K.Flay is one of the voices of this generation, a truly honest and humble artist and someone who can really inspire and invoke. We are proud to unleash this new interview…
S] Hey! How are you doing today, what are you up to?
I’m good! just got back from a workout class & eating some fried rice at home.
S] All of your records are personal, but how do you feel that ‘Solutions’ has challenged you in new ways as an artist?
I think the big challenge was shifting my lyrical framework. Starting with a negative feeling, or a troubled feeling, but moving toward something more positive. On the last record, I kept mostly in a dark space, not just lyrically, but sonically too. To be intentionally hopeful with these new songs — it felt vulnerable, and risky, which is how I knew it was the right thing to do.
S] What does ‘Every Where Is Some Where’ mean to you now?
That record changed my life in a lot of wonderful ways. I think there’s a maturity there that wasn’t present on my previous work. I was starting to understand myself as a songwriter, and really consider WHY I was making choices in songs.
S] As a successful artist now, what would you say your biggest challenges you face now?
In large part, it’s about being a good leader. The team has gotten bigger over the years, which is exciting and so so helpful, but that growth entails a whole new set of responsibilities for me, many of which have little to do with actual music-making. and the other challenge is balancing my regular life with my work life. It’s hard to make that distinction, but i’m working on it!
S] How do you yourself define success?
I think success is doing what you sincerely aim to do, with people you respect, and having a positive impact on the world along the way. Success doesn’t have to be giant or profitable or sexy.
S] What about happiness?
Happiness is balance, I think. I find that I’m at peace when the different parts of my life are working well, no one element overshadowing any other.
S] And finally, the concept of love…?
Love is generosity. It’s putting someone else’s needs before your own, not because you have to, but because you want to.
S] Can I ask you, because a lot of people use your music as a way to deal with dark times, how do you yourself (aside from writing) inspire yourself when you are having a difficult time?
Reading books, going for long walks, talking on the phone to my friends and family. Really anything that connects me to experiences outside my own. I think darkness can be a self-perpetuating force. The worse you feel, the more inwardly you gaze, which then keeps out more light.
S] What were the ideas, experiences and inspirations that led to ‘I Like Myself (Most Of The Time)’ – I personally found that really uplifting
Thank you! I actually wrote the demo of that song in my bedroom in LA. I was thinking about our culture at the moment, how we’re frequently given these two unrealistic options for self-image: either unconditional self-esteem, or constant denigration. Neither of those fit my experience, so I wanted to write something that was like, most of the time, I feel ok about myself, sometimes I don’t, which is also okay.
S] Can you talk me through ‘Good News’ as well, that’s an absolute banger of a tune?
That song truly began 6 years ago, when I wrote a version of the verse. I forgot about it until like 8 months ago, when it popped into my mind, and I brought the idea into the studio. Eventually it became ‘Good News’ because I was saying to Tommy (my collaborator) how much I needed to hear some good news, and he was like, why don’t we call the song that?
S] What advice would you give to emerging artists who have been directly inspired by your work?
Keep writing songs, you’ll get better with time. Play as many shows as you possibly can, those will also get better as you go. Be genuinely kind to people and make music you like, because you’re the asshole who’s going to have to play it night after night.