When you think “female rapper,” I’m sure you think of women along the lines of Iggy Azalea and Nicki Minaj. What you might not think of is a brown haired, punk rock chick with well-refined music tastes who has been performing on Vans Warped Tour for the last few months. Up and coming rap artist K. Flay left her major label last fall and released her newest album, “Life As A Dog,” independently earlier this year. I had the chance to see her incredible set at the Atlanta date of Warped Tour last week, and I am officially in love. She’s adorable, full of energy, and ready for her takeover. We spoke with her about her music and her experience on Warped Tour and trust us, you’re gonna love her.
K. Flay: It’s been amazing. We only have three shows left. I’m getting sad thinking about that.
VM: Is it weird being a female rapper on a tour with mainly male pop punk and hardcore bands?
K. Flay: Not at all. I like being a little left of center, and the stage I’m on is super diverse. We have everything from DJs to indie rock to hip hop to reggae. So in a way, it feels pretty normal.
VM: Who is the coolest person you’ve gotten to know on tour?
K. Flay: That’s a hard one. Some of the coolest people I’ve met this summer are the beatport stage crew — Myles, Jake, and Nick. They work their asses off, kill it every day, are crazy nice. We’ve also had Keith from Every Time I Die and Chris from Saves the Day join us a bunch on stage to sing. They’re pretty fucking cool, too.
VM: Where do you get inspiration for your music?
K. Flay: It’s really what i’m feeling and seeing at any given moment. A lot of what I write is me sorting.
VM: Who are your favorite artists who deserve more attention?
K. Flay: Right now, I’m digging on Marmozets pretty hard. Their first record comes out this fall. It’s gonna be a big one.
VM: How do you write your music? Lyrics first, music first, or a combination of both?
K. Flay: I usually start with some kind of musical riff, build a drum pattern, and then start writing lyrics. For me, it works best when the words and the music co-evolve. Also, I like to be in a dark room with maybe no one in it.
VM: You’ve seen some massive success online, especially on YouTube. Do you think of music video ideas on your own, or do you work with other creators?
K. Flay: The music videos have been collaborations between myself and some really talented directors. At least for me, creating a visual component for a song is the best when you get to work with another brain.
VM: What has the response been like so far to your new release, Life as a Dog?
K. Flay: It’s been awesome. I left a major label last fall and released this record independently, so it’s extra cool to see people listening and connecting with it.
VM: So I hear you’re playing Atlanta soon at The Drunken Unicorn! Are you excited to be on tour alone again?
K. Flay: I honestly just can’t wait to be back on the road. On warped, you have a 30-minute set, which means we can’t play all of the new record live. I’m excited to do that this fall. Also, The Drunken Unicorn rules.
VM: What is your biggest guilty pleasure album? We’re talking private session on Spotify guilty.
K. Flay: Selena Gomez’ Stars Dance. I actually paused mid-show last year in Columbus, Ohio to play a Selena Gomez song over the PA. Which was a strange, but I think ultimately good, decision.
VM: Do you design your own merch? Because it is awesome.
K. Flay: Thank you! Fuller Moehagen is the man responsible for the designs. He, like The Drunken Unicorn, rules.
VM: I don’t know if you remember, but we took a great mean-muggin’ selfie at the Atlanta Warped date. We looked pretty punk rock; what is one song that never fails to make you feel like a badass?
K. Flay: Right now, “Keep It 100” from Grandtheft & Keys N Krates.
VM: Final question – if you could assemble your dream music festival, who would you choose as your five headliners?
K. Flay: Red Hot Chili Peppers, Kanye West, Gesaffelstein, St. vVincent, Tame Impala.
You could say that Miranda Feneberger is a writer. More accurately, though, she is a hopeless romantic, an adventure seeker, a reality TV binge watcher, a cinematography appreciator, a lucid dreamer and a playlist-making addict. She aspires to someday get paid to do something she loves, though she is realistic and sticks with compensation via free concert tickets and occasional internet shout outs. If you follow her on Twitter, you'll know that she LOVES USING ALL CAPS AND OcCASIONAlLy SpELLS USING BoTH UPPER AND LoweRCaSE LETTERs FOR EMPHASIS. One day she will learn that this is relatively unprofessional behavior, but until then she will live life on the edge of the caps lock key. A list of her life idols would likely give you whiplash; including but not limited to geniuses such as William Shakespeare, Kanye West, Mindy Kaling, George Saunders and Hall & Oates. Her heart will always belong to Sherlock Holmes, but Anders Holm would be a close and well-received runner up. Oh yeah, she has been writing her own blog since 2011, which you can check out if you'd like. She'd love that.