From Manila to Los Angeles, Tiana Kocher is making waves in the music scene.
If there’s one thing we’ve been seeing a lot more as of late in the R&B scene that we’ve been loving, it’s the increased representation of female Asians in the space. Rising Vietnamese artist thuy scored herself a viral hit earlier this year thanks to the bop that is girls like me don’t cry. Meanwhile, Filipino R&B rookie Denise Julia make her mark on the scene last year with NVMD and is showing no signs of slowing down as she takes her brand of R&B international.
And speaking of Pinay R&B excellence, one name you also should pay attention to is Tiana Kocher. Tiana, who was born and raised in Manila, already showed a knack for music at an early age. Later on, she moved to Los Angeles, where she currently resides, and that was when her career began to take flight.
To press play on a Tiana Kocher track is to be enveloped in harmonious vocals and killer beats that give it to you. There’s a mix of youthfulness meets assuredness that meets in her music, making for tracks that only a confident artist like Tiana can come up with.
It’s no wonder then that she’s already worked with a who’s who of big names in the industry. She’s collaborated with icons like TBOZ and Chilli from TLC and Sage the Gemini, worked with top producers like Laney Stewart, Tim Kelley, Roccstar and Darkchild, and even had Rob Schneider and Marlon Wayans appear in her Just My Type music video, no big deal. And with her new EP, up to you, dropping this August, Tiana looks to continue making waves in the scene.
Get to know more about this talented Pinay artist by reading our interview with her below.
How would you describe who Tiana Kocher is as a musician?
I feel like one of the things that make me unique is that I can’t really put myself in the a box, hence why I have a hard time describing me as an artist as I’m always evolving. But I guess that is one way you could describe me, consistently evolving and always trying to be my biggest competition.
How would you describe your style of music?
I would describe my style of music as contemporary R&B with pop and soul influences.
Was there a specific moment in your life that made you decide that you wanted to become a musician?
I wouldn’t say there was a specific moment in my life that made me decide that I wanted to become an artist as I’ve always gravitated towards the arts and music specifically. But I do recall watching Christina Aguilera’s Back to Basics tour and Stephanie J. Block’s performance in Wicked and both performances really inspired me to take the next step with my training.
How was your childhood like growing up in Manila?
If I could sum up my childhood in Manila in one word, it would be awesome. I’m so grateful to have had the upbringing I had in Manila because it exposed me to so many different cultures and really opened up my eyes to so much.
How do you think your Filipino roots influence your music?
My Filipino roots most definitely influence my music. As we all know the Philippines is an archipelago and there is so much diversity within the country. I would say that translates to my music in a way that I can make each song of mine sound very different.
Where do you find inspiration for your music?
I find inspiration for my music within my surroundings. Whether it’s my daily life, music and different sounds that I hear throughout the day, films that I watch or art that I see in different galleries and museums.
What can fans expect from your up to you EP? How different is this project from your past releases?
This EP is a little different from all the songs that I’ve released prior! I’ve definitely experimented with a slightly more pop leaning sound as I’m releasing the EP towards the latter end of summer.
How do you know when a song is a bop?
If you play it for people and they are already singing along after hearing it once!
Despite still being a rising star in the industry, you’ve worked with your fair share of big names. Do you ever find yourself having those “pinch-me” moments in your career?
All the time! Whenever I work with a producer or an artist that I look up to, I definitely have to pinch myself because it all still feels like a dream.
Which artist that you’ve worked with that you were truly starstruck by?
TLC! Working with T-Boz and Chilli was a dream and I was definitely at a loss of words for a good chunk of the recording session.
What do you think it is about you that helps you stand out in the industry?
Apart from considering myself ever evolving, I would say it’s the way that I look. There aren’t many Asian’s and Hispanic’s in the R&B game. There also weren’t many when I was growing up so I never had anyone to look up to, but I do wish to be that for little girls out there who never saw themselves represented in the music and entertainment industries.
What does it mean for a Filipino like you to be seen as a rising star in the R&B scene in terms of representation?
It means everything! I’m always proud to represent my heritage and my country. I’m so thrilled Filipinos are getting the recognition they deserve.
What song/s of yours should would-be fans check out if they want to know more who Tiana Kocher is?
Definitely Slow it Down ft. Bobby V because it marries classic and contemporary R&B and it has a really awesome feature!
Photos by Mary Mason @fitbymary
Styled by Fiona Skye @fionaaskye
Graphics by Trevor Browning @causetraffic
Makeup by Mayely Paez @mayelypaez
Hair by Jay Alarcon @jay_artistry