KIESZA may no longer be able to hideaway from the limelight, but she still has much love for the gay community that supported her before her international breakthrough.

It’s one of the reasons why the Canadian singer/songwriter will headline Mardi Gras’ iconic Harbour Party with a specially-produced live performance.

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“I’m just ecstatic about it. It’s probably going to be one of the best shows of my entire life,” she said, after the Star Observer described the party’s location on the foreshores of Sydney’s famous harbour, with the Opera House and Harbour Bridge as a backdrop.

“I’ve never experienced [Sydney’s Mardi Gras] before, but it looks like so much fun. I’m really eager to experience it and excited to be having my first Mardi Gras in Australia.”

Kiesza said that even before her breakthrough song Hideaway climbed music charts around the world, the gay community supported her as a new experimental artist.

“When only a few venues would let me play my music back in New York City and Boston as a result of not having a following, the gay community was always open-minded and gave me a chance on their stages,” she said.

“I have so much respect and appreciation for the community and I am so grateful for their continuous support.”

Kiesza

Hideaway reached number one on the UK singles chart and was a top 10 hit in Canada and on the US Billboard dance charts. Its accompanying video clip has also garnered 180 million views and she has had guest performances on the popular TV shows of Ellen, David Letterman and Jimmy Kimmel.

It even caught the attention of Madonna, who posted a video on Instagram filming herself in a mirror with two of her dancers doing choreography to Hideaway.

“When I first saw the video I didn’t realise it was Madonna, and then when it finally clicked I was just stunned,” Kiesza recalled.

She also said her upcoming visit for Harbour Party would be her first time in Australia.

“I’m definitely looking forward to the weather, seeing as it will be February and below freezing where I come from,” she said.

“I’ve always wanted to visit Australia after meeting so many incredible Australian people over the years. I’m definitely going to need the most powerful sunscreen on the face of the planet.”

Kiesza joins a Harbour Party lineup that includes Bimbo Jones fronted by Lee Dagger (UK), DJ Kitty Glitter (Australia), DJ Dan Murphy (Australia), and DJ Du Jour (Australia).

Harbour Party is on Saturday, February 28. Details and tickets: mardigras.org.au/events/harbour-party

This story was first published in fg, the Star Observer’s festival guide for the 2015 Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras. It’s available now. Click here to read the e-book version.

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