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EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Kiri T Talks “Strangers”, The Music Video, And Upcoming Debut Album

It’s been a couple of weeks since Kiri T dropped her new catchy single, “Strangers“. We have only a few more days to wait for the official music video to be released. As the excitement builds, we managed to grab a chat with Kiri T herself.

Strangers” has gained over 3,000 streams already on Spotify. The song is one of our favourites, with Kiri T easily impressing vocally and emotionally. She has a total of over 5 million Spotify streams, and if she keeps giving us awesome tracks like this one, it’s no doubt she’ll be someone everyone will be listening to.

We were lucky enough to grab a chat with this rising singer-songwriter from Hong Kong. She chatted with us about the new single, the new music video, and what she hopes 2018 will bring.

Hi Kiri T, how are you doing today? What have you been up to lately?

Hey, I’m doing well, thank you. I’m in Hong Kong right now, gigging and playing in concerts, and writing music for my new album.

Your brand-new single has recently been released, titled “Strangers”. Can you tell us more about it?

“Strangers” talks about my perspective of inebriation, meeting/interacting with someone when you are under influence. A lot of the lyrics are about how you experience things while you’re high, how unearthly the experience could be, and coming out of it when you are sober; unsure of what’s real and what’s not; confused.

Throughout the song, I sing about smoking pot with this person, and how in love and connected I felt with this person, how special I thought this person was, but unsure whether my feelings towards this person were real or not. Maybe we will become strangers again when we are sober, no matter how connected we felt during the episode – but some people say drunk minds speak sober hearts.

What’s it like being able to write, record, and produce your own songs? And what was it like working with Matthew Sim on this song?

Being a one-man band is many hours of work and patience, and self-doubt, because when you are working by yourself, especially in art, inevitably you will have episodes of self-doubt.

Luckily, this time, I am co-producing this with Matthew Sim. I did the first draft of the arrangement in Ableton, we sat together in his New York Studio, opened the session, and he started adding his ideas in the session. It was so much fun! He spiced up the beats so much, he has a more hip-hop influence production style while I am a more singer-songwriter/indie electronic style producer, we compliment each other very well.

We noticed you have quoted some of the lyrics of the song on your Instagram as you teased this release. What lyrics, from “Strangers”, are your favourites, and why?

My favorite lines are:
Till our impurity prevails
Then we can pretend we’re in love and slow dance, play romance
Until we wake up from the trance
We are back to Strangers again

I think these lines probably sum up the whole song.

Our impurity prevails – how we let down our guards and speak the sober heart when we are inebriated, unhindered. In this scenario, being in love and romantic with each other when we are high, but when we come down from the high (until we wake up from the trance) – we are back to the “hindered-self” and this person becomes a stranger again, ending on a bitter-sweet note.

We know that a music video is coming, can you tell us more about it?

The video is filmed in Hong Kong, I directed and edited this video with Endy Chow JauGwokYin, a crazy talented singer-songwriter, actor and visual artist himself. I am doing some improvised dance moves in the video, I love the cinematography and the aesthetics of the video.

It is coming out Feb 2!

What was it like filming the visual?

It’s the first time I filmed something professional like this, it’s a lot more work than I expected, but so fun! I never thought about it, but every little detail dictates, and everything has to be intentional, for example, how to position myself in front of the camera; what movements and gestures would look good on camera (we spent a lot of time designing the body movements); the texture of the scarf we use in the video, because these cameras we used capture and magnify every micro movement. Also, most of the footage we used are slow-motion footages, so we have to be extra detail about everything since every micro movement will be scrutinized when you slow it down.

Describe the music video in five words.

Dark, Elegant, Vulnerable, Flowers, and Butterflies

This song is your sixth single to-date, can we expect your album anytime soon?

I am getting ready to release an album in May, that would include the singles I released in the past few months and a bunch of new songs.

Talking about the future, what are your plans for 2018?

This year is going to be writing and releasing my new album, gigging around in the US and HK, collaborating with different visual artists for this project.

What do you hope the future will bring in terms of your music?

A community which connects with my music, I hope I can inspire courage, empathy and confidence in people, especially little girls and Asian-Americans.

Where do you draw inspiration from?

From my favourite singers, personal experiences, current events, books, poetry and movies.

There’s a more intense, emotional and darker side of me that I shaved off when I’m within a normal social setting, but when I’m creative, I feel free to be that crazy stoned out of mind person and write whatever lyrics I want, make whatever vibey sounds I like.

What are your five favourite songs to listen to right now?

Consequences – Camila Cabello

Hard to Love (feat. Jessie Reyez) – Calvin Harris

Disco Tits – Tove Lo

Writer in the Dark – Lorde

Miss You  (with Major Lazer & Tory Lanez) – Cashmere Cat

And, finally, do you have a message for your fans?

I hope you guys will like STRANGERS and the music video. One of the most amazing things about songwriting is that you never write a song for the intention you gave it, but for the day it gets played, and for whatever intention your listeners give it. I hope you guys will give it an intention that means something personal to you.

Thank you, Kiri T, for this awesome interview. We’re excited about the release of your brand new music video! We also adore “Strangers”. 2018 will certainly be your year, and we can’t wait for your debut album to drop.

Kiri T’s “Strangers” is available to download and stream right now. The accompanying music video will be released on the 2 February 2018, so watch out for that.

What do you make of our interview with Kiri T? Let us know your thoughts on Twitter @CelebMix.

Written by Jonathan Currinn

27-year-old writer, blogger, author, and journalist. Graduated from Staffordshire University in 2015. I write under the name Critic Jonni, on my blog. I also write for Channillo, Outlet Magazine, SPECTRUMM, Fuzzable, Modern Magazine, and Electric Mode. In the past, I have written for Fox & Squirrel Photography and the Daily Star. Follow me on Twitter @CriticJonni