EVOLVER | Kia Fay

kia fay

hair stylist & jazz singer

San Jose 


 

she’s a jazz singer, a small business owner and all-around dope soul. in other words: she’s GOALS. meet kia fay. 

what do you do — professionally, personally, passionately? 

“i’m an artist at heart. i tried to avoid admitting it to myself for a long time but life became so much more joyful when i embraced that truth. i own a salon where i specialize in caring for natural textured hair. i don’t take that responsibility lightly, but i also get the privilege of having tons of fun at work with my awesome clients. i’m also a vocalist, i get immense amounts of joy performing with my band Ghost & The City. we’re based in Oakland, which is my hometown and in my humble opinion the best place in the world. i love spending time with my friends, and while i’d prefer in-person time i’ll take virtual/digital time if that’s what keeps us and others safe and healthy.”

 

what path led you here? 

“a long and winding one. i could write a novel about the host of twists and turns, but to sum it up i’ve received the gift of resilience from my ancestors. i come from folks who didn’t necessarily have an easy go at life and that greatly informed my worldview.”

 

something you’ve learned along the way? 

“people are much more alike than they realize. our troubles are shared, we have so much commonality and overlap. people from vastly differing backgrounds have so much shared experience that they don’t realize because of the different ways our society stratifies people based on color, income, and other factors.”

 

what is life like right now for you? 

“life is in constant flux. i’m doing my best to listen to Bruce Lee and be like water. i try to take care of the things i can manage, without overtaxing myself. i think it’s impossible to articulate the toll that the pandemic and the killing of Black and Brown people has taken on me, but i’m doing my best to continue to do the work necessary to grow and provide.”

 

WHAT’S IMPORTANT TO YOUR EVERYDAY? 

“giving myself space to process the trauma inherent to the Black experience, especially at this time. it’s become critically important to listen to my body, especially my instincts. being kind to myself and to others, more now than ever. mindfulness above all.”

 

how are you staying healthy? 

“i love walking with the kiddo, and taking courses with friends who are in the healing arts and fitness. this is an opportunity to be more mindful about my consumption and how i nourish myself.”

 

…and connected? 

“i’m doing my best to rotate through various methods of communicating virtually. it’s also really easy to get over inundated with digital interactions, so being flexible is key. gotta move the meeting time? cool. gotta do a meeting with kids in the background? fine. that’s real life and we need to lean into what our realities are rather than trying to put up a front right now.”

 

what are you listening to? reading? watching? 

“i’ve been listening to a ton of Angela Muñoz, she’s an unbelievable artist on the Linear Labs label. her track “I Don’t Care” has kept me as sane as possible these past months. i’m a big fan of the Jazz Is Dead collective. i’ve also been listening to a lot of Dua Lipa’s new album which is incredible to dance to. i’m reading The Body Keeps The Score, by Bessel Van der Kolk, MD. i’m always watching re-runs of shows that make me feel comfortable like Star Trek TNG, Golden Girls, The Office and Drag Race.”

 

what are you wearing? 

“i find myself throwing on my orion leggings all the time, and the one crop top has already become a favorite piece. i love the feel of the organic cotton racerback, i have really sensitive skin and it feels so soft and luxe.”


 

all-around life hack you swear by?

“always carry wet wipes. always. (thanks for the tip, Momma!)”

 

advice to other women navigating it all? 

“be gentle with yourself, times are very hard and we tend to underestimate how much we carry with us on the daily.”


 

guilty pleasure? 

“meme culture, though i can’t say i’m guilty about it. mindless TV, i love a good makeover show. i’ve always loved seeing people experience a new vision of themselves.”

 

mantra? 

“handle your scandal. shout out to my sis Naomi for teaching that one in college. it’s guided me well for years!”

 

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