Keeana Kee breaks pop culture barriers with her sheer determination to be authentic and refusal to limit her own creativity. Hailing from Latvia and now residing in The Empire State, she is continuing the pursuit of her singing and songwriting career. Keeana is a musical powerhouse, fashion model, and an immigrant success story that inspires.
Discuss what has brought you to this point in your career. Was there a specific moment that inspired you to pursue singing as a career?
I have always had music in my soul and I loved singing, but I couldn’t imagine pursuing singing as my career as nobody around me and in my family was in the music industry, but at the same time I couldn’t give up music and I felt like my heart would bring me back to it anytime I’d drift away. There was that one moment in my life, I was singing and recording myself on the laptop just for fun and my partner at the time walked in on me and suggested I start taking singing seriously and to go and see a vocal teacher that he knew. It was the first time someone actually made me think that I could pursue singing as my career.
Describe your music in one sentence/phrase.
I love to call it Exotic Pop because of the exotic elements brought from different cultures. I love to add Latin and African vibes to my songs.
Your new song “Sweet Heaven” is a critique on border policies. Why do you think addressing political issues in music is important?
I think it is important to raise awareness of social issues with whatever platform we have. Every action counts and we are lucky enough to have freedom of speech in this country and to make a difference if we come together and stand for what’s right.
What does representation in entertainment mean to you?
Do you know how many times somebody has said to me, “You’re too pretty to be gay.” Many people, both gay and straight, have been dismissive of my sexuality because of the way I look. It made me realize that many people, even within the gay community, believe that lesbians are a monolith who all look, think, and act the same way. It’s very frustrating for me!
Entertainment and the media can start educating people by showing everyone that gays, lesbians, and queer people come in all shapes and sizes, races, and gender expressions.
Share with us more about your involvement with ISINA and why it’s important to you.
I had an amazing experience being a part of the ISINA mentoring program. I was lucky to meet and work with the legendary composer and producer Walter Afanasieff. That was very important for my career. It inspired me and made me want to work harder on my vocal and writing skills.
What is your dream collaboration?
I would LOVE to one day collaborate with my Queen Beyonce!
You’re on a desert island and can only watch one TV show to keep yourself entertained. What is it?
All seasons of Sex in The City please haha.
What is your go-to song to sing in the shower?
The last song that I sang in the shower that wasn’t mine was Madonna’s “La Isla Bonita.”
Who is your inspiration and why?
My forever inspirations are the early years of Mariah Carey and Whitney Houston, Beyonce, and Sia. They are just so empowering and inspiring, it makes me want to keep improving and believing in myself.
Is there a future project idea you have that you’re excited to pursue?
I have four music videos that I’m working on and I can not wait to share with you guys. I am also collaborating with this amazing artist on one of my new singles that you will get to hear really soon.
Share something that has helped you stay positive during quarantine and the year in general.
MUSIC. I was 100% concentrating on my upcoming projects which was really exciting, so I didn’t even have time to be sad or bored. I have just released my new music video for Sweet Heaven, which was also keeping me very busy for the past several months.
By Aris Pangan
Photos by Arkady Gluhih