The Covid Chronicles… Kiesza
The Juno-winning pop artist has recorded a new song designed to raise money to help frontline workers during the pandemic. She explains the project here and discusses her self-isolation and possible effects of the coronavirus on the music industry.
By Jason Schneider
Juno-winning pop artist Kiesza has been making the most of her self-isolation time, writing and recording a new song called Storm, and creating its accompanying video with directors Rocky Romano and Miranda Winters. The intent has been to raise money for the organization Frontline Care, which provides portable recovery units for both covid patients and on-duty health care providers, designed and built by Jupe Health.
After recording Storm remotely with producer Chris Malinchak, Kiesza posted it on her Instagram account and was immediately approached about making a video. The process quickly grew to over 100 filmmakers from 27 countries donating powerful aerial drone footage of empty cities that was combined in the final cut.
Storm is also a testament to Kiesza’s own strength, as she continues her full-time return to music after suffering a near-debilitating car accident in 2017. Up to then, the Calgary-born musician was one of Canada’s leading pop stars, with her album Sound Of A Woman selling over one million copies, and her list of credits including collaborations with Skrillex and Diplo, along with songs written for Rihanna and Jennifer Hudson.
We caught up with Kiesza to find out more about Storm, along with her future plans. For more information on how to donate to Frontline Care, go to the Team Storm GoFundMe campaign here.
First off, how are you coping with self-isolation personally?
Like most, I’ve definitely had my ups and downs. But I’ve really done my best to find the silver linings in this challenging time and focus on personal growth. I’ve gotten a lot better at cooking and am really getting a lot of creative juices flowing. Overall I’m doing really well, but I’m definitely missing spending time with a lot of my friends.
Both the song Storm and the video came together really quickly. How surprised have you been by the response so far?
It’s been a beautiful evolution since the day I put it up on my Instagram, and considering that I posted it with absolutely no expectations, it has certainly surprised me! I love how people are uniting and coming together around the song and supporting the initiative.
How did you become aware of Jupe Health and what they do?
My friend Cameron Sinclair and I have known each other for a while now and were already making plans in the way of global conservation, before the pandemic. He’s been a really big inspiration to me, with all the incredible work he’s has done for the world already. I knew he would be up to something amazing as soon as the quarantine began and so I called him up, and that’s how I learned about Jupe. We wanted to do something for first responders through the Storm video, and it all came together seamlessly.
When we spoke last year, you were gearing up for a full-time return to music. How have you been facing those challenges now?
I am still getting back into the swing of things and will have an album coming soon. I was planning on doing a lot of touring the second half of this year, and all that was cancelled, so a lot has been shifting around. Luckily, I have an amazing team who can quickly adapt and help me navigate through all the changes. I’m grateful for the people I have around me. I would have loved to tour the new album, so it was sad to have to cancel everything. Now everything has shifted completely to social media, so that’s been taking some getting used to!
What do you believe the lasting effects of the pandemic will be on the music industry?
I think a lot of creativity will come out of this time and that there will be a lot of great music on the horizon, since so many people are in lockdown. The live touring side of the industry is a big question mark at the moment. It’s really hard to say what that will look like in the near future and when things will be up and running again. I hope sooner than later, as I love performing so much!