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Kiesza talks 'Hideaway,' '90s dance-pop, and her upcoming album

Kiesza

Back in January, an obscure Calgary-born singer named Kiesza quietly posted to her SoundCloud an immediately addictive dance-pop track that brings early-’90s diva-fronted club pop thundering back to life. Nine months, a viral music video, and one very impressive late-night appearance later, “Hideaway” is a hit (currently at number 55 after nearly two months on the Hot 100), anticipation for her upcoming album is reaching a fever pitch, and Kiesza has become one of the year’s breakout stars. EW reached her by phone on her way to perform at the iTunes Festival in London to talk about “Hideaway” and what we should expect from her upcoming full-length.

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Dance-floor queen Kiesza goes acoustic to cover Nirvana

One of the most delightful singles of this summer is Kiesza’s “Hideaway,” which has been steadily climbing the charts off the strength of its very accurate emulation of the kind of club-pop that ruled radio in the early ’90s. It’s a great sound, and a great point in the retro revival cycle to specialize in it, but the Calgary-born singer appears to have more range than the average dance-floor diva.

For her installment of British music mag NME‘s Basement Sessions video series, Kiesza covers Nirvana’s “Heart-Shaped Box,” an unexpected choice made even more surprising by the sparse arrangement of bluesy vocals and flamenco-inflected fingerpicked guitar that she brings to it.

Kiesza does 'Hideaway' (and its outdoor dance sequence) live on Kimmel

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“Hideaway,” by Calgary, Alberta’s leading house music diva Kiesza, has grown into a breakout hit slowly and organically, entering the Hot 100 last week nearly half a year after its video was released. The video, with its impressive one-take dance sequence on the streets of Williamsburg, deserves a lot of the credit for the song’s success, but after racking up over 60 million views on YouTube it’s now paradoxically both a hot new viral hit and (for her house-music-loving base who latched onto it months ago) old news.

Kiesza and her camp have figured out a clever way to put “Hideaway” in front of a whole new audience while freshening it up for its pre-existing audience, and that’s by repeating the video’s choreography, this time in LA, in a single shot for Jimmy Kimmel Live. Impressively, she, her dancers, and the camera crew made it down a stretch of the most tourist-packed sidewalks in the city without any of them ruining the shot—which is almost as impressive as the dancing.

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