Selkirk grad Kiesza swung by the Ellen Degeneres show on September 24 and performed a thrilling rendition of her electro-pop hit “Hideaway”, which has been viewed over 155 million times on YouTube since she released it earlier this year.
“Backstage The Ellen Degeneres Show. She is so cool! I stepped it up in my Fendi suit. Just for Ellen!” the singer posted on her Facebook wall that day.
Slinking, twirling and strutting across the stage and through the audience, the 25-year-old seemed right at home in the international spotlight.
“But you’re just a chance I take to keep on dreaming, you’re just another day that keeps me breathing,” she sang.
“You’re just a hideaway, you’re just a feeling, you let my heart escape beyond the meaning.”
Meanwhile, fans at home have been enthusiastically following her progress here in Nelson.
“Kiesza, the faculty of Selkirk college, your school, did their arrangement of Hideaway tonight with a tribute to you. It was very cool. Congratulations to you,” posted Patricia Henman, showing that the Nelson institution is proud of its newly world-famous alumni.
Recently, Kiesza (whose real name is Kiesa Ella Ellestad) has been touring in preparation for the debut of her new album Sound of a Woman, which will be released on October 21.
Kiesza has been compared to Michael Jackson, and said she’s also inspired by big-voice divas like Barbara Streisand and Celine Dion.
She has written for Rihanna, Kylie Minogue and Icona Pop. On her upcoming album she teamed up with Joey Bada$$ and Mick Jenkins for two tracks.
The 13-song album (which features a bonus iTunes track) also features an emotional, acoustic version of “Hideaway”.
Kiesza spent her teens as a ballerina, competed in the Miss Universe Canada pageant and joined the Canadian navy all before diverting her attention to Selkirk. From there she obtained a scholarship to Berklee College of Music in Boston.
Though she started out singing mostly folk music, Kiesza eventually became interested in more uptempo work under the tutelage of producer Rami Samir Afuni. Together they created her new sound, which has been compared to that of singer Haddaway, who sung the hit 1993 song “What is Love?”