June 18, 2024 Your Source for Brentwood News

Kiesza Unveils Epic Single “The Mysterious Disappearance of Etta Place”, Will Perform at OUTLOUD Festival

Electro-pop Star Fuses Folk Storytelling with Cutting-Edge Beats in New Song

Electro-pop superstar Kiesza has released one of the most unique songs yet. “The Mysterious Disappearance of Etta Place” showcases her artistry as a singer songwriter with deep roots in the vast windswept plains of Alberta, Canada. The song is inspired by the real life female member of Butch Cassidy’s Wild Bunch, Etta Place, who rode with infamous outlaws Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid. The fate of Etta Place is not known to history, and her life is not only shrouded with mystery but the glitters with the fame of the Wild West. “The Mysterious Disappearance of Etta Place.” has “a cinematic sweep, combining evocative spoken word, songcraft and cutting edge electronic beats.” 

You can watch the video here:

Kiesza will be performing at the OUTLOUD Music Festival at Weho Pride on Sunday, June 2 as one of the Hot and Heavy Headliners. Kylie Minogue, Ashnikko, Diplo and Friends, Big Freedia, and Vincint, among others will be headlining the festival. VIP and Weekend GA tickets are sold out but you can get single day and weekend passes at https://www.weareoutloud.com/

Kiesza’s latest music release, Dancing and Crying: Vol. 1, which was released on May 24  navigates the crux of dance, house, and electro-pop with the folk influences that have long shaped her songwriting. This fusion of genres reflects her artistic evolution since her award-winning debut single, Hideaway,” and its memorable one-shot video that launched her career.

With its release in 2014, “Hideaway” highlighted Kiesza’s abilities as a songwriter, vocalist, multi-instrumentalist and accomplished dancer, originating from her hometown of Calgary, AB. The track received extensive radio and video play and Top 20 chart placements across North America and Europe, three JUNO Awards, Gold, Platinum, and Double Platinum status in the US, UK and Canada, respectively, and launched her debut album Sound of a Woman.

We spoke with Kiesza about her new single, series of accompanying videos, and new music release in anticipation of her performance at the OUTLOUD Music Festival and the arrival of “The Mysterious Disappearance of Etta Place.”

Kiesza: It’s a small album with six songs and that’s because as it gives that away in the title There’s multiple volumes coming. so you can think of it more as a current of music to come with no definitive end on it. The style and the sound is something that I’ve just developed and I’ve just started honing. It’s the mix of my love of the dance floor, to just get down and get cool and, and just have a good time, but also wanting to create a more artist driven stream within the dance music culture. I want to bring more depth and storytelling to the dance music that I make. It’s opening up this whole other side of myself that has always been there. 

It’s the side of me that got me into music, the singer/songwriter, the storyteller, the folk singer from the prairies of Canada. I kind of locked that side of me away when things picked up with “Hideaway.” But I always felt like some that was some of my best writing and now that I’m coming back into the dance scene, I just wanted to open up all of me to my audience. I wanted to bring all of that together. It took me a while to get the sound just right. But now that  I feel like I have, I don’t want to stop. So there’s gonna be more to come.

Dolores Quintana: So you had shift in the artistic direction of your music and if I understand correctly there were some events in your life that changed your outlook or, how you want to express yourself. 

Kiesza: There’s many of them. The most obvious one that people are starting to learn about now is the car crash that I was in. That crash left me with a pretty serious brain injury and it’s been seven years now of recovery. It was more than double the time that I’ve been on the scene, that I’ve spent recovering from a severe injury to my brain. The growth from that has been incredible, but the amount of time that it took and the time it’s still taking because I’m still dealing with it. 

It’s something I never could have predicted and as a result of that, I’ve had to grow in such a profound way with being patient with myself. I had to let go of so much and understand that sometimes you have no choice but to start over. I’ve had to start over so many times, honestly. I just looked at it as a new spark of creativity. I tried to look on the bright side that sometimes a fresh start is a good thing. So if I’m moving into a new chapter, what did I feel was missing from the one I left? I always felt that there’s a lot more to me than what my audience knows and I I want them to know all of that. I want them to receive all of me and not just this sort of branded small window, which is all very authentic.

I really love all the music I’ve made and it was all very much coming from me, but there was a lot that I wasn’t giving because it didn’t ft with the brand, maybe didn’t ft with what people saw this personality. It was authentic, but also it was just a small side of my personality and I just want to give more. This new music is me giving more and it’s freer. It’s gonna move in different directions and you’re gonna see this in future volumes. There’s wild sides to my personality. There’s really deep ones that deal with these existential conversations that we have with ourselves about: why are we even here in the first place? Then there’s the sides of me that just literally want to get on the dance floor and have a good time dressing up. Put on my lipstick, put on my fashion and just not think about anything else. So I’m just allowing myself to be a bit of a kaleidoscope artistically, but it’s all coming from the same source and that’s what ties it all together.

Dolores Quintana: Something that important to know about artists, with the spark of creativity, or whatever it is that you’re connecting to that brings the music or the art out of you. That spark or inspiration is going to change from time to time. 

Kiesza: They say our weaknesses are our biggest strengths if we lean into them and that from the hardest thing from the hardest darkeness comes the light. It really is true. If you lean into the hardest moments and the hardest experiences in your life, there’s always something in that that connects to everyone. because we all go through hardships and we all go through really tough times, loss, confusion and the sense of not knowing why we’re here in isolation and feeling lonely. 

So the feelings that accompany these unique scenarios that we all fall into within our own lives. That feeling that accompanies them is very much the same, I think. We can all connect to that. So if we’re willing to be honest about our experience and our feelings, I think that’s the best way to connect with an audience as a whole. 

Dolores Quintana: Artists are trying to communicate their view of the world or how they feel to their audience and sometimes it’s just let’s dance, but, other times it might be something different. But I was wondering if you could talk to me a little bit about your single, “The Mysterious Disappearance of Etta Place.”

Kiesza: Yeah, I love that song. That song is really special. First of all, it’s the first song in this new chapter of combining the folk singer songwriter Americana version of me with house music. This is the beginning of a new chapter completely, even though it’s the fourth song on this project. My friend Clay, who’s the poet at the beginning of the song, he’s a cowboy from Wyoming who I met. He was my AirBnb host. I go Dino Digging with some friends who are in the digging business, believe it or not. 

Clay became the best part of our adventures because he’s one of the most unique human beings I’ve ever met. He’s a historian and he studies the lives of all the outlaws that used to roam in Wyoming, like Butch Cassidy and Sundance Kid and all those bank robbers that made history and we make western movies about. He knows everything about them to the extent where he walked us to the land and showed us the remains of the cabins they lived in and listening to Clay tell stories is one of my favorite thing in the favorite things in the world. 

I asked him one day because he such tells such beautiful stories. I assumed he must be a great writer. When I asked him what he has written, he said I’ve only written two poems in my whole life. He recited one of them to me. It’s one he wrote when he was young. It hit me so deep when when he recited it and his voice was so deep. So I pulled out my phone and I asked him if I could record it and he recorded that on my iphone actually. I ended up building the song around that poem. 

The song is about Etta Place who was the lover of the Sundance Kid who used to rob banks with Butch Cassidy. She was a bad ass female and there weren’t a lot of female outlaws and I like that about her.I thought let me lean into this story because when Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid were shot dead, Etta Place vanished and no one knows what happened to her. 

It was this question of what happened to her and I put myself into her shoes. Well, if I was robbing banks and my lover got shot dead. I’d probably run with the gold. So I adopted that perspective of this woman, dealing with death and loss, running away on horseback because she knows that the sheriff is going to be coming after her. 

Dolores Quintana: While I was listening to the song, I noticed that you really put a feeling of being out there on the plains with the wind blowing. There’s this beautiful lonely feeling that is thematically connected to the music. 

Kiesza: It’s an amazing history to learn about and Clay has real documents, real letters from all these people. It’s amazing what the artifacts that he’s found and even like coffee mugs, they’ve drunk out of. So cool. He just opened up my passion for learning like storytelling and that whole history. I wanted the song to be true to who he is as a person and he loves storytelling. So I wanted to tell a story. 

Dolores Quintana: It sounds like meeting him and having him as a friend really inspired you as a storyteller because that song is really so much about that type of history and storytelling and it’s very exciting to hear. It’s really beautiful. 

Kiesza: Music is as a form of art and however the musician feels like expressing it is, is their choice. But at the same time when you’re connecting with a whole world of people or a whole audience, you do have to think about how can I open up this experience to my whole audience in a way that they’ll feel like they are inside of this world. I wrote a song that’s not out yet, and I’ve noticed that people really connect with the song in a way that they’ve never connected with any other song that I’ve written. 

What the funny thing is and you always learn this in music, there’s no rules and if there are rules, you gotta break them at some point and someone always will. 

Dolores Quintana: I think that’s key to creativity is that the, there’s always going be people going on about rules, but it’s important to really do it your way. To connect with yourself and your source and don’t worry about what other people are thinking about it, if you feel it. 
Kiesza: Some people will connect with like the whole world, but then some people only connect with a small audience, but that audience might not ft into the whole world. It  doesn’t matter that they’re not sweeping the globe with their music, because they have found a connection to a group of people that don’t know where they belong and they feel like they belong because of this artist. I think honest, true expression is the most important thing we have in this world and, making sure that everyone is being allowed this opportunity to be able to express themselves openly and freely with support. Because if you feel a certain way, there’s always another person who feels that way too. If you feel alone, there’s always another person who feels alone in the same way. When you find each other, it’s the most healing thing in the world.

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