Exclusive K Flay Interview
Kristine Flaherty aka K Flay recently stopped by the Myspace office to discuss her unique style, new material, and life on the road. Her musical career has definitely moved rather quickly this past year or so, and the future looks pretty bright. K Flay has an original style with lyrical content that you would not expect to come from this innocent looking Standford University graduate. She is definitely not your typical emcee.
Now you posses many talents. You are a singer, songwriter, lyricist, and you play a few instruments. Where does all of this musical talent stem from?
.I think for the most part it’s been like kind of an experience of trial and error and just a lot of things evolving out of the necessity. When I first started, I wanted to rap on things, but I didn’t really have beats, so I was like, well, I better buy a keyboard and figure that out. Um, so yeah, it’s–it’s been like a very natural evolution I think, in terms of kind of music stuff. And then you know, obviously there’s probably like, you have to have a little bit of a predilection for something, but a lot of it feels like just practice and time and—and really, you know, spending kind of the—the late hours honing what you’re doing and—and getting better at it.
Who were some of your influences growing up? What would be the musical recipe for K Flay?
I really started listening to to hip-hop in a kind of concerted fashion when I came to California, and when I was 18 I think kind of the hip-hop component or hip hop spice would probably be Outcast … I was into them growing up and I really got back into them in college because I think they’ve been able to negotiate a lot of different kind of musical spaces. They do really creative interesting things, always remaining true to themselves, but like innovating constantly and I don’t know, I just think—they’re one of a kind and one of the most remarkable artists out there in the last 25 years. Then that probably mixed with–I’m like a huge kind of, not mid depressed, but like tortured female, like in the artist fan [sense]. So I listen to a lot of Liz Fair and Fiona Apple, Emily Haynes. So probably a little mix of that, half you know, Indie Girl, half weirdo hip-hop stuff. I’d definitely be one of those rotating racks. (laughs)
Now it’s hard to place your music in one specific genre. How would you classify your own sound and style?
I think like it’s–it’s probably Indie hip-hop, but there’s more of an electronic component than like kind of old school, um, Indie hip-hop. I mean, the beats aren’t super traditional, you know, I think that’s partly ’cause I don’t totally know what I’m doing and I’m just sort of flying by the seat of my pants, but yeah, it’s like hip-hop with a little bit of electronic and a little bit of Indie.
Do you remember you first performance and how that came about?
My first time ever performing was in college. I kind of just started doing music on a whim and a a friend of mine knew I was doing it and he was a more serious musician. I’d met him through another friend of ours and he was actually going on tour. He was like stopping at a school for a little bit. And he was supposed to play a show on campus at some like, you know, random event and he was like, “yeah I can’t do it, but I know this girl who kind of raps.” So they called me up, and I performed. It was pretty intense. I never grew up thinking I would be a performer. I was pretty nervous, but it was more—I had like this weird sensation halfway through I was like, like everyone’s looking at me to do something, you know, and I felt like I kind of wasn’t really doing anything that interesting. But, uh, yeah, that was my first show and then just kind of like evolves from there.
So you graduated Stanford as a double Major in Psychology and Sociology. How did you balance music with your studies?
Yup, watch out ill cut you with a textbook. (laughs) I think for me the balance was really easy, because music was never the focus. It was like something I did as a stress reliever and there was a way to, you know, be with my friends and kind of have a laugh in a way. Then you know, after I graduated I was pretty burned out on school. I felt like that had been my focus for so long and I’d just been so like bogged down in my studies. I was working a job, but and few people started taking interest in what I was doing. I kind of was like, all right, well, I’ll just see where it goes. About a year and a half after, it started to really kind of move forward. I got a booking agent and manager and all that stuff, so it’s–it’s been like a really weird. It’s like an extended somersault that started off with being pushed by a feather.
Sounds like someone wasn’t getting much sleep?
No man. I will sleep when I’m dead. I’m so tired right now also (laugh) I never sleep. Actually, as a young kid I never slept either. I’ve always been like a, I don’t know, not insomniac, but I just don’t—I never slept that much, you know, I stayed up late as a kid.
You recently dropped an EP titled Eyes Shut. What was the concept behind the title?
Yeah, I’d been recording a bunch of songs, kind of with the idea of putting an EP out, but you know, letting it be a free form type of project and kind of looking at the material. I wanted to do something that was like fanatically very coherent, ’cause I think when you have an EP you don’t want to be all over the place, you know, if it’s just going to be five songs, which this one is. It’s good to remain focused. And I was finding that a lot of the songs that I was writing were about this kind of grappling with engagement versus disengagement, you know, the desire to, that I feel in myself, to kind of just check out for whatever reason.Also a kind of simultaneous desire to not miss out on anything and to be kind of fully existing in a moment, which of course is impossible, since you can’t experience everything. So it was about that tension and a lot of the people that I know who I love, I see both of those things too. Like just this kind of tendency towards apathy at times and I think, you know, it can be really easy to be apathetic. Like I’ve got a song on there called, We Hate Everyone, which is–it’s kind of like the, you know, haters anthem and I feel that way sometimes too, but it feels really easy to be a hater, like I can go in the Internet and be like, this sucks, like I hate this guy, you know.
Now you have shared the stage with some big names like Snoop Dogg, Ludacris, and even artists like 3OH3. How has the experience of the different audiences affected your approach and understanding for both crowds?
.Yeah, I think anytime, you know, I’m an opening act, I try to be cognoscente of who the audience is for that main person and what they’re probably going to like a little bit more. I mean, I think as an opener, your job is to get the crowd excited, to warm them up and to hopefully be a pleasant surprise. I think those are sort of the elite–that’s at least the way I look at it. So differently, for some of the more hip-hop stuff, it will be a little more of a hip-hop centric show, like for the 30H3 Tour, I did, um, there was a lot more like crowd participation, just ’cause it’s younger kids and like that’s what they want. They want to throw their hands up. I try to be aware of that, but it’s been really cool, like watching bigger acts and how they run their operation, because you know hopefully one day I’ll be able to run a similar operation and just seeing the ins and outs of that and how finely tuned a lot of those machines are.
Any crazy stories involving any of these artists or any words of wisdom you’ve taken from them?
.I would say this, that what I’ve really taken from, it’s been like–I’ve opened up for tons of like different genres and different levels of artists, but the string running through it and the lesson to me is that the way you treat your opening act, really does say like a lot about the band. I think it says a lot about success in the future. You know and like even just taking 30H3, for example, those guys are total sweethearts. They’re so nice and they really make an effort to interact with everybody who’s, you know, on the cruise and on the tour and there were a lot people on that tour and they made everybody feel like really a part of it. So stuff like that, you know, is really nice and is the fun part of doing this, you know, when you get to work with really good people.
How about any crazy stories with yourself while on tour?
.There’s some questionable folks. Um, but actually, well, he’s in the room right now, so I’ll tell this story. Um, I was in in Paris for a show, this was like in the spring, I guess, and I was there with my manager and we had one day off and I’d never been to Paris. So he was like, yeah, let’s rent a scooter, like let’s drive around, which like in retrospect was a horrible idea. Like we both were like what? Like we should be dead, that this could not have happened. And I have like a studio session at 5:00 pm or something. And we rented the scooter like he’s driving in the city, we don’t know. I have like a tourist map, I’m like clinging for dear life and on the back of the thing, like we got completely lost. We got outside the city of Paris. We were in like an industrial warehouse south of the city like. And basically we entered our way at like 50 miles per hour in a Vespa to this session like at 4:59 pm. I got there like one minute before, so it was awesome. It doesn’t sound as good as I’m relaying it, as it was, but it was pretty insane and like around the Arch de Triumph, there’s like just this huge round about no lanes and I filmed it and it was just nuts. But that was pretty fun. I’ve had some interesting adventures in London too. And some adventures I’m not so proud of (laugh)
So with your very unique and like original style, you’ve seem to like really stay in your lane and you haven’t really gone in any other direction, and your music comes off really authentic. What type of advice would you have for artists that strive to stay in their own lane as well?
Yeah, I think my advice would be, and I’m still definitely figuring this out myself, but is to trust your gut on things when they feel like sometimes stepping out of your comfort zone is good, because it leads to growth and you’ll be better for that and better for it. But, I think if you have a sort of true feeling in your gut that something isn’t you or really is antithetical to what you’re about, you don’t want to regret it in the end. And there’ve been things just like a few little things along the way where that’s kind of happened and it’s like you learn from those experiences, but I think ultimately, even if like the weirdest dude ever, who’s like famous now or popular or whatever? Like everyone thought was a weirdo and then somehow they stopped thinking that person was a weirdo. And I think like the public and audiences, they come around and when the times right and when you’re messaging your sort of image, not in a fake way, but like really what you’re about. There will come a time when that connects with kind of the broader vibe of the world. And when that happens, I think you can be really great, but it’s people—people Smell out fake stuff at this point. There’s just so much music. There’s so many people really trying to do it and if you’re kind of inauthentic, I think people are really turned off by that. It’s like doing something the easy way and then it doesn’t last.
First Album bought:First album I bought was the Sign, that Ace of Base album, but my brother and I kind of co-bought it, so you know, sharing.
Last Album purchased or downloaded:The last album I downloaded was XXX by Danny Brown.
First Concert: Beach Boys
What artists have made the most impact on your career:The artist with the biggest impact on me are probably Liz Fare on her first record, Givo. Outcast, Dizzy Rascal andprobably the Beatles.
For more information visit:
Listen to her myspace radio station:
myspace.com/kflay/radioTags : K Flay
- We’ve Moved….Follow Us on the New Myspace! Posted Jan 16, 2013 at 9:57 AM
- GIVEAWAY: Win a Prize Pack for ‘Movie 43′ Including a $30 Fandango Gift Card! Posted Jan 16, 2013 at 8:43 AM
- Listen to Justin Timberlake’s New Track ‘Suit and Tie’ Ft. Jay-Z, Produced By Timbaland, Exclusively on the New Myspace! Posted Jan 13, 2013 at 8:59 PM
- Leaks of the Week: Hot Singles Posted Jan 12, 2013 at 1:36 PM
- Future Hits: Destiny’s Child Returns With ‘Nuclear,’ Girls Aloud and Willy Moon Give ‘Something New.’ Posted Jan 11, 2013 at 3:31 PM
- THE LAST STAND Giveaway: Win Some of Arnold’s Classic Films on DVD and Much More! Posted Jan 11, 2013 at 2:38 PM
- May 2013
- Apr 2013
- Mar 2013
- Feb 2013
- Jan 2013
- Dec 2012
- Nov 2012
- Oct 2012
- Sep 2012
- Aug 2012
- Jul 2012
- Jun 2012
- May 2012
- Apr 2012
- Mar 2012
- Feb 2012
- Jan 2012
- Dec 2011
- Nov 2011
- Oct 2011
- Sep 2011
- Aug 2011
- Jul 2011
- Jun 2011
- May 2011
- Apr 2011
- Mar 2011
- Feb 2011
- Jan 2011
- Dec 2010
- Nov 2010
- Oct 2010
- Sep 2010
- Aug 2010
- Jul 2010
- Jun 2010
- May 2010
- Apr 2010
- Mar 2010