Kiesha may be new on the scene but she is already turning heads. Introverted and artsy, the newly fledged songstress (only 17 years old!) is bold in her approach. Her debut single ‘Airplane Mode’, released earlier this year, is a pop ballad with R&B influences. It is wishful, honest and speaks to issues around relationships in the digital age – platonic and romantic.
She says, ‘Who needs healthy communication when you can put the world on Airplane Mode?’ Airplane Mode is a commentary on her personal experiences with relationships and developing those relationships in the twenty-first century.
‘Many teens, including myself, have a hard time online differentiating between platonic and romantic feelings. A lot of the time, teenagers feel pressured into relationships.’
Kiesha sings about wanting to isolate herself from the world and to put her life on airplane mode, as it feels like the best way to deal with the messy feelings that come with confronting the issue.
Complicating the matter, even more, Kiesha identifies as bi-sexual. She publicly proclaims that the majority of her relationships with males have felt forced.
‘After 2020, I realized that I have a preference when it comes to dating. I prefer girls, and despite being attracted to guys, relationships with them are always forced and unnatural. However, I still feel pressured into dating guys because my friends and family support my relationships with men more than women. Most of the time, I wish I could switch off everyone and escape somewhere where I don’t feel pressured into liking anyone at all.’
Due to the pandemic, the song took almost half a year to write. Kiesha is completely happy with the final product despite a lengthy process and is excited and proud to take it to market.
‘It was every bit worth it. Waking up and knowing I can work on something I am passionate about motivated me during lockdown. The pandemic disrupted a large part of my routine but being able to make music made me feel productive during stressful times. I’ve written two or three songs in my free time but writing this one was different because I was digging into parts of my personality that I didn’t realize was hidden.’
When asked why she decided to release ‘Airplane Mode’ as her debut single, she explains, ‘It is the best thing I’ve ever created. As an artist, I’m constantly creating little pieces of what I consider ‘gold’ and this particular piece represented me as an artist. In my opinion, there is no better song to release as my debut than this because it represents me as a person and the energy I’d like to contribute to the world.’
For the past two months, Kiesha has been working closely with Crafford Productions to create a music video that portrays this message.
‘The main theme within the music video was isolating oneself from the world. The video visually displays the feeling of freedom within isolation and the therapeutic feeling associated with getting away from the world and its expectations.’
Shot at an open-air museum in Walmansthal, the video captures Kiesha wondering among vintage equipment in the grasslands, portraying a sense of isolation and the freedom that comes with it.
‘The location felt so surreal and captured all the themes I hoped I could portray within the music video. There were so many different ‘vintage’ vehicles and the plane in the video added an entirely different layer and aesthetic appeal.’
Adding to the video’s aesthetic appeal are the hundreds of paper planes that were used. While fun to make, Kiesha also describes the experience as exhausting.
‘Although the paper planes were something I was adamant about incorporating in the video, there ended up being a total of one and a half thousand planes, of which we used about six hundred. It took a total of three days to make and the work was divided amongst my family members. I don’t think I’ll ever make a paper plane in my life again. However, the end product was beautiful, and the paper cuts were definitely worth it.’
All the planes were recycled afterwards.
Described as one of her most exciting experiences yet, Kiesha is extremely pleased with the outcome, which beautifully captures the song.
Watch the music video below: