[Premiere] KIIAN Rips Rich Kids a New One in “Beverly Hell”
The “Bling Ring” has nothing on the subjects of KIIAN’s new single.
The world makes young Hollywood out to be this magical place full of perfect, rich people, but for singer KIIAN, he’s seen behind the curtain and it has an ugly side.
In “Beverly Hell,” KIIAN describes the crazy mental state of anxiety, depression, and pressure that surrounds trying keeping up with the LA crowd, and the often fake friends that the entertainment industry is seemingly plagued with. And really, if this song came out a few years ago, Sofia Coppola def would’ve put it on a soundtrack or two.
“When I was around 200 fake friends, I would constantly see the theme of trying to ‘keep up’ or be ‘perfect’ and so many people just flat out lie,” KIIAN tells Galore. “With their social media posts, etc, it’s not real. It’s what they want you to see. My approach is to be completely authentic and unapologetic. I don’t feel the need to post a picture of my jewelry or a car to spread my music with the world.”
The tune is a sick dance pop track that’ll have you singing along, “all the pretty people live in Beverly Hell,” as you scroll through those seemingly perf pics on Insta. Check the tune out here, and peep our Q&A with KIIAN below.
What is the song “Beverly Hell” about to you?
“Beverly Hell” began as a metaphor for my mental state. It was representative of the uncomfortable comfort zone that I fell into with my anxiety and depression. It was a place in my head I created where I kind of just wallowed in my misery instead of doing what I needed to to get better at the time. It took a turn when I began to hang out with a lot of influential people in the industry and began to get inspired by the illusion of everything.
People everywhere think living in LA is super glamorous — what is it really like?
It’s appearance vs reality — it’s not like the movies, nothing ever really is. But there are definitely parts of LA I find glamorous and inspiring. I do think LA is hyped up by the media to look a lot cooler than it really is. I live in the valley, because I like to be able to be away for the madness if I choose to. I would say the one downside to LA is that there are a lot more people with hidden agendas you have to watch out for, whose hearts and intentions might not be as pure as yours.
People think that you run into celebrities everywhere in LA, does that really happen? What is it like if you do spot someone?
I mean it does, yes, all the time. I’m pretty immune to it. I only care if I meet someone I really admire and get to have that moment or conversation with someone who has made an impact in my life or been an inspiration to me and my work.
Growing up in LA is much different than being someone who moves there to pursue a dream — would you say growing up in LA has an ugly side that gets covered up?
I think growing up in LA made me immune to anything that might have appealed to someone who just moved here. I never really was fazed by any glitz or glamour, and I’ve seen and experienced so much in LA. I grew up there so my whole life is in LA, and some people might think I have this perfect life, but again it’s a massive illusion. I think that “ugly side” of LA that is constantly concealed reveals itself pretty quickly if you spend enough time in Hollywood.
Have you had any challenges growing up and dealing with anxiety in this supposed “dream world” of LA?
I’ve struggled with anxiety, depression, and OCD throughout my entire life and music saved my life. Whatever challenges I faced, whether it was mental health, issues with friends, family, boys, etc. I always had my pen, paper and my voice. Music is what I found brought me out of my rut.
Do you think the people in LA are even more obsessed with looking perfect and giving off a false sense of success than other cities?
I think there’s more of a pressure to be “perfect” in LA, or at least pretend that everything is. I think you just have to be super careful with who you let into your circle. I went from 200 fake friends with hidden agendas who were so superficial and really nothing like me, to a handful of amazing, creative, loyal friends.
You worked with mysterious trio BRÅVES to record this EP — what was it like working with them?
I had the most amazing time making my EP with BRÅVES. They are the three coolest dudes ever and so damn talented. They let me completely be myself and write about whatever I wanted to — unfiltered, unapologetically — and helped me tell my story so far.
What is it about Lady Gaga and Lana Del Rey that makes you so obsessed with them?
I think that everything Gaga has done with every performance, video, and what she stands for, makes her such an inspiration to me. Gaga’s fearlessness brought out mine when I was in middle school, so I feel like if it wasn’t for her, I wouldn’t have even begun music. I began to sing and write songs at 13 because of her and her innovation with each record is super inspiring to me. Lana, I think sonically is so different and special. When I listen to her music or watch her visuals, they always convey a strong emotion in me.
What are your plans next?
I hope to share my music with as many people as possible, travel, play, live, and just really inspire people to not give a fuck and be themselves. I want them to love that person, and not try to change to fit in with what society claims is acceptable or “cool”. I hope to be an escape and an inspiration for them when they need it, and that’s really it.