It’s tempting to accuse Kiana Valenciano of coasting on her dad’s fame, hallowed be his name in entertainment. She doesn’t make it easy for us, however.
It turns out Mr. Pure Energy’s daughter is Miss Pure Effortlessness. There’s the obvious sense of style she documents on her blog, making a plain tank top look simply elegant or rocking a high-slit gown like it was compulsory daywear. Then, the family talent: her sweet caress of a voice has perked ears to what else she can do beyond YouTube song covers with brother Gab and the occasional TV appearance.
Coming up: a performance at her dad’s 30th anniversary concert and graduation from design school. At a crossroads, the 21-year-old talks to B/BLOG about doing it all, from starting her own apparel line to making music people can dance to.
Yours may be our favorite fashion blog in Manila.
She’s my photographer, my yaya (laughs, pointing at Yaya Myra).
Which is why we love it, too, because you credit her.
(To Yaya) Told you. You’re popular na.
Have you always been into fashion?
I’ve just always been into fashion with my dad. Diba he has different outfit changes. He has clothes in the house that he’s had since the ‘80s and I’m like, ‘Okay, can you just save this?’ ‘Cause they’re oversized and have nice fabric and patterns. With the shoulder pads and everything (laughs).
I guess my mom doesn’t really care, she’ll just put on anything. Kuya Pao naman, t-shirt and jeans. But me, Gab, and my dad, we’ll always be like, ‘How do I look? Do I look good?’ My brother would come into my room and be like, ‘Do I look okay? Am I pogi?’ And I’d be like, ‘Oh my God, yes you are, just get out of my room.’ When we’re all together, we’ll talk about music or I’ll go, ‘Dad, look at this.’ And he’ll be like, ‘Yeah, I kind of like this one more.’ So there’s always an exchange, I guess.
You’re about to graduate from design school. Do you intend to start your own label?
Well, I really want to. I don’t want to make gowns. I’ll make a dress you can wear at 10 in the morning and a dress you can wear at 10 in the evening. And there’s also the music industry. I also want to sing and show people also what I can do. Hopefully I can do both somehow.
Can you recall the first performance you ever did for an audience?
My first ever, I was probably seven. I won an Awit Award for Best Child Recording Artist—but I was the only nominee, so it’s not really fair! (Laughs) But I recorded my first single when I was six and it was a Christmas song. Oh my God, it’s really embarrassing. I mean, it’s cute, I guess, but when I hear it, it’s kind of embarrassing. And then I sang on TV ‘cause it was released Christmas time, so they would play it a lot. And then I sang in Araneta with my dad.
Do you have qualms about recording with your dad or is it just like kicking back at home but with an audience?
We’ll pick out a song, we’ll rehearse it a few times, and he’ll be like, ‘O, Kian, you have to go talk naman a little.’ ‘Cause I’m so shy when I’m onstage. I’ll sing and be like…it’s hard. So many people are watching and I don’t want to be like the way I am now, kenkoy or whatever.
On Twitter, you posted an old picture and mentioned you used to hate doing photo shoots.
My mom found a picture and I guess it was from an old family photo shoot. So the guy behind me was doing my hair and I was sticking my tongue out. I remember those kasi when I was younger, I’d just want to play and they’d be like, ‘No, you have to sit here and you have to pose.’ I’d be like, ‘Ugh, but there are cartoons showing! We’re wasting so much time.’
Did you ever take your dad’s fame against him?
It’s hard sometimes but I guess I’m used to it? So it’s not like there’s something I want to do where I think that people will judge me. I’ll just…that’s not who I am, I guess. I grew up with it and so I am the way I am. It’s like the family business already. You know when you’re just waiting for your turn nalang? That you have to run the family business? That’s why everyone’s like, ‘Are you gonna have an album soon?’ And I’m like, ‘I don’t know, don’t ask me! I’m gonna panic.’ There’s so much pressure. I mean, Gary V. Even me—I don’t understand his significance in the music industry and all that. To me, he’s just the guy who wakes up in the morning, reads his newspaper, drinks his coffee.
What sort of music do you dig and plan to make?
If I were to have an album, I’d want to be a hybrid of Katy Perry and Rihanna. I mean I don’t want to dress like them, that’s kind of too much. But I don’t know—the music of Katy Perry, people who say they don’t like her, they still sing her songs, they’ll still dance along. And Rihanna’s just—I bow down, she’s really good.
I’ve been doing mostly slow songs. Even on YouTube, my songs are calm and everyone wants to listen to my voice because it’s like a lullaby daw. But I don’t want to be like that only! I want to make music to turn up and dance to. I want to make music for people who want to have a good time—and obviously for people my age.
What are you looking forward to?
Right now, I just want to get over school ‘cause I’m almost done. Other than that, well, I’m gonna be in my dad’s show. I have no idea what I’m gonna do yet but I was like, ‘Please dad, don’t make me sing a slow song. I want to move, I want to jump and have fun.’ So I’m looking forward to that. Hopefully, I’ll be able to do something new on the stage.
Kiana Valenciano performs with dad Gary Valenciano at ARISE Gary V3.0 on April 11 & 12 at the Araneta Coliseum.
SHOP THE STORY