On March 14th, the multi-talented, two-time Grammy-nominated singer/songwriter K.Flay stopped by The Grammy Museum for an intimate chat and mini-performance. The Chicago-born star had performed the night before to a sold-out crowd at the Fonda, which I sadly had to miss, but judging from all the photos and stories my friends posted, it looked like an incredible night! I definitely had a bit of what the kids these days call FOMO seeing footage from that night so I was thrilled to be able to catch her the following day. This was also my first time seeing a show at the Grammy Museum and what a treat it is for fans to see their favorite artists in this setting.
With her captivating bright blue hair and sporting all-black attire, K.Flay strutted in the room looking like an emo star. She walked in with a small entourage in tow, who happened to sit down right in front of us, and hopped on stage to sit down for an entertaining and heartfelt chat with moderator Lyndsey Havens. She spoke candidly about many things including her experience recording her dual EP’s, how she stayed creative (and sane) during the pandemic, and how some of her biggest collaborations to date came to fruition.
The two critically acclaimed EP’s, Inside Voices and Outside Voices, both released in 2021, definitely still have that unique, dark electro vibe that is instantly recognizable as being no one else than the master of genre-bending herself. The EP’s were later released as a full LP with two additional tracks. The album is a tad bit heavier than her previous releases but if you ask me, it’s by far her best work yet.
K.Flay told the audience she was feeling pretty creatively inspired during the downtime of the pandemic and found it so interesting how the world had to learn how to live from the inside. A lot of that introspect led to what she wrote about on the EP’s. She recorded a lot of her album in random places, like her friend’s dining room while she was house sitting. She spoke about collaborating with Tom Morello and Travis Barker on her album and how collaborations can often be scary because you have to be vulnerable with another person. Since the album was made at the height of Covid, all of the collabs were done remotely. Tom Morello recorded his solo for “TGIF” on his iPhone! Yes read that again, he recorded it on his phone! She told the audience it was interesting that they were never together physically making the song, yet it worked. The same with Travis on “Dating My Dad.”
When asked if she’d ever considered starting her own record label, at first she instantly said no, but as she pondered it a bit more, concluded that maybe she would because she sees “A lot of people get burned and lied to. I may not be cut out for the business side, but maybe.” She also spoke about how the industry is so chaotic and unpredictable. Take for example her song “High Enough” which she says never really took off but then with the help of platforms like Tik Tok it’s had a huge, unexpected resurgence. Things tend to be more spontaneous than planned these days.
She spoke about how it’s funny that when people meet her they are surprised by her demeanor and often comment “Wow, you’re so nice,” assuming that since her music is aggressive she would be too. As I mentioned earlier, her entourage was seated right in front of us and they laughed at this, clearly knowing the goofball that she really is. What was really cute during the interview is the way she would look out into the crowd for her friends to confirm her stories. And even cuter- her parents were in attendance too. Is it just me or do you want to hug the parents of artists when you see them at shows and like, I don’t know-thank them for birthing creative geniuses? No one? Just me? Okay well, listen, it’s damn cute! There’s just something so sweet and endearing to see the proud look parents have when watching their kids do their thing. We also spotted fellow musician Bishop Briggs in the friend group, who looked very proud as well.
The interview was intriguing and gave fans a glimpse into the thinking and personality of K Flay but I have to say the most entertaining part of the conversation was learning about her plants’ names. If you read her bio on Spotify, she mentions she has a house plant named “Crouton” but we also learned she has three others whom she calls “Colleague” “Cabinet” and “Cash Prize.” It’s silly stories like these that make these types of events memorable because it’s like you’re listening to a friendly chat about nothing and everything and you really feel a part of it.
After the conversation, she took a quick break before returning to the stage to do a four-song performance. “Four Letter Words” and “Weirdo” were fun to hear live but had me craving to see them performed at a full-on show, as I know it would’ve been madness in another setting. For the acoustic song “Maybe There’s A Way” the crowd waved their phone lights around. I looked at her parents and saw them beaming. Again- SO CUTE! She ended the night with the hit “Blood In The Cut” and as it started up, she jokingly told the seated crowd “let’s open up the pit!.” Alas, no pit was formed, but in my mind and heart, I was totally moshing!