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WPGM Commentary: KIANA Wants to Keep Things Between Us On ‘Secrets’

My name is KIANA and the making of my new single “secrets” was a long process that started in September 2022 as a demo that I thought I honestly wouldn’t revisit.

It’s often hard to find inspiration all the time when you’re writing or coming up with melodies, and 2022 was a year of constant writer’s block for me. I connected with producer CAMEone through Instagram mid 2022, and he had shared over a sample pack of 80s pop inspiring sounds.

It was unlike anything I had ever written to or incorporated in my music, but it was the perfect element and also the right challenge that I needed at that moment in my career to help me break my writer’s block. Me and a bunch of my producer friends spent a whole day chopping up the samples and playing around with them, and I recorded a few melodies.

One of the samples is what essentially laid the foundation for “secrets” and is how I came up with the hook melody, “it’s not a simple thing“. I repeated it several times with a bunch of mumbling before and after that later turned into words down the line.

The melody felt so fitting for this song, also inspired by 80s chorus progressions that repeat the same line over and over again. I recorded a short demo with the pre-hook and the hook melody that day, but then it was never revisited until early this year.

In January of this year – Arham, who is both a long-time friend but also a producer I work with very consistently, played me back the demos from that one session in September and the “secrets” demo immediately stood out. I was actually frustrated with myself for letting it go untouched for so long, but when you’re making music practically everyday, it’s hard to keep a record of every demo you’ve made.

We then decided to finish the song and bring it to full life. I’ve also recently posted a reel on my Instagram playing the original sample against the final production.

I knew I wanted this song to be loud, energetic, and can feel new to a young audience but also nostalgic for an older one. The 80s pop soundscapes were all something we were all very drawn to, and “secrets” wasn’t the only song we ended up making with this same theme. (But shhh you didn’t hear that from me).

“secrets” definitely inspired us to build out several other songs with a similar ambience, and that’s when I decided I’d work on an EP with this particular sound, and “secrets” would be the first single off of it.

We spent months recording and re-recording and mixing and remixing the song, until we got it right where we wanted it. Arham, Sukh and Kaevox all helped bring the record to life with live instruments, background vocals and their deep love and passion for music.

We finalized the song in June, and it immediately became my favourite song to ever create to date. The lyrics and vocals behind this is a story within itself. I really wanted to come in soft and vulnerable on the first verse, to contrast with the heavy beat, and slowly build the energy of the lyrics in sync with the cadence of the production.

I knew I wanted to keep the words of the hook, and I decided to write around it. The story is about keeping a relationship a secret between the two people involved, because you confidently know that the people around you wouldn’t be able to forgive them the way you may have. The song starts out with “Let’s just keep this between us although we said we’d keep no secrets”, setting the tone for the rest of the song.

I think the hook perfectly summarizes this universal experience. “It’s not a simple thing”, is repeated a bunch of times, almost like how much you’d have to say this to the people around you or to yourself for a sense of convincing.

Relationships come with many complexities, but when you’re not able to walk away from something that’s so deeply toxic because of an attachment or sense of reliance, it really becomes a situation that no one can really make sense of but yourself. It’s really not a simple thing.

Listen to “secrets” below and stream it everywhere else here.

Word by KIANA // Follow her on Instagram + Twitter

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