Born as Nancy Kiersten Ebsen in Santa Monica, California (USA) on 14 January 1958, Kiki Ebsen spent the first three years of her life on Hutton Drive in Beverly Hills, California. Then the family moved to Balboa Isle, where she enjoyed the waterfront and learned to sail from her dad. She moved at age 11 to a secluded ranch in the Malibu mountains. There, her love of horses led to several successful years as a champion equestrian. At 18 she left horses to pursue a career in music.
Kiki started playing piano as a child, following in the footsteps of her mother, aunt, and grandmother. Picking up melodies effortlessly by ear, she began composing her own songs at an early age. She pursued her love of music balanced by her love of animals and nature while growing up in the coastal town of Balboa Island, California and on a ranch in the Santa Monica Mountains. While Kiki was in high school, her father Buddy Ebsen developed a family troupe, during a hiatus from filming the CBS television show, Barnaby Jones, that went on a tour of southern California. Kiki sang and played keyboard, brother Dustin played drums, and sister Bonnie sang and danced with Buddy, while older sister Susannah was the company manager, and another sister, Cathy, helped with transportation when her schedule showing horses permitted. The Ebsen troupe traveled to dates in Merced, Visalia, Placerville, Sacramento, San Jose, and El Camino College in Torrance. An equal amount of time was spent studying acting with her mother, performing and singing in several productions before graduating from high school.
Ebsen then focused on music primarily as her career interests narrowed, and honed her skills in countless California garage bands. Ebsen went on to earn a degree in classical voice from California Institute of the Arts. Just out of college, Kiki won Collegiate Entertainer of the Year and from there embarked on a touring career with the multiplatinum recording and touring band, Chicago, as a keyboardist and MIDI tech. Two tours and one record later, Ebsen left to join Al Jarreau’s touring band. While featured early in her career on the recordings of several of the musicians with whom she toured, ultimately Kiki signed a contract with the Sin-Drome label, on which she would release her first solo CD, ‘Red’ (1994). The second album ‘Love Loud’ followed in 2000. The album ‘Kiki’ was released in 2002.
The album ‘Cool Songs vol. 1’ was her first to feature some cover versions, including a version of The Man With The Child In His Eyes. Further albums were ‘The Beauty Inside’ (2011), ‘Scarecrow Sessions’ (2014) and ‘Cool Songs vol. 2: The Music Of Joni Mitchell’ (2017).