Keeana Kee on being out and what inspired her sexy new single “Coconut Rum and Coke”

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Keeana Kee is going to be your new crush, and not just because she is gorgeous, has a captivating voice, and charming personality. She does possess all of those qualities, but this out lesbian songstress is also an inspirational woman and a voice for the LGBT community. Despite facing adversity in her formative years, Keeana remained determined to pursue a career in music,  and she taught herself to play both guitar and piano while taking vocal lessons, which you’ll soon hear have definitely paid off.

The Latvian-born model began her music career like many young hopefuls, performing in bars around London, where she was living at the time. Her magnetic voice attracted the attention of Latin icon Maffio (Nicky Jam, Marron 5, Pitbull) in Miami in the summer of 2016, and the musical partnership led to Keeana’s new single “Coconut Rum and Coke” which includes a Spanish verse written by Maffio. The accompanying music video is a  celebration of lesbian love and letting your fantasies run wild (this time, on a beach, with much to be appreciated by the female gaze).

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I had the chance to speak with Keeana about her new song and video, and why being out is important to her.

AfterEllen.Com: As a singer, why is it important to you personally to be open about your sexuality?

Keeana Kee: Singing is soul, and singing comes from the inside of your private world. If I want people to feel my music, to relate to it, how can I fake it? I have to be myself.

AE: Do you think there is still a stigma around being a lesbian in the entertainment industry?

KK: Yes, but in my opinion it’s getting much better. And it’s mainly happening because the music business has changed a lot. There are no more ‘gate keepers’ who can tell you who you have to be and what you have to sing about and put you “in the closet.” We — artists — are fortunate enough now to be able to reach out and find fans all over the world because of the Internet and social media. This way you are being judged by your music first, though homophobic comments and remarks still exist. But listeners have more options to choose from, and you can gain fans because of your music despite your sexual orientation.

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AE: Do you have a coming out story you want to share with AfterEllen readers?

KK: My story probably isn’t very different from millions of other stories. I was in a serious relationship and so much in love with my partner at that time that I couldn’t hide it anymore. I brought her to my family dinner one day. It was a complete shock for my mom. My mom was raised in a very traditional Russian family, and she has some conservative views. So when I told mom at the dinner table she was absolutely stunned, and she cried. Only my step-father, who is British, was very supportive, and he helped my mom to come around eventually. I’m still not sure she completely understands it, but she accepts me.

AE: What inspired your new video?

KK: The beat of the song and the lyrics are very sexy so I wanted the visual be romantic and spicy. We just came up with a little twist at the end to keep it interesting for the viewers.

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AE: Who are some of your female musical influences?

KK: My current obsession is Sia. Im in love with all of her songs and her incredible unique voice! My idols and forever inspirations have always been Whitney Houston, Mariah Carey and Beyonce.

AE: What do you most want listeners to take away from your music?

KK: I just hope it will make someone’s day brighter, their fantasies hotter and their dreams sexier. “Coconut Rum and Coke” is a tropical feel-good jam that I hope will bring summer to listeners in every season. And I wish that my music in general will help people to get through the day if it’s tough, or make them dance when they are happy.