Galore Darling: Kilo Kish Talks New EP “Across” & Being A Crazy Spice Girls Fan
What started as a joke quickly turned into a bonafide music career for experimental hip-hop artist Kilo Kish. She won over fans with her soft, poetic verses and some major “it” factor. Kish has worked with the likes of Childish Gambino, Earl Sweatshirt and The Internet but this time she is stepping out all on her own. We chatted about her new EP Across, her crazy love for the Spice Girls and ideal road trip music.
by: Shannon Kurlander
For those who are less familiar with you, let’s start with how you started making music as a joke. When did it become something real for you?
I have been doing it for about threeish years now. The first year, when I came out with Homeschool, I had completely no clue what I was doing and then everything that would happen afterwards- I was kind of in shock. I just remember thinking this is really funny. I was kind of in a cloud and I wasn’t really focused. With my second project, K+, I had this collaborative project and now this project is probably the first one I was actually like I know what I have in mind. Before I had so much extra input and let them lead the way. Across has no features. This time I kind of had a good grasp on a concept and aesthetic that I wanted to show. I was super serious about it but I’m still always down to take risks.
Can you tell us more about the new EP?
It’s called Across. I lived in New York the past five years and I got the idea for this project randomly last summer when I moved to LA with my boyfriend. We had a yard sale to downsize everything that could fit in the minivan. It was a cleansing of all the New York things I accumulated. We drove across and that’s where I got the concept. I also took a lot of pictures on the road that I wanted to incorporate. Across notes a change, not necessarily moving forward or backwards. A change of perspective, location, mindset…going in a different direction. I also wanted a road trip aesthetic; road trip music style. Something you could listen to while driving the car alone or with friends during the summer.
What was the hardest thing to part with during your move?
In this old building I lived in in Ridgewood,basically Queens, I had this desk-little cream-colored desk. I carried it with me to all my apartments. I moved every single year, sometimes twice a year, I carried it through all my apartments and it was totally breaking it each time. Then my boyfriend accidently broke it on the way in. I mean I couldn’t fit in the car anyway. That was the one thing I really loved. I never really accumulated too many things in my young adulthood. I keep thinking when am I going to buy things that I can keep with me? Maybe I’ll start buying things when I’m 30. For now I’m fine just doing the air mattress thing.
Besides Kilo Kish, what makes good road trip music?
Any ’60s or ’70s music. Old school; I really like old school music. Or Britney Spears. Anything fun to keep you awake on the road. Something to sing along to. Spice Girls, Britney Spears…good nostalgia music. We listened to J Paul. We also listened to America.
Speaking of Britney Spears and the Spice Girls…what are your other favorite ’90s moments?
Craziest thing in the ’90s was the Spice Girls. That was the only thing I was super into. I always had to be Scary Spice while everyone wanted to be Baby or Posh. They had those amazing lollipops that came with all their merchandise. Also in the early 2000’s I saw an ‘N Sync concert in the pouring rain. Early ’90s I was into “Power Rangers” and Nickelodeon with “Doug” and “Rugrats”. I grew up in Orlando and they had the “Slime Time” stuff set up a Nickelodeon.
Also heard you’re a big Michael Jackson fan. What’s your favorite MJ song?
“The Lady In My Life”. It gets less love from the Thriller album. Or “In The Closet”, “Who Is It”, “Remember The Time”.
A lot of people like to ask the “what do you do” question. What’s your first answer?
I just say I’m an artist even though that’s cliché. I just say I make stuff even though I act like it’s not a good answer. I’m trying to be vague but it always leads to more questions so I might a well just say something else. I never ask people what they do… ever. I prefer not knowing and getting to know the person. People always ask that question because we live in a super networking time and people are just trying to get ahead, I guess. I should just say I’m a singer because that’s so much easier than saying I don’t sing or rap. I’m in an in-between genre. When people ask what kind of music I make that’s hard to answer and I can’t exactly compare it to anyone else.
What inspired your textile designs during your studies at FIT?
I was really inspired by textures and textures from nature. A lot of my designs were not really flat. I was really inspired by rock formation, stenography and maps as a whole. That was my main thing in school. I was inspired by mid-century stuff too. My inspiration for going into textile design was because I was super into prints. First I went to Pratt, doing drawing and painting, and then took a year off. During my year off I decided to specialize in print. I was really into screen-printing and tactile workings.
Your personal style is on point. Any favorite shopping spots while you lived in New York?
Opening Ceremony or Oak. I like A.P.C. I used to have a pretty simple style. I would go to Topshop. I am too ADD to go thrift shopping. When I first moved here I always tried to go to Beacon’s Closet and I couldn’t be there for more than five minutes without getting overwhelmed. Even Opening Ceremony can be a bit much.