Artist on the Verge: Kiesza

It's a cold and windy spring day in Brooklyn's Williamsburg nabe, so singer Kiesza's distinctive crimson bouffant is obscured under a black hood. Still, that doesn't prevent a fan from recognizing her on the street, mere blocks away from where she filmed the single-take, epically choreographed video for her breakout single, "Hideaway": "Wait a minute, I know you! Aren't you the girl from the dance video?"

This is the first such encounter for Kiesza, 25, but it certainly won't be the last. "Hideaway" is a joyous celebration of everything you loved about early-'90s dance music, with modern flourishes -- repurposing moves from "Poison," "2 Legit 2 Quit" and Janet Jackson over a beat that suggests Robin S. remixed by Disclosure. At the center of the clip is Kiesza, who puts years of ballet, tap and jazz training to effortless use -- even though, unbeknownst to her at the time, she had a broken rib. "Two days after the shoot, I swelled up so badly I couldn't move for a month," she says.

An indie release under Berklee College of Music pal Rami Afuni's Lokal Legend, "Hideaway" has racked up over 1 million views since posting to YouTube on Feb. 12 -- aided mainly by word-of-mouth, as Kiesza has declined offers from Vevo and major labels to help push the clip. "I don't want the video to be monetized -- I don't want people to have to sit through the ad," she says.

After "Hideaway" hits digital retailers on April 12, however, look for an announcement regarding a major-label partner for her future recordings and touring, which will begin in the United Kingdom this spring. "We still want to operate as an indie label, though," says Kiesza. "I think everything has worked so far because it has been really, really ­genuine."


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