Kiera Osment is a name that crops up fairly regularly in my hometown here in North Devon. Kiera was given her first keyboard at 6 years old and became an accomplished piano player by age 13. She has been performing from a similar age and her live performances are mesmerising from the emotion she puts into her set.
Kiera has been compared favourably to many great female artists such as Kate Bush, Regina Spektor, Sarah McLachlan and Lana Del Rey. There’s also more than a hint of Joni Mitchell about her songwriting.
Her debut album Car Park of Dead Dreams released in 2016. Kiera took care of all writing, recording and mixing herself and her personality shines through in every track from emotionally charged piano ballads to the more experimental side with ‘Atlas 101’.
I’ve decided not to edit Kiera’s answers as I think it really shows her personality.
You were drawn to playing instruments from a young age, was there any particular moment where you knew you wanted to write your own songs?
“It was a bit of accident – as were most musical happenings in my life. I was always musically inclined. It’s a cliche but I was clapping to the beat before I could talk! Firstly, I had a lot to say and so was always writing things down on scraps of paper which still haunt everything surface of my home. Secondly, I was just beginning to sing and get to grips with the piano. Then one day I just decided to slap the two things I liked doing together and wah-la – my songwriting journey fell into my lap, (albeit the songs were mostly about weather for the first few attempts, my dream was to be a meteorologist by day and musician by night) and I have never looked back.”
I’m always captivated by the emotion you provoke with your music, where do you find the inspiration for your lyrics?
“This is always a difficult question to answer, and thus I provide an ambiguous response. Everywhere really. I am quite an emotional person, not in the way that I cry every second but I guess I am good at empathising with the environment I am in. Whenever I read a book, I get transported into the characters shoes and feel what they are feeling, when I watch the news my mind spindles images, when I listen to music I create movies in my head and whenever emotional turmoil hits I start creating metaphors in my head. To conclude, inspiration is everywhere, sometimes I consciously seek it out, other times lightning strikes randomly (wah hay, the weather metaphors) and I roll with it.”
You recently featured on a track by The Secret Floor which is more of a modern electronic sound, is this a direction you’re keen to explore?
“I’m not sure the Secret Floor track is entirely the direction I am going as a solo artist, although it was nice to try something new. Although, I am in a process of change which is taking a more modern vibe than my piano ballad roots. However it’s an experimental change, every song I write has taken on a new entity, so I can’t articulate where the destination is yet. I can say vocal experimentation is at the forefront of new Kiera and I am gradually learning how to create percussion on my computer that doesn’t end up sounding like a 80’s game show theme.”
Car Park of Dead Dreams was your last album, released in 2016. Whats next for you?
“Ah yes, the time has flown by! I’d love to release another new album, I have plenty songs put on private on sound cloud! However I am a perfectionist, I like to hoard things first and then do something with them once I know I have a selection. It ’s been a tough year for me with family illness, and I am just beginning to jump back on the wagon with gigs and some musical adventures, but hopefully, opportunities will present themselves soon. I’d also like to start working with other musicians more. If I release a new album, I’m hoping to have a band behind me performing.”
Kiera’s Favourite Tracks
I asked Kiera if she would like to share some of her favourite songs from other artists and she gave two choices that I haven’t come across before, both quite experimental and well worth listening to.
Phantom Of Aleppoville – Benjamin Clementine
I am very inspired by Clementines use of piano in all of his songs. In this song, in particular, I am entranced by the melodic storytelling and use of percussion. I adore the poetic and narrative nature of the song, and its stayed on my repeat playlist for a while now!!
Melos – Wednesday Campanella
This is the song for when your arms are getting pulled two ways by two mischievous beasts/innocent dogs who hunt for squirrels, hay fever is getting at you, and you wore the wrong shoes for walking, but you still want to feel epic! There’s just so much variety within the song, I just listen to it and get so excited about how each section sounds so different, but still blends so perfectly. As there are so many layers to enjoy, Melos like Phantom Of Aleppoville has maintained its spot in my favourites!
Kiera Osment describes herself as 17 going on 70 and its clear that she has a maturity beyond her years. That maturity and storytelling ability transports you into her world, and once you arrive there you are treated to a young woman with an extraordinary talent.
Stand out tracks: Paper Hats, Dolls House
You can find more about Kiera Osment at the following links