Artist of the Month: Kiera Dillon
Genre: Singer Songwriter, Indie Pop, Bedroom Pop
Born and raised in the suburbs of Philadelphia, 22 year old Kiera Dillon has been performing since the age of 3 - sometimes with an audience. The singer, songwriter, and producer has full control of her artistry from concept to fruition and strives to make music that connects with wide audiences, allowing listeners to feel connected through common human experience and emotion.
Her musical influences cover a wide range of genres and her background in theatre has largely shaped her passion for performing. Her music communicates the complex and ranging experiences of coming of age with elements of nostalgia sure to resonate with listeners from all backgrounds. Dillon’s refreshing acoustic sound incorporates dynamic melodies, rich harmonies, and thick textures.
YEAR IN REVIEW
Debut Album: Perspective (1/1)
“Won’t Make It Easy” (1/14)
Signed to Blanco y Negro Music:
“Undercomplicate - Acoustic Version” (3/26)
Also launching a Startup Company focused on helping independent musicians navigate the music and marketing industries.
What is your Process? Where do you get inspiration from? Where do you start? Music? Lyrics?
Music is such an important outlet for me, so a lot of my more organic writing happens when I feel a really strong or overwhelming emotion. There is something so special and powerful about taking a strong emotion, good or bad, and turning it into something concrete. As for translating those feelings into music, I like to challenge myself to follow a different process every time. Sometimes I’ll start with a chord progression that I think is interesting, sometimes I’ll have a melody in mind, sometimes just a lyric will really inspire me, but no matter what you can count on my notes app and voice memos taking up an obscene amount of phone storage. My biggest source of inspiration is just listening to other songwriters, lyricists, musicians. “Steal like an artist”, right?
Artists You are inspired by? Who would be the dream to work with?
I’m inspired by so many incredible artists so this list is endless. Some early songwriting influences are Billy Joel, the Eagles, and (of course) Taylor Swift - their storytelling is so convincing and timeless. My current inspiration playlist is full of artists like Jeremy Zucker, Finneas, JP Saxe, Lennon Stella, and Lizzy McApline. All of these artists are really vulnerable and honest in their music, which I really value. It would be such a dream to collaborate with any of them.
What do you want listeners to take away from your music?
I think one of the most special feelings in the world is hearing yourself in someone’s music. We’ve all had that moment where we hear a song and instantly connect with its message or story. As humans, we crave a sense of understanding or belonging, and music is one of the only times we are allowed to be (or encouraged to be) vulnerable and emotional. As an artist, all I can hope for is that just one person can feel heard or validated when they listen to my music.
What is your favorite release of the year so far?
Jeremy Zucker and Chelsea Cutler’s EP brent ii is such a masterpiece. It's like a big nostalgic hug, but has such passion behind it. I also love hearing artists reimagine their songs for a live performance and was really thrilled to be able to see them perform the EP virtually.
As for my releases, the answer will probably be different depending on the day you ask. Right now I think my answer is “Won’t Make It Easy”. I think it's just so fun and different from a lot of my other music.
What are the challenges you face in the creative process?
One of the hardest things about being an artist is that you can’t force creativity. Sometimes you just don’t feel inspired and that can be really frustrating and scary, especially when you have a deadline to meet. Or sometimes creativity strikes at really inconvenient times, like at 3am when you have to be up early for a meeting or in the middle of the day when you’re on a call with a client. I’ve learned that you just have to be patient with yourself and accept that inspiration ebbs and flows, just like everything else in life.
What is something unexpected that you learned during these projects?
Unfortunately, my debut as an artist happened in the midst of COVID-19, meaning there is super limited access to studios, collaborators, performance opportunities, etc. But a huge blessing in disguise has been virtual collaborations. I’ve been able to expand my network much further virtually then I could have in person. I’ve had the opportunity to work with collaborators from different states, time zones, and countries, and even been able to play a couple of virtual gigs. Of course, I’m craving live music and in person collaborations still, but have been so pleasantly surprised at how strong and adaptable the creative community has been in a virtual setting.
What's coming out next?
I have a number of tracks and projects in the works, but no deadlines are nailed down as of right now. But I am featured on a track called “Let Me Go” on a friend’s upcoming album out 4/30.