The artistic journey of Kailaya began in her hometown of Los Angeles, combining her talents as a singer, songwriter, and dancer. As a toddler, she loved to express herself through movement and started taking dance classes with a group of older, much stronger dancers. She progressed fast with the help of her ballet teacher and learned by example that perseverance and hard work pay off. From early on, Kailaya learned to take criticism with gratitude, but she always stayed true to her own way of telling her stories through choreography and improvisation. She also began taking piano lessons and practiced relentlessly every day, teaching her patience, discipline, and consistency. Soon after discovering high heels and pole dancing, Kailaya embraced her body and sexuality on her terms. Now we get the opportunity to chat with this incredible gem.
Unheard Gems: Welcome to Unheard Gems Kailaya! We are so excited to get the scoop on all things new music with you? How have you been?
Kailaya: I’ve been working so much, and I love it!
Unheard Gems: So we know a bit about you but you’re pretty fresh in the music world. Tell all our readers a bit about you as a person and artist?
Kailaya: This is my first single release, but I am sitting on a full album right now that has been building over the past couple years. I was born in Los Angeles into a Ukrainian family and eventually moved to Ukraine for half a year, two separate times. I have been using my art to get to know myself and it has been working so far. I feel as though every song, shoot, and mistakes too are telling me such important things about who I am.
Unheard Gems: Your debut single “Lately” is stellar. I love how you intertwine classic RnB with a bit of pop-isms. Can you tell us a bit about this song? What’s the story, what was it like to write, why this for your debut single?
Kailaya: Aw yea! “Lately” was not even going to be released until I met my current producer Aubren Elaine and she fell in love with it. I wrote it about my relationship with a family member and how I was hurting for so long. Writing it was a form of therapy for me. I felt like this was one of the most vulnerable songs I have written so far and that it would be perfect as my debut single. I want to start off my career as genuine as I can be.
Unheard Gems: You said on socials that you will be donating proceeds of your new single to LifeLover, a charity that provides humanitarian aid and helps the elderly community affected by the war in Ukraine. Why does this charity mean something to you and how can we help beyond listening to your single?
Kailaya: This charity was started by a family friend. I had a phone call with one of the team members and I better understood how much they have helped Ukraine. They prioritize whatever is happening and obviously right now they are helping to get people food and resources to survive these awful attacks. They are helping animals too which is so important! Please feel free to donate and read about them separate from my music as well. I will be donating a portion of proceeds to them, but any external help will be so appreciated!
Unheard Gems: On another note, you are also a dancer! How is dance playing a role in your musical journey thus far?
Kailaya: It is so important! Every music video idea I have involves some form of dance. It is a part of my artistry and will stay in my performances. Dance is another form of art I get to communicate through!
Unheard Gems: You also have quite a queer following across your socials and are transparent about your identity which is so inspirational always to see in emerging artists. How did you become so confident in your sexuality and your skin?
Kailaya: It has been three years since I came out! I must acknowledge that I was fortunate enough to be in an environment as accepting and progressive as LA. My closest family are all supportive because they see how happy I am since coming out, but it definitely took a minute to adjust from the Soviet Union mindset and values. I got to experience another environment when living in Ukraine, but I was pleasantly surprised how accepting all my friends and family were. I arrived with a hat that said, “Can’t even think straight”. My family did warn me that it can be dangerous, and I shouldn’t be as vocal, which was very hard for me because I love to talk about it. I could go on and on about this because I feel more myself than ever. I love women and I love loving women and I love being whoever I want to be without societies’ labels and standards! I want to be an artist that people can relate to and reach out to!
Unheard Gems: I would love to know if you have any advice for other emerging artists these days, if you could have received advice starting out what do you wish you were told or knew? You are just starting out, but we know you’ve been working at this for a while.
Kailaya: Trust the timing. I would get so in my head when I felt like things were going slow. The moment I let it all go and said I just want to enjoy the process of making my art, instead of focusing on when I will be able to share it; I felt like the universe said go ahead baby.
Unheard Gems: We always like to know who our Unheard Gems artists are listening to, if you could recommend to us another artist you think deserves more recognition in the music industry who would you recommend?
Kailaya: I grew up with Em Beihold and absolutely adore her. She is not only a dope human being but also so talented. I also went to college with Lucy Park and will forever be her fan.
Unheard Gems: Lastly, for all of our readers, where can they find you and your music, and is there anything else you want to leave us with that we didn’t talk about in our questions?
Kailaya: You can find me on IG @kailaya.art but also hopefully performing soon! My website is www.kailaya.art
I feel an unexplainable energy shift lately and am so excited to keep releasing and sharing the art I’ve been making behind the scenes for a few years now!!