Where It Started: Kaleena Zanders

Your passion and love for music can start at any age. That’s something that hangs in curiosity for many fans. What did this person listen to when they were younger? Who influenced them?

The ‘Where It Started’ series is a platform for artists of all kinds to speak on the anthems that raised them to be who they are now.

Meet Kaleena Zanders: Multi-genre artist from San Jose, California. With the intent to raise awareness about music industry toxicity, the singer-songwriter-producer recently released an emotional yet catchy, hip-hop anthem ‘Remedy.’ The artist’s distinctive enthralling energy is pictured throughout this song, as she passionately highlights the realness and severity behind struggling with substance abuse, anxiety, depression and mental health. Zanders underlines her frustration with the glorification and utilization of these topics for personal gain within the industry. Listen to her new single here and tune in with us below, as Zanders explains what keeps her admiration for the industry strong.

Where It Started: Kaleena Zanders

“I am soooo happy to share this list because these songs are the most memorable from my childhood! My mom played the actual vinyl of these artists & I used to try to mimic these legends. I learned how to beatbox from Michael Jackson’s “Who Is It” after he did it live on tv for the Oprah interview in 1993.”

“Chaka Khan is one of my favorite singers. I mimic a lot of her intonation when I sing. I used to belt “I’m Every Woman” around the house trying to match her tone perfectly.”

“Prince omg, Prince, my all-time favorite artist because he’s a multi-instrumentalist and made music in about every genre possible. He is the reason why I like to release different types of songs. Sometimes it takes more than one musical aesthetic to tell a story. “I Would die 4 U” is such a badass way to profess love for someone else.”

“My dad was a huge Luther Vandross fan. He used to play and sing Luther’s songs all the time and I swear, my dad sounded exactly like Luther back in the day. At about 4:34 in “Til My Baby Comes Home”  Luther does this amazing call and response with the choir, so fun to sing!” 

“And Notorious BIG, aka Biggie Smalls, Frank White, Big Poppa! He’s one of the reasons why I fell so hard for hip hop. I used to hide my “Ready To Die” album and sneak listen to it because my mom was not into me listening to massive amounts of explicative haha. “Juicy” was iconic and you could feel Biggie’s manifestation into a rap superstar! I get chills listening to it!” – Kaleena Zanders





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