K.Flay’s “genre-defying” style and vibe breathes fresh air into hip-hop scene


At this point, K.Flay is a bonafide rising star. With regular radio airplay, television performances and a worldwide headlining tour that’s sold out double-digit consecutive dates in the United States – the hype surrounding the singer/songwriter is authentic and warranted. Raised in Chicago, K.Flay moved to the Bay Area to pursue a double major in psychology and sociology at Stanford, yet exposed herself to the wide world of local hip-hop. She’s since shifted to Brooklyn with her unique style and vibe, however claims she’s “still figuring it out.”

K.Flay – who already has a debut album, Life as a Dog, under her belt – built her genre-bending sound with a former record label back in 2014. However, the relationship turned sour or as K.Flay described it: “an ill-advised marriage.” The career turn brought her face-to-face with fans through a PledgeMusic campaign and ultimately led to a deal with Night Street Records, a subdivision of Interscope Records, where she’ll release her highly-anticipated sophomore album Every Where Is Some Where in the first week of April.

Photos by Andres Alvarado

On the stage, K.Flay is stunning. She’s composed, yet free and unrestrained with her red “Immigrants Welcome” sweatshirt. Her “genre-defying” style is built upon the energy the 31-year old elicits. She transitions from calmly standing behind the microphone with the occasional snap of two fingers, voicing the opening lines of her renowned track “Blood In The Cut” to wildly head banging once the electronic beat drops. It’s the equivalent to flicking a light switch on and off; the rise and fall of an exhilarating roller coaster. K.Flay feeds her audience through this simple, yet crafty alteration.

Alone with a keyboard, guitar in hand, her fellow guitarist and drummer, K.Flay rolls through a set of well-timed samples that offer a sense of direction – in addition to a peak inside her ideology. She’s conscious of her platform (literally) and isn’t afraid to create a welcoming environment, free of judgement. She actively flails about promoting a self-accepting vibe for any and all audience members.

It is incredibly important to strive to be a positive example by expanding my world as much as I possibly can and creating a safe space with a live show where people can be themselves now more than ever.

She accomplishes just that. Through the vehicle of music, there’s little that can’t be expressed and K.Flay seemingly does it in a way that’s profound, yet appealing to the ear. The coast-to-coast nomad is just scratching the surface and the message of what she offers is rapidly spreading.

Tickets for K.Flay’s world tour spanning the entire Spring and Summer can be found HERE. For more information on K.Flay and her upcoming album, click HERE

Quotes in post originally published at The Charlotte Observer.

About author

Jared Allen

Jared Allen

Jared is a music journalist, photographer and avid music listener living in Charlotte, NC. He enjoys live music, long car rides with Kellin Quinn and trips to the local record store, even though he still doesn't own a turntable in fear that his roommates will evict him.

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