We had the good fortune of connecting with Siana Altiise and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Siana, what principle do you value most?
Fullness, our self-fulfillment. It’s a journey that only some choose to take. On our paths to fullness, we get to experience both joy and tragedy- in the revelations of both who we are, and who we are not. We experience freedom in abolishment- letting go of the cultural, societal, and familial pressures we naturally desired to live up to. We have opportunity to accept who we are, and rest in ourselves, as the anomalies we were created to be. In our fullness, there is peace, and I value this immensely.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
We’d love to hear what sets you apart from others? So far, what has been setting my works apart from others has been the use of my voice as the only instrument in my works, my lack of percussion to set time, and repetitive lyrics as chants (if comprehensible). The intention behind my choice not to use percussion is to give listeners a sense of “space” and an opportunity to listen with no obligations to following a given rhythm. I want to lower the heartbeat; I want listeners to relax and get lost in the compositions with little need to consciously process any story being told. I’ve eliminated what I have felt could be “distracting” elements of the average song and left what I feel matters most in moments when we want to de-stress – the bare bones of a song to create atmosphere and the artist’s voice for relativity and connection. What you are most proud of or excited about? I am excited to create more music. I’ve had a few setbacks this year, outside of the pandemic that I’m still recovering from, but I’m thankful for the opportunity to re-connect with myself. I heard some beautiful songs, in the midst of my healing, that I’ll be working on and releasing by the end of the year. How did you get to where you are today professionally? I started singing when I lived in China from 2012-2017. I started singing lead vocals with a friend in a bar band, then sang jazz covers with a pianist, and a few bands later, I was lead female vocalist for a pretty rad 7-piece band in the heart of the city! I absolutely loved it, though some months, I was singing 7 nights week. When I moved to Atlanta, I didn’t feel like looking for a band, so I started using two loopers and became a “one (wo)man band”. I didn’t think much of it at the time, though I loved the process, friends and relatives liked it quite a lot. I ended up being invited to speak and perform at TEDxAtlanta and then at TEDxCentennialParkWomen. This was my introduction to seeing how music was needed outside of entertainment. This is when I started approaching these compositions as tools for relaxation. From this, I have built corporate workshops surrounding the idea of music being a tool for increasing productivity, lowering anxiety, and its intentional uses as tools to accomplish particular tasks throughout the day. It’s been a unique experience so far. How did you overcome the challenges? Often times, it is my own inner critic that I have to continue silencing. No matter how many crowds I have performed in front of, I still have to work through the nerves and negative thinking about how the compositions will be received. I overcome these thoughts by stepping further into myself, honestly. I believe this is part of what I was created to do, so why be afraid of it? The other side of this though, is talking to future clients about the music approach that I use to work with their teams. It usually takes a few conversations before I get to a demo. This has been a good challenge though. I am getting much better at being my own manager 🙂 What are the lessons you’ve learned along the way? I have learned to take my own advice: “Let’s just slow down.” To this day, I still want to do everything all at once and wonder why I still have some projects half-done; I got tired! I’ve experienced burnout, and it’s not fun at all. I learned the value of hard work at a young age. Now I’m learning how to pace myself. What do you want the world to know about you or your brand and story? I have a passion for people, and I have a passion for peace. My life’s work brings those two elements under the same umbrella. I compose music well, so I use music to create peace(ful moments) for people. This is the simple algorithm that I have used to figure out my “why”. We have learned to be okay with stress; some of us have even learned how to create it just to experience something familiar. I create opportunities to experience peace (quieting the mind and relaxing the body), even if only momentarily, my hope is that, once people experience peace once, they will start to pursue it independently, in place of its stressful counterpart.
Any great local spots you’d like to shoutout?
This is great question!
Monday – Breakfast: at Chattahoochee Coffee Company – Lunch: Home – Dinner: Upbeet
Tuesday – Breakfast: Homegrown – Lunch: Picnic on the Mountain – Dinner (and drinks): Monday Night Brewing
Wednesday – Breakfast: Home – Lunch (and shopping): Dekalb Farmers Market – Dinner: Green Sprout
Thursday – Breakfast: Ria’s Bluebird – Lunch (and coffee): Cacao Cafe – Dinner: Bar Mercado
Friday – Breakfast: Rising Son – Lunch: Banshee – Dinner: Krog Street Market
Saturday – Breakfast (and coffee): Taproom Coffee – Lunch: Picnic in the Kirkwood Urban Forest – Dinner (and drinks): El Myriachi
Sunday – Breakfast: Julianna’s Coffee + Crepes – Lunch (and day drinking): Raging Taco – Dinner: Chai Pani
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My mentor, SFC (Ret.) Jeff Kennedy, has been pivotal in my growth. He was one of my high school JROTC Instructors, so he’s known me since I was 14 years old. His life experiences, wisdom, and desire to build up the next generation has been paramount to my success. He’s the Founder of the non-profit, “You Cannot Be What You Cannot See”- a youth motivational program, where he’s mentored well over 2,000 youth in the state of Kentucky. He teaches underserved teens self-care, self-motivation and how to add value to themselves, their family, community, school and their own dreams. Motivation is his primary language- he can’t NOT speak it. I’m absolutely thankful for him as both a mentor and father-figure.
(starting at the top with the photo taken behind two people) 1. Holly Rene/SOFAR Atlanta 2. SOFAR Raleigh-Durham 3. TEDxAtlanta 4. Rio Chui 5. Rio Chui 6. Rio Chui 7. Daley Kappenman 8. Lex Dominguez/SOFAR Atlanta