Sena Kana is changing the game with her unique sound and gorgeous voice. She has this knack for perfect pop melodies that you can't shake. We talked to her about her song "Up" which is currently blowing up. With over 85 million streams she has the world in the palm of her hand. We talked to her about the song and the biggest challenge she's faced in the music industry.
How did you get started in music?
Sena Kana: I started to take singing seriously since I was in middle school. But I always loved to sing since I was a little child, and I was just singing all the time. I also loved to watch movies, especially Musical films. Since Japan is an island nation, people generally tend to feel apart from the foreign countries because of the sea separating us. But thanks to movies, although I did not travel overseas, the world outside felt very close to me. Also going back to music, Singing was like magic, and it made me feel like anything was possible. Even when I’m sad or down, singing gave me power, calmed me, and by singing I was able to be nicer to the people around me.
Tell me about your song “Up” what’s the story behind it?
Sena Kana:The song is about elevating oneself and going “up” above the obstacles and walls that may be surrounding you. No matter what the world tells you, you keep on encouraging yourself. Then you notice your feelings going “up”, and realize that the intimidating walls that you felt that existed were actually quite miniscule, and not worth worrying about.
What was it like working with Wiz Khalifa?
Sena Kana: I always loved and respected Wiz Khalifa, so it became such a precious experience. It was such a pleasure and an honor to be able to work with him.
How does it feel to have 85 million streams in the U.S.?
Sena Kana: I wished to have the song heard by as many people as possible when releasing it, so I’m very happy to see it coming true.
Why do we need more female Japanese representation in American music?
Sena Kana: Not just the female Japanese but people from various cultural backgrounds should all influence each other. I believe that music has power beyond borders, culture, and race.
What has been the biggest challenge for you in your career?
Sena Kana: To keep spreading my message to the world without being bound by stereotypes. Not running away from yourself and the obstacles that come up, and keep on challenging something new everyday.
What’s your best piece of advice for young women?
Sena Kana: Please be true to what your heart tells you. Do not give up, love yourself, believe yourself, and you will shine.
Music aficionado and editor-in-chief at The New Nine. I'm most at home at festivals and concerts. I would love to start a band of all Kanye covers all on keys. I'm a dedicated Jack White fan and when I saw him in concert it changed my life. I'd never seen someone so passionate about music and preserving its history. Every project he does I just worship. Follow me on Twitter and Insta: @etreadgold