If the pandemic did not happen, Tiana Kocher would be out there creating music. A year earlier, she had even made it to the Top 40 Indie Chart with her debut record “Just My Type” produced by the Co-Captains in Holywood. But it’s not that she has stopped making more music for her fans and admirers.
Tiana, thankfully, has a lot of is inspiration. Not just as a singer, but also as a prolific musical writer. She shares, “A lot of things inspires me. I just write about things that I just kind of go through or that I see my friends going through. if they’re struggling with something, I try and write about that. Or if I just feel like I want a release of some things that had been bothering me in my head, I write about that. I take inspiration from anything and everything, even in the littlest things.”
Being based in LA, where there’s constant action and creativity, has not only given her inspiration. She has also acquired a new perspective. Tiana confides, “Being surrounded by so many creatives and seeing how different my friends interpret things and how different everybody’s minds are working, there’s really no definition to self-expression. Like you can, for example, get a beat and I can give the same beat to my friend but I can come up with a completely different song than his or hers but that doesn’t mean that mine is better, that doesn’t mean hers is better. It’s just different — and that doesn’t mean that hers is right and mine is wrong. Everybody’s brain is programmed differently, and everybody has that uniqueness to themselves so that everybody brings something different to the table. Like I could never do what you do and vice versa. So, there’s definitely no right or wrong answer and self-expression is just self-expression no matter what it is.”
When Daily Tribune interviewed Tiana, she had just been back to the Philippines two months earlier, as soon as the lockdown was announced and she could still take a flight. Notwithstanding the limitations imposed, she still keeps to a routine as a musician. She declares, “I think it’s actually very important to have a routine so that you don’t lose track of time and you’ll still feel accomplished every day.”
She misses her friends in LA, though, not the least reason their being a source of inspiration, too, as they share their stories with her. “I write a lot about love and things I go through in relationships whether it’s with a boy or with friend and, it’s a bit difficult now to write about the same things because I haven’t been able to see my friends in a long time. It’s hard when you have been with people physically for so long and now I’m just able to talk to them virtually. You can only get so much out of each other through FaceTime or Skype or Zoom.
Tiana writes contemporary Rhythm & Blues, but she writes some pop, too. She listens to a lot of late 90s and early 2000s R&B. She likes Tamia, Aaliyah, Brandy, Monica, SWV, CLC, all of them the musicians she grew up listening to. “Up to this day I always listen to their music,” she reveals.
And of the songs that are out on platforms like Spotify, YouTube, and iTunes, “my most personal is called ‘Don’t Trip’ which I released only this April, so it’s been over two months. I partnered with Red Cross and TikTok and created a Don’t Trip challenge with that, and we were able to donate P150,000 to the Red Cross for our frontliners. I was really happy with the outcome.”
On what advice she would give young people like her, she goes: “It depends. I’m acquaintances with people that I see that are kind of making rash decisions and just kind of doing things in the spur of the moment like ‘oh my gosh I’m going to buy this car but I won’t think of how much debt I’m going to be in five years from now,’ stuff like that. But I think that everybody is their own different person and I can’t tell them what’s right or wrong because everyone was raised differently, and everybody has different morals. So, I just kind of let life lead me to where I’m supposed to be and just kind of mind my own business. People ask me for advice I give them my advice, but I don’t expect them to listen to me because at the end of the day their conscience is their conscience and they’ll know in their gut if what they’re doing is right or wrong.”
As for herself and what life has dealt her so far, she believes, “Everything happens for a reason. So, the best gift is when people come into your life to teach you a lesson. Whether it’s a good lesson or a bad lesson. I wouldn’t say that I’m the same person that I was six months ago because since then I’ve met different people that have gone through different things. So, definitely the best gift God has given me is just being able to grow, the gift of life, and to be able to learn from people, learn from mistakes and apply the lessons into your future.”