I saw Kiiara perform at Lollapalooza 2016, just after “Gold” had been released, and I was PUMPED before the show. “Gold” was my jam; I would literally beg Pandora to play it on my running radio station (I’ve since switched to Spotify; sorry P). I didn’t know any of her other music, but based on that track, I was expecting a show.
What I received was a lullaby.
Granted, it was raining, but Kiiara went onstage wearing a big green raincoat that basically consumed her entire body….and kept it on for the entire performance. The crowd wasn’t great either, so it definitely wasn’t the environment for a stand out performance, but that shouldn’t matter if you actually love what you’re doing, and Kiiara just looked really fucking bored. For the entire show. Including “Gold.”
“Messy” isn’t a bad track by any means, but I just get the same bored, tired feeling from it. There’s no emotion in her voice at all. When I saw her at Lolla, I thought maybe she was just having a bad day, so I went into listening to “Messy” with an open mind, but now I’m even more confused about how a then-20-year-old performing at one of the largest music festivals in the country didn’t have more enthusiasm. I guess she just doesn’t have it in her. For example:
She’s talking about “Gold” in this interview, but she, again, just looks and sounds so incredibly bored. Being a famous musician is not something that you just stumble upon, so she must be putting work in, but she doesn’t even know what the producer did to her song. SMH.
Despite the clear lack of any sort of emotion in “Messy,” I found myself tapping my foot to the beat, despite by biggest efforts against doing so. The track itself is fine, but, honestly, it probably would have been better with someone else singing it. I’ve heard more emotion in McDonald’s jingles.
Stick with me on this analogy: school always came easy to me. I never had to study, and I always got As. But, I had way more respect for the kids that put in hours just to get Cs. While Kiiara is making at least B-grade music, it just doesn’t seem like she’s actually putting effort in, and I’d much rather listen to music with emotion behind it and a worse structure. If Kiiara doesn’t learn how to emote soon, I don’t think we’ll hear much from her past “Messy.”