crave. As with so many other projects before, the singer packs a wave of emotions into a lively pop-infused playlist complete with splashy synths and sultry sonics imbued throughout. “Run Renegade,” for instance harkens back to the light-hearted vibrancy of the early‘80s, to which Kiesza’s lyrics on the freedom to love whomever her heart desires can be heard punching through a wave of lively synth pops.
“I was lucky enough to have had a taste of what a last breath feels like once. It was much like what I imagine a super nova feels when it becomes a black hole. The imbalance of time running out of fuel, overcome by the gravity of its own mass folding in on itself, and then compressed through all of the memories it contains. So heavy it almost feels weightless. But then I woke up, in more ways than one. And I’m doing things a little differently now. I’m still young enough to be reckless with a few more things left to break, but I’ll try to keep the ride as smooth as possible for all of those onboard. With all that said, I owe you a second album. And this one’s here to pick you up, make you smile, keep you moving, and accompany you along the journey I’m about to take you on. I’m so thrilled to be back and hope you’re ready to get going! “— Kiesza
To help celebrate the launch of her new album, Kiesza meshed creative juices with Urbancoolab in building out her thematic “Run Renegade” capsule collection. Using the company’s artificial intelligence STiCH platform, images created by Kiesza herself were fed into the hub, creating a set of designs central to who Kiesza is as a creator. As such, a throng of expressive imagery can be seen spread across a range of hoodies, long-sleeve crewnecks, T-shirts and track pants.
When asked to comment on her creative process and how she came about fashioning the imagery for her collection, Kiesza explains, “There’s more in this picture than you may care to find, but it’s there if you go looking. I won’t explain what this means. If you’re on this road with me, you will most certainly find out. It’s a treasure map. It’s a riddle. It’s a question full of answers. It’s a journey. And more than anything it’s a story full of lessons. Not the beginning, and definitely not the end. I’m not here trying to figure out how to get your attention. But I do care deeply about what I give to your attention when I have it. I’m still an amateur, learning how to carve my soul into the fabric of this 3D world we wake up to every day. The very act of living is art unto itself, and I’m no expert at it. But I love being alive. I love waking up and breathing and realizing I have yet another day to grow into. I love the complex puzzle of happiness and all it’s missing pieces. And love itself. That bottomless abyss we’re all standing at the edge of, knowing that the only way in is to fall and keep falling. Because when you choose to hit the bottom, it puts you right back at the top again. The trick is to suspend the fall as long as possible.”
The full “Run Renegade” collection is available for purchase online now through Urbancoolx.