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Kiara Lanier may be preparing for to release her debut album, but the upcoming Tongues & Teaspoons is far from the Chicago native’s first mark on the local Renaissance.

After breaking through with a talented run on American Idol in 2011, she featured on the lead track to Chance The Rapper’s now-iconic Acid Rap project, “Good Ass Intro”. The upcoming collection, teased earlier this month with the single, “Start Over Again” is an amalgamation of things tried, hearts broken and the lessons learned through the regeneration of healing. In short, she’s channeled the last six years into a singular introduction to the world.

Sitting across a table on a recent sunny Friday afternoon, Lanier described the process the led to the songs on the project.

“Its very symbolic I started these songs a lot of them with an ex-boyfriend who is a muse for a lot of these songs. For someone I was with off and on for six or seven years and we’d broken up,” she explained over a pair of cocktails and a plate of calamari. “He ended up moving to New York and I was still left with all these unfinished songs and its really, the completion of this project is the completion of that relationship and also the beginning of me fully as a musician having my own work out. So it’s really honestly like a closing of something and an opening of something else that I had to complete it to do.”

For Lanier, art outweighs profit or fame. Her journey over the course of the last five years has been a deep-rooted and eclectic one, experimental and expressive in nature. During that time she performed as back up for acts like The O’My’s and Chance while also producing vocalizing evenings with producers like Peter CottonTale, jazz acts, eventually falling in with indie rock outfit Wild Belle who she spent time on tour with, in 2016.

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