KILO KISH: Fated Music
Florida-born, NYC transplant Kilo Kish is making waves in the musical world as one of the illest textile designer-cum-”new age” rappers out there.
The story behind Kilo Kish’s rapidly growing popularity in the music world seems like a simple game of fates. Destiny’s hands swept hither and dither until familiar souls joined together in artistic conceptualization. You take a NYC textile design student—Kish, who happened to move in with a rapper from Atlanta named Smash Simmons and an uptown producer named Mell Masters, and together they form the kooky music collective, the Kool Kats Klub (and yes, the all Black members of the group are well aware their initials spell KKK, I asked). Kish describes the results of her studio work with Smash and Mell in their apartment as “a mix of whatever happens when we’re together, which is always just a mix of stuff that’s really fun or funny, and just like goofing around and stuff like that…” The visuals for KKK’s track “OKKK” seem to perfectly display that sentiment.
Kish’s foray onto the music scene was natural, innocent and mostly unplanned, and yet the experience has led her to a feature on the song “I Want You Still” on Odd Future’s Journey to the Fifth Echelon mixtape; the release of her Homeschool EP; performances in LA and NY at some of the most exclusive venues; and the collaborative backing of OFWGKTA offspring group, the Internet. She details her chance encounter with producer and one-half of the Internet, Matt Martian:
“That was a random occurrence as well…Matt went to high school with Smash and my manager [DJ] Justin [Scott]. So Odd Future was in NY one day and [Matt] ended up having to stay at our house because he lost his wallet. [At the time] I was making songs with Smash like doing the KKK thing, and then I was like ‘Oh you should hear one of the songs.’
And he’s like, ‘Here, I’m gonna give you a beat for Odd Future’s Fifth Echelon tape and you can do whatever you want and send it back to me, and we’ll see how it goes.’ So then I sent it back, he loved it and then he kept it on the tape. Then it ended up being one of people’s favorites on that tape, so he’s like ‘I want to put together an album for you, we should work on something.” So I flew out to LA in the summertime. I met Syd [the Kid, the other member of the Internet] and we kind of worked for like a week on stuff. It was kind of like an organic process that just randomly occurred.”
While it may seem by all appearances to be one well-timed coincidence after another, the talent exemplified by Kish on her new EP is by no means random. It’s more of an intuitive process that she feels her way through. “I actually wrote that song in my ex-boyfriend’s apartment, like sitting on the floor,” she says of her favorite track, “Sick,” and continues. “I don’t really have songs written that I have in my repertoire and I just pull them out when I have a beat that fits. Like I’d go to record and Matt’s just like, ‘Oh here are [the beats],’ [with out] much time to think about it.”
So how does a girl who’s a little more than artistically inclined get to the heart of a record intuitively, while keeping on par with the overall structure necessary for song-making? Sometimes her amplified creative visualization process offers a catch-22. Kish sheds a little insight: “That beat to me is kind of like waves and ambient, and like lush. So I thought of just taking a sick day, and skipping school or work to go do something really cool. So that was the idea behind that song. I think it’s like the most complete song I have. I usually get bored like halfway through a song and don’t ever finish it. [Sometimes] I’m just like ‘Whatever, I don’t feel like writing another verse for this. It’s done.’ So that’s the one I kept thinking of stuff for like, ‘Yay I finally finished this song from like minute 0 to 3 and a half!’”
Though it is clear that there are some strong forces at work behind Kish’s rising star, setting her obvious talent, precocious cool-zen disposition to new heights in the Hip-Hop sphere of influence. A few nights ago at the Boom Boom Room, where she was performing for the first time in front of a mixed, high fashion crowd known for galavanting in NYC’s Meatpacking district, Kish shined. Cute and somber, donning an American flag themed-sequined vest and denim shorts, the young Orlando native strutted atop the bar as she recited her songs with a cocky “I run this town….KK bitch!” attitude.
Zoy Britton is an associate editor at STARK. Follow her on Twitter @ZoyMB.