INTERVIEW: Kiara WL
London-based DJ, producer and Music Box Records boss Kiara WL is a rising star within the house scene. Having released on labels including Rhythm Vibe, Underground Kollektiv and her Music Box Records imprint and gaining high-profile support from BBC Radio Introducing and BBC 3 Counties and featuring in Beatport charts, this multi-faceted talent is taking the house world by storm.
We caught up with Kiara WL to hear about her latest single 'No More' featuring singer-songwriter Jessie Wagner, the production process behind it, and performances in Marbella, Ibiza and more.
Hi Kiara WL, thanks for joining us here at Flex. Let’s start by talking about how you started your career as an artist - what influenced you to become a producer and DJ?
I have played the guitar and the piano since I was six then started writing songs at 15 following my favourite artists. It’s always been my passion in life so it all flew quite naturally into music production. I had many DJ friends, all male, and that also triggered me to DJ in a male-dominated industry, I was the only female DJ in my circle of friends at the end of the 90s!
You’ve recently dropped your latest track ‘No More’ alongside Jessie Wagner - what does this track mean to you and how did the collaboration come into place?
I wrote lyrics, melodies and everything myself, I needed someone with a powerful voice and when I heard Jessie Wagner’s voice I knew she was the one to give the song justice. The song is about showing the world who you really are, without masking the reality with rose-coloured glasses. It’s about breaking through the barrier that divides the world's perception today from reality and saying ‘today I decided I had enough, there’s no gold around me, this is who I am.
Can you walk us through the production processes behind ‘No More’ - how did you create it?
When I sit in the studio I never know what will end up inspiring me. I turned on my keyboards, I skip through some grooves and I just let the flow decides what was coming up. The piano reef wash the turning point, it fitted so well into the groove that it made the song final, not before adding a little bit f my signature style with that little old-school organ bass. The lyrics and melody were actually written in the space of 5 minutes: the following day I was in my living room, I put the headphones on as I wanted to listen to the instrumental again and I just started singing and writing everything down.
You're also the label owner of Music Box Records - what's a day in the life of a label boss and are there any upcoming artists you'll be featuring on the label soon?
I had a very busy summer playing but I have plans for the Autumn with a couple of new artists and possibly a remix, plus we are planning on going abroad but I can’t say anything just yet!
Every day is different, there is listening to demos, writing contracts, working on social media, talking to the mastering engineer, organising the next party and also busy with the schedule for Music Box Records show on Select Radio in London.
We’re really enjoying the nostalgic house vibe that you bring to your releases. What would you say are your strongest influences in the scene right now?
I like to mix new sounds with more old-school ones, so I get influences from everything, to be honest. I love nu-disco, garage and vocal house - each of these genres has something to learn from. Summer festivals give you the chance to see what the crowd love and I integrate those into the sets and the music I produce.
What are your three favourite records of all time?
Seriously, only 3! That’s not easy at all, especially because I love not only dance and house, I love soul, funk, blues, jazz, pop… If I stick to a genre choosing dance anthems I’d say: Mr Fingers ‘Can You Feel It’, Stardust ‘Music Sounds Better With You’ and Crystal Waters ‘ Gipsy Woman’
You’ve had a busy gig schedule this year with upcoming performances in Marbella, Ibiza and at ADE in Amsterdam - what have these performances been like and do you have any gig highlights so far?
At the time of writing this, I have only been to Ibiza, Marbella will be on 11th August and ADE in Amsterdam is at the end of October, so I can only comment on Ibiza which was fantastic!! I had the pleasure to broadcast my radio show ‘Discology’ on Radio Studio Più so that really was exciting.
Other than being an artist, what other passions or hobbies do you have in life?
I love travelling so whenever I got the chance I book a flight to escape. It helps when you play abroad as you can always do some sightseeing whilst there.
What can we expect to see next from Kiara WL? Are there any upcoming releases or collaborations you’d like to mention?
I have two more singles before the end of the year, as I said I can’t say anything yet but expect some fire!
Check out Kiara WL's single 'No More' alongside Jessie Wagner here: