Kaleena Zanders is a queer artist who resides in Los Angeles, California. They create music, advocate for fat positivity, and love the skin they’re in! Bold had the opportunity to sit down with Kaleena and talk about their new music, struggles, and what their perfect day looks like.
Check out the exclusive interview with Kaleena below!
- Tell us a little bit about who you are and what you do.
I am a BOLD, sensitive adult child that loves music, socializing, nature and cats. I’ve made a blessed career making music, from vocal features on some of the biggest dance tracks in the world, to having my music soundtrack a handful of cool TV shows and films. I love to perform at festivals (R.I.P.), and I enjoy studying people and creating stories.
• What is your favorite part of creating music?
Working with all of my talented friends, to be honest. I am so grateful to have people in my life to create great songs with.
• How has being queer impacted you in your career/life?
I think the fact that I feel comfortable to talk about being queer in my music is an accomplishment. Growing up, I remember feeling extremely shameful to talk about it. Now, I’ve found that sharing my stories has helped others gain confidence to express themselves, and it’s also helped me with my own struggles. It has been a healing process.
• Do you believe in the body/fat positivity movement? Why (or why not) do you think it’s important?
I am not sure that it is a belief. People are living real, human experiences in the body that they were born into. It’s important for people to celebrate their bodies, no matter what they look like. I’m a thick girl and I love myself!
• What is something you have overcome to get to where you are now?
I didn’t think depression and self-doubt were things I had. I always relied on trying to be strong, always smiling and being a source of uplifting light for other people. After some major self assessment, I realized that I had a lot to get over and get through in regards to my mental health. I would say, while I am always a work in progress, those are some things I’ve had to overcome and push through.
• What was the inspiration behind your latest single, “REMEDY”?
Ray Garrison and I wrote this song about two days after Juice WRLD’s death. Substance abuse continually takes the lives of our youth, and it’s sad that certain artists are glorified and exploited in the music industry for having extreme addictions and mental issues. I pray that we learn how to help struggling people, instead of use them for personal gain.
• How has your life experience impacted your music?
Music is my life and I channel all of my interactions and inspirations into lovely moments in time. Sometimes, it feels like music is my melodic journal.
• What inspires you to be BOLD?
My fiery determination, and other people who are pioneers and leaders inspire me to be BOLD.
• What advice would you give to someone who is struggling with anxiety, body image, or self confidence?
I would speak positive affirmations out loud to oneself to help redirect some of the “negative” mind chatter. I would also find a good therapist to help get to the root of your feelings, and perhaps create new ways of managing your mind. Also, self care is major. Getting your hair done, going to the dentist, rubbing your hands in a nice scented lotion, pedicure, facial, drinking water, car wash etc. When you feel good about the care you are taking of yourself, you tend not to care about what others think of you, in my opinion.
• What advice would you give to your younger self?
I would say Kaleena, you are perfect as you are. Feel free to flourish creatively. Play more instruments and paint.
• What does your “perfect day” look like?
A perfect day for me would be a hike in the morning at 6 am, coming home to meditate, writing, drinking pressed juice, effortlessly handling emails, practicing guitar and making beautiful songs.
• What can our readers expect from you next? Is there anything else you’d like to add?
I have a ton more solo material that I will be releasing this year, and I am so proud of it! It’s that real stuff from the gut, but in a super fun way. Also, I will be trying my hand at acting. I have a big dream of starring in a superhero movie, and being in one or several of The Fast and The Furious series.