Getting the Dish with Kilo Kish
The new front woman in music has arrived, and her name is Kilo Kish. Kish has quickly become one of the most sought after names in music after being recognized as an artist to watch by both MTV and BET, and receiving high praise from influential publications such as Rolling Stone, Time, Complex, and the New York Times.
Always a creative mind from the onset, Kish began making music on a whim while still in high school. After refining and perfecting her sound, she released her first EP, Homeschool, to widespread acclaim and even garnering herself a cover story in the Village Voice. Her inherently unique style of rap has led to a variety of collaborations with established musicians, being featured on tracks with Bondax, Flatbush Zombies, and, most recognizably, Childish Gambino. In addition, her playful gender-bending aesthetic has brought the attention of the fashion world, which has led to work with Vogue, Elle, Lucky, Glamour, Nylon and countless more.
Her upcoming release, a new EP titled Across, is a conceptual project chronicling her cross country road trip through America last summer, and it explores themes of self-exploration, progress, and the vulnerability of growing up. Milk sat down with Kish to discuss her plans for the future of her music career and the differential treatment between men and women in her genre and the music industry as a whole.
What is it that you like most about your music profession? What drives you?
I like being creative personally. I don’t know what really drives me besides wanting to make stuff all the time, I think I have always been like that since I was a kid. I guess it’s weird but I don’t really think of it as a profession, I think of it as different projects I get to work on that I enjoy doing.
With everything that has been going on now with your success in music from doing different projects with H&M and Uniqlo, how has your life changed since starting at FIT (Fashion Institute of Technology)to now?
I would say my life has changed a lot in the last 2 or 3-ish years since FIT. I would say I learned a lot about the business of music and expectations. I would say with corporate folk I learned what I wanted. Because there are way too many people telling you what you need. The creativity just disappears. So I learned to convey to them what I want and what I don’t want. With this industry it is all about curating how you want to market yourself and your music, so I wound up learning a lot about myself in the process.
With corporate America and the way they do business in America do you think there’s a difference between men and women in music?
I’m not sure, I mean I’ve never been like a boy sooo (Laughs). I think naturally with corporate America they don’t really take women as serious, But then again I really didn’t know what I was doing in the first place so my experience is different to others. But I was still pretty vocal with what I wanted to do with my career.
Any earlier songs you have done you wish you didn’t create?
I won’t say I don’t like my earlier songs it was a different time. But I don’t think you have heard any of them anyway (Laughs). Like some of my earlier mixtapes of covers of Lil Wayne and stuff, You never really dislike anything, you just go through a phase. Phases like when I was younger, or times where I broke up with a boy, or having a great time with my friends when I was living alone. They are just periods in my life so I’ve never looked back and been like ‘I sucked at this’ so whatever!
Do you think that in music there is a difference in writing between men and women in media? Like women write more about love and men write more about sex?
No not really, I think women also write a lot about sex like Rihanna writes a lot about sex which I think is great. Even Beyonce. I think as girls we just get a pass on more things, I don’t feel offended by a male artist about how vulgar his lyrics are. If your art is vulgarity or whatever that is just your art. You are an artist and your art is your creativity. No matter what, you’re going to offend somebody anyway so you might as well just create what you like.
How do you feel about censorship?
The idea of Hollywood and being a celebrity is all advertisement. Everything is really censored because what they give people who aren’t in this industry is a false sense of what this industry is. Like if you do a hair ad and you don’t have any of that hair product in your hair then basically you’re selling a lie. I mean I have been a seller of lies as well but personally I don’t like it, everyone has to make their money their own way and everybody has to eat and survive. Except when it’s something that I am working on, then I try and keep everything as real as possible.
What is your style? are you a fashion girl?
No I wouldn’t say I am. I don’t really follow trends, I basically just go out and see stuff and then I’m like oh this is the current trend. So living in L.A. I actually like to change clothes a lot and just go home after the end of the day and be like ‘guys I need to go change verses in New York’ so I put on one outfit and I wear that for the entire day. Nobody really gets dressed up here, unlike New York where everyone is so stylish that you’ll never be the single best dressed in the room. I like basics because I get sent a lot of wild pieces, so I’ll go shopping at APC, J.Crew and Rag & Bone. I don’t really look at magazines but I do like fashion.
Final Question. Who in your phone is the biggest celebrity you know?
I don’t know I guess Gambino would be.
Kilo Kish photographed exclusively for Milk Made by Kevin Jude