Published on April 4th, 2023 | by MuzikScribe


LIYAH KATANA: A Breath Of Fresh Air


Now let’s hop right into this latest single / video, “STR8” — Tell me about this particular track; how did it come to fruition?

“STR8” was written and recorded January 2022; I wrote this song while in the middle of going through a difficult break up. I wanted to write a song that would apply to me in the near future about the strength I would have. “STR8” tells a detailed story about realizing when it’s time to walk away, and what that looks like. After months of preparation and post production, I’m so thrilled to share this lead single off my upcoming EP. •

Of course “STR8“ comes courtesy of your still forthcoming EP, 8 — Conceptually, what does that title represent both to and for you?

8 is my favorite number, and I am born on the 8th of September which also holds deeper meaning. 8 in numerology means prosperity, self- confidence, wisdom, inner strength and balance. Throughout this recording process of my upcoming EP, I had to figure out what each of those words mean to me. While writing and recording these songs, I was stepping into my self-confidence and inner strength. •

How then does “STR8” either differ and / or compare to previous LIYAH KATANA entries?

“STR8” is different than the previous songs I have written because I was experiencing different emotions and challenges. In my Forevaliyah project, I spoke about the fun and excitement of being in love. I will always be myself no matter what challenges I go through, but I will also be honest and show the reality of it. •

As a songwriter, when you sit down to pen your lyrics where do you draw your inspiration from?

Most times, I draw my inspiration from my own personal experiences, or it could be experiences that my friends go through, or even my parents. For me, as a Creative, my inspiration comes from all aspects of my life. I am living to be a storyteller through music. •

Reflecting, tell me your whole inception into music — When did you first become interested in it? And, how did it all begin for LIYAH KATANA?

As early as 4 years old, I was always singing, playing music, and listening to my parents’ music. There is never a time I could remember without music. Deep down, I always knew my purpose was to be a musician. At 17, I started writing to YouTube beats…then shortly after that, I met my now producer, T-Nyce. •

Now you’re a native of Toronto, correct? So growing up in ‘Queen City,’ who all did / do you consider to be your strongest musical influences?

I was born in Toronto and grew up in Mississauga, so growing up it would be a common thing for my mother to play artists such as Melanie Fiona, Tamia and Celine Dion. However, my strongest musical influences were artists like Jill Scott, India.Arie, Musiq Soulchild, Anthony Hamilton, Mariah Carey, Alicia Keys, Jay-Z, Nas, Kanye West, Rihanna and Beyoncé. •

In having said that, how do you classify your overall sound and / or style?

I would say my sound is most definitely influenced by ‘80’s, ‘90’s, and 2000’s R&B, but I also bring my own original, modern flare. I would say my sound is also edgy and a breath of fresh air. •

What particular string of events actually led to your current signing to / with NYCESOUND PRODUCTION / ARTIUM RECORDS / DEF JAM RECORDINGS?

When I was 17 years old, a family friend introduced me to T-Nyce. After two years of being developed by Nycesoundproduction, NO ID’s A&R reached out to us after hearing my second single “Slide” on a playlist. Shortly after, we had meeting with NO ID who then brought us together with Tunji Balogun the CEO of Def Jam. •

With that being said, how do you classify your overall sound and / or style?

I would classify my sound as bold, sharp and powerful. My music feels good, I take pride in my lyrics, my harmonies, my delivery and the entire creative process. •

Switching gears here, what exactly do you want people to get from your music?

I want people to see that strength doesn’t look one way. We all need strength to get through difficult situations with our friends, our partners, our families or even with ourselves. I want people to see that it’s OK to change, it’s OK to grow and become a better person through our hard times. •

If you could collaborate with any one artist, living or dead, who would it be and why?

I would collaborate with Kendrick Lamar. I admire his creativity and his delivery, and he does an amazing job of painting a detailed picture of the experiences he goes through. To collaborate with such a gifted person, would be something that I would always cherish. •

If you could play any venue in the world, which one would you choose and why?

I would love to perform at Madison Square Garden. It’s one of the world’s most famous entertainment venues, and I would be thrilled to be in front of such a large group of people. Even as a kid I would search up pictures and wonder what it (would) be like. Would definitely be a dream come true. •

On a more serious note, are you happy with the current state of R&B?

I love what the current females of R&B are doing and the music they create. I also feel that there is a lack of competition. I’m blessed that I get the chance to compete and dig my feet in this game. •

What do you feel has and will continue to be the key to your longevity?

I think the key to longevity is to always be living life. Always live so you can create something real and meaningful. Of course be easy to work with and collaborate with others. Be serious about your craft. •

Do you have any other outside / additional (future) aspirations, maybe even completely away from music?

I would love to become a kindergarten teacher. I love kids and I love childcare. I used to be in a co-op program where I worked in a kindergarten classroom and loved it. •

To date, what has been your biggest career moment(s), at least thus far anyway?

My biggest career moment would have to be playing my EP for NO ID. He has played such a big part in my childhood with the music he has worked on and produced. The fact that he took the time to listen to my new EP top to bottom was mind blowing for me. •

What’s an average day like for you?

The average day for me would be to wake up early, workout…then I would do my vocal practice for 30 – 45 minutes. I would get ready (while listening to my music of course), then head over to the Nycesoundproduction office. At the office we would have meetings, create content, make music and create a blueprint. Some days I would have 6/7 hour studio sessions or I would be travelling with my team. •

Please discuss how you interact with and respond to fans…

I LOVE to interact with my fans through DM, I love hearing voice notes they send me and I definitely send them voice notes back. I love to go on Twitter and see what’s being said. My supporters are so amazing and every chance I get to talk with them makes it all worth it. •

What is your favorite part about this line of work? Your least favorite? And, why?

My favorite part about being an artist / creative is that it doesn’t feel like work. I get the opportunity to work with amazing people everyday, create with them and make bangers in the studio. I love every aspect of this type of work, and I couldn’t imagine anything else at this moment. •

What advice would you have for someone wanting to follow in your footsteps?

The advice I would give would be to invest in yourself. Invest time, energy, hard work, be serious that this is what you want to do and figure out your resources. A team is a necessity. But overall, be yourself and have fun. •

Looking ahead, say five or maybe even ten years from now, where do you all see yourself?

I would like to be one of the top artists out. Still dominating, still on tour, still dropping amazing projects…and I would like to have few Grammys  under my belt. •

As for the immediate, what’s next for you, LIYAH?

My upcoming EP 8 is something I’m so eager to give to the world, along with some surprises before then! I am rehearsing and preparing for some live shows as well. •

Any “parting” words for our readers?

Please go stream “STR8” on all platforms and the music video is available on YOUTUBE!! I’m LIYAH KATANA on all socials.


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