Posted On 13 Apr 2015
Tag: All Access, All Access Music Group, Artist Interview, Ben Fee, Bummer Picnic, CO5 Music, Harry Potter 4, I Hate Everyone, Josef Salvat, K Flay, Kanye West, Kid Cudi, Kristine Flaherty, Life As A Dog, Lord Of The Flies, Make Me Fade, Mary Lambert, Metric, Night Riots, PledgeMusic, R. Jay Magill Jr., Rawks, Ribcage, Run The Jewels, Sincerity, Stanford University, Suburban Rap Queen, The Handmaid's Tale, Unknown Mortal Orchestra, White Noise, Yeah Yeah Yeahs
Last summer, K.Flay (born Kristine Flaherty) released her debut album, Life As A Dog via Bummer Picnic/CO5 Music. The album’s lead single, “Make Me Fade” is one of the darker songs off the collection. The video captures the meaning behind the song with pixelated shapes of K.Flay and other human figures, as well as contrasting between black and white images.
In regards to creating Life As A Dog, Flay explains,
“It kind of represented, at least for me, a divergent path of creativity and self-discovery. I do think there’s obviously a really important component to writing lyrics and also being a life-long learner and student of the world. It was good to go to school. Stay in school!”
K.Flay didn’t set out to be a rapper. She started making music as an enjoyable extracurricular during her sophomore year at Stanford University. She now has a catalog that consists of a mixtape of mash-ups, two EPs she wrote and produced in a basement, another three-volume mixtape and a full-length album.
Learn more about this talented performer in the folllowing interview:
Can you remember the moment that you decided to be a musician? Was there ever a time when you wanted to do something else?? Do you recall the moment when you thought, ok, I can do this for a living?
I feel like i’m still in the midst of that moment, in a way. But the first time it felt like music could be a full time thing was probably after my first headline show in San Francisco. People besides my friends showed up, which was semi unprecedented at that point.
How would you describe your music to someone that has never heard it before?
It’s alternative. I know that’s a broad term, but it feels like it encompasses the essence of the project. It’s left of center & not really any one thing.
How did you come up with your name? Why shorten Kristine?
k.flay was what a lot of people called me in college, so I just sort of stumbled into it and it’s nice to have a bit of distance between my performing & non-performing selves.
I understand that many of your songs are a tribute to your father who has passed away. How do you think writing songs about him has helped you heal? Do you think his musical background still influences you today?
Songwriting is a very cathartic, personal thing for me. Writing about his impact on my life, in both a real & symbolic sense, has been hugely important. My dad put the musical spirit in me, so his influence is always there.
How do you think your sound has changed since your debut album, Suburban Rap Queen?
Oh man. Um, it’s incredibly different. Whenever you start doing anything creative, I think it takes many years of being in some physical or non physical garage before you’re producing the kind of material you want to be. When I started out, I tried to be cheeky. Over time, though, music became a real emotional outlet, something I felt compelled to create.
Last year, you successfully crowd-funded your latest album, Life As A Dog through PledgeMusic and then released it only two months later. Looking back on it now, what was it like putting an album together like that on your own?
It was amazing! The whole process reconnected me with my roots, in a way. Being in a random room, writing music with no expectations for what it should sound like or what it needed to express or which track might be a “single.” And I had the privilege to do all of that with people I love.
Your video for “I Hate Everyone” is hilarious! Did you have a lot of creative input for it and the other videos that you release? What about the video for “Make Me Fade” for example?
The videos are pretty much all creative collaborations between myself & a director. I worked on “Make Me Fade” with Ben Fee, who also directed my video for “Rawks”. He and I wanted to create a feeling of dissolution and of fading. We were able to capture & manipulate a bunch of footage through an xbox kinect, which was something totally crazy and different.
What bands/artists have consistently inspired the music that you’re making? What music are you listening to right now? Anything that you can’t get out of your head?
In terms of inspiration, it’s really varied. Consistently it’s been the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Kid Cudi, Metric and Kanye. I’m currently listening to Unknown Mortal Orchestra, Run The Jewels, Josef Salvat and Night Riots.
Living or dead, who would you love to work with and why? Any upcoming collaborations in the works now?
A bunch of collaborations are in the works, but i can’t announce anything quite yet. I’m really excited, though!
You’re featured on Mary Lambert’s new album on the track “Ribcage”. How did that collaboration come about?
Mary and I have been friends for a few years, so it was a really natural thing. She was working on the record, sent me the track & asked if I’d be down to work on something. Obviously I was like YES! She’s such a talented and lovely person. I’m really honored to be featured on the album.
Is there anything in particular that you’d like people to take away from listening to your music?
I’d like for people to connect with the music in an emotional way. This new record is an attempt to reconcile the disparate parts of myself and I hope people can relate to that.
I understand that you a big reader and used to even review books on your YouTube channel so what are you reading now? And what are some of your all-time favorite books?
Right now I’m reading a book called Sincerity by R. Jay Magill Jr. It’s about the origin & evolution of sincerity as a concept. Some of my all time favorite books are: The Handmaid’s Tale, White Noise, Lord of the Flies and Harry Potter 4.