On tour in Europe for the first time, the New York singer and instrumentalist has poured her experiences of romance, spirituality and ‘feeling broken’ into remarkable songcraft
When KeiyaA dropped her debut album Forever, Ya Girl, on Bandcamp in March 2020, she didn’t have internet service on her phone, and had to go downstairs to connect to the local video store’s wifi to post about the release on her Instagram. “I just remember letting hours pass by and going back downstairs and seeing thousands of likes. I’ve never gotten thousands of likes ever in my life,” says the Brooklyn-based experimental instrumentalist, singer and producer.
KeyiaA is touring Europe for the first time this week, including six gigs across the UK, but despite the success, releasing an album during the early days of a pandemic has been “bittersweet and hella confusing”, she says. “I’m still very much a regular person, like everyone else. So I’ve been dealing with the shock and confusion. The constant shifts. Not knowing what’s going to happen next. I’m already an anxious person,” she admits over Zoom. There’s a silver lining. “I’ve been a professional musician for the first time. I’ve been cutting my teeth and learning the ropes and I’m just so fucking grateful that this is my life.”