Kiesa Rae Ellestad (born January 16, 1989), better known as simply Kiesza, a Canadian Singer-Songwriter who gathered international attention in 2014 for the hit Hideaway and its distinctive music video.
Born and raised in Calgary, Alberta, Kiesza learned tap dancing and jazz dancing while growing up, and even attempted ballet, until a knee injury put an end to that. She also joined the Royal Canadian Navy in her teenage years alongside her brother, and became a codebreaker. She wrote her first song at 18, after her parents split up. Briefly, she was into folk music, but she abandoned that once she partnered up with producer and songwriting partner Rami Samir Afuni.
She released the retro-sounding house track Hideaway in February 2014, through indie label Lokal Legend. It lit up in the UK, selling over 136,000 copies in its first week, while it reached #6 on the Canadian Hot 100. The Hideaway EP saw an American release later in the year, highlighted by a memorable Late Show performance.
Sound Of A Woman was released in October of 2014.
Tropes associated with Kiesza include:
- Action Girl: She's a veteran and a crack shot with a sniper rifle. Her athleticism shows in her dance routines.
- Bizarre Taste in Food: Claims to have invented the "pomelette," a omelette in a pizza.
- Book-Ends: The "Hideaway" video begins with Kiesza getting out of a cab that later comes to pick her up at the end of the video.
- Cloud Cuckoolander: Describes herself as "spontaneous" and claims to be "the first undocumented human being to land a commercial airplane on the moon." She won't elaborate.
- Cover Version: Of "What Is Love." Yep, she followed up "Hideaway" with Haddaway.
- Determinator: Performed the entire "Hideaway" dance routine in the video on a broken rib.
- Early-Bird Cameo: Donkeyboy's "Triggerfinger."
- Early Installment Weirdness: "Oops."
- Genre Throwback: Cites early 90s dance divas like CeCe Peniston and Robin S as influences. Don't hear that every day.
- Good-Looking Privates: She's a veteran of the Canadian military and very attractive.
- Improbable Aiming Skills: In boot camp, her first time ever firing a gun, she was so good that she was selected to join a competition taking place in the next field, up against police officers and hunters."We took 15 shots and I think I got them all into the space of like an inch; very small. I had no idea, but as we were graduating they called out my name and the chief said it was the best shot he'd ever seen."
- When she graduated, she was approached about going onto sniper training. They've never allowed a female to be a sniper in Canada before. It was never official partly for that reason, but think about it she could have ended up setting a precedent. She didn't pursue the opportunity because she didn't like the idea of killing someone she'd never met, and who couldn't see her, for reasons she just had to trust were good.
- The Oner: "Hideaway" AND the "What Is Love" cover.
- Quirky Curls: She calls it the "steam hawk".
- Silly Love Songs
- Softer and Slower Cover: Her cover of Haddaway's "What Is Love".
- Wholesome Crossdresser: The protagonist of the "Giant In My Heart" video.
- A Wild Rapper Appears!: Joey Bada$$ in "Bad Thing".
- Baby, I love the way that there's nothing sureBaby, don't stop me, hide away with me some more...