K. Flay Talks New Music, Touring & Being Inspired by Kanye West
K. Flay is far from the average rapper. Although the Stanford University graduate holds two degrees -- one in psychology and the other in sociology -- she rather spend her time pushing sonic boundaries than picking someone's brain.
While other aspiring rappers draft blueprints, for electronic rap's newest obsession the process was unconventional. "I was in a room by myself being like 'I really wanna say a bunch of stuff, I like rapping, and I can talk really fast, so this is happening!'" K. Flay told The Juice. "To me rap was a method of delivery in line with a weird vision I had for something. In a way I never really knew what I was doing, so I just kind of flew by the seat of my pants. I definitely consider myself a rapper in some senses, but I think that I'm kind of just doing music and rap is the medium."
K. Flay, born Kristine Flaherty, grew up listening to a playlist which included everything from classic rock records to Parliament Funkadelic, but it wasn't until she moved to the Bay Area that her ears opened. The cluster of cities, known for housing eclectic musicians, became the breeding ground for the growth of K. Flay's artistry. "In the Bay Area they play a lot of local music on the radio, and [it] has a very kind of vibrant local scene, and alongside all the hip-hop that was going on, there's a lot of really cool electronic music. Even if it's ambient and weird, I think that definitely influenced where my head space is musically. People support each other [in the Bay Area] and I'm always really, really happy to meet anyone from the Bay. Everyone is just super excited for one another. The area itself is very open to new things and experimentation," K. Flay said.
Coming off performances at Paid Dues, SXSW and heading out on her own independent tour, it seems like the 26 yr. old is either on the road or in the studio. Having recently put out the EP "Eyes Shut," a project which she categorizes as having "one foot in a couple of different genres," a full-length album is still a ways away. The music she's creating may or may not end up on her debut, but will make for a precursor of what is to come. "I'm working in a very free form capacity right now. I'm just trying to be creative and not really put any limits on what I'm doing, " K. Flay said. "I'm just working on stuff for a future project, definitely with an album in mind."
"I'm not sure how it will take shape but the new stuff is still consistent with my older material," K. Flay continued. "It's got an electronic component, there are synthesizers, and electronic drums, and things like that. I'm trying to be a little more loose about the structure of songs."
Musically, the same woman who rhymed over The Zombies' "Time Of The Season," is just as inspired by Kanye West as she is by British indie rock band, The Joy Formidable. "The last Kanye record ['My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy'] for instance, a lot of the songs have an A-typical structure. They merge one into the other, a very long chorus, or very long verse, things like that. I think as a whole when you listen to an album, and I know not everybody listens to a whole album, but I think that type of structure really lends itself to an interesting live show."