Multi-talented and multi-passionate, singer-songwriter Kianah AKA TwoLips’ electro-funk meets R&B addictive beats are circulating through our playlist. Releasing her EP Yellow Gold almost a year ago she has since been frequenting a collective of live music events, most recently performing at Echo Park Rising and soon will be hitting the stage at all-female event Mothership. A true visionary, Kianah is artistically inspired by emotions and proudly speaks out about her Alaskan Native roots, paving the way for a new generation of activists that will not let generations of sacred traditions pass by unprotected.
Where did the name TwoLips come from?
For a while, I did graffiti (though I was no good). A couple of friends and I were throwing some names around and I chose to write TwoLips. I liked how the letters looked and I wanted to choose a name that was feminine. When I started releasing music, I did it under the same name.
What inspires you as an artist?
I feel inspired by emotions, emotional revolution, previous generations, deep and undeniable truths, life’s possibilities, sensuality, and so much more. I’m a desert baby and frequently find myself having mirage-like visions and ideas.
How do you feel to be performing at Mothership, an empowering festival supporting and recognizing incredible womxn?
A festival BY women FOR women? After seeing photos last year, I knew I wanted to perform at MOTHERSHIP this year. When the offer came, I nearly cried. SO EXCITED. It means so much to be among the artists chosen. I’ve never performed at anything like this. I’ve been telling everybody about it. I want it to continue to grow.
Who would be your dream collaboration?
Can someone please let Thundercat know that I’d love for him to produce a track co-written and performed by me and Sade? Beyoncé’s backup dancers are gonna be there. Santana is gonna play a solo on the bridge. So is Kamasi Washington. I’d love Bjork’s input as well on stage and light design. I’d also love to do a duet with King Krule.
You’re also an amazing painter! How did you get into that?
Oh, thank you! I started painting last year when I was feeling musically blocked. I hadn’t created anything in months so I decided to buy myself a canvas. Painting proved to be incredibly therapeutic and I got obsessed. Finishing paintings gave me a sense of accomplishment during a time when that feeling was rare.
Any other hidden talents you want to share?
I’m a dancer as well. Mostly hip hop and modern. I dance in music videos, in the grocery store aisle, and during my own performances. Dance was my first passion.
What’s one issue that is really important to you?
The United States must do a better job of honoring the treaties it made with the Native American peoples. These treaties were meant to secure the tribes’ rights and resources. Nothing can be done to repair the cultural and actual genocide of Native Americans but my people need protecting. The global climate is changing. The land, water, and traditions need protecting. The treaties negotiated between tribes and the federal government are being violated on a daily basis. Indigenous people struggle to maintain their way of life in a society that runs on consumerism and exploitation. I’ll step off my soapbox now.
Can you share with us what you’re currently working on?
I’m releasing a music video for my next single “Slow Sex”. It’s a funky anthem of female pleasure and power. The video was created by an all-female cast and production team. I creative directed it myself. My team really brought it together. I can’t wait to show everyone!
Musician: TwoLips @twolipsmusic
Designer: Hardeman @hardeman_
Photographer: Lloyd Galbraith
Makeup/Hair: Calvin Chen @pinkslutskill
Set Design: Talon McKee @hallowedtalons
Accessories: Betsy Flores @betsyflorescollection
Special Thanks to Underpin PR @underpinpr