One of the ways that I discover new, emerging artists is by researching opening bands. Last night my friend and I went to see Grieves and Budo live. I was already familiar with the young rapper, we got to interview him this summer at Van’s Warped Tour. I didn’t have much time to research who was providing the opening support, so imagine my surprise when seeing this:
K.Flay is a young performer who has lived both in NYC and San Francisco. Her self-titled EP dropped late last year. I had no idea who she was, but I think that will change for many people very soon.
You may not expect one of the most compelling new voices in hip hop to wield dual psychology and sociology degrees from Stanford University or find inspiration in the buttoned-up world of indie rock, but for K.Flay, defying expectations is simply part of the game.
Kristine Flaherty grew up outside of Chicago, devouring her father’s classic rock records and staying up late dancing to Parliament-Funkadelic in the living room. It was this same musical open-mindedness that would later spark her artistic development. She found her musical voice in college, fusing the eclectic power of the Bay Area hip hop scene with her own unique presence, inspired by strong, independent female artists ranging from Missy Elliott and Lauryn Hill to Fiona Apple and Liz Phair.
On stage, K.Flay is a one-woman whirlwind: whether she’s creating beats, singing, rapping or playing guitar, her wit and acerbic charm shine through. Her talents have led her to share the stage with artists including Snoop Dogg, Grieves and Budo, Ludacris, and 3OH!3, where she quickly won over audiences who hadn’t seen anything quite like her before. Further setting her apart from the pack, she serves as her own producer in the studio, methodically infusing her hip hop swagger with a dose of sonic exploration.
Hard to the core, core to the rotten, she grew up when Jordan and Horace grant ruled the world, when getting to 999 on your skip-it was a life goal, and when people still called 1-800-collect. She moved to CA and started making music in a dorm room. Now she makes music in studios, apartments, and the front seat of her car. She calls sneakers gym shoes and eats large quantities of cheerios on a daily basis.
Update: According to Hip Hop DX, K. Flay just released a brand new single, “We Hate Everyone“, which will be off her new EP Eyes Shut, coming in early 2012. You can stream it here now.