Home > Interviews > Q&A: K.Flay at Leeds Festival – August 2016

Q&A: K.Flay at Leeds Festival – August 2016

Carrie Humphries


How did your set go today? Did it go well?

K.Flay: Yeah, the set today was good. It’s always a little weird playing in the daytime, but I’ve actually been enjoying it a lot over the last couple of days. It’s been really fun.

Do you generally prefer playing large shows like festivals or smaller, more intimate shows?

K.Flay: I think there’s benefits to both. At a festival there’s obviously a lot of new fans and a lot of people who just stumble in to watch. I think later on today it’s supposed to rain; so people are more likely to just stumble into a tent. It’s cool in that respect, because I think that you remember that you’re earning fans, so you need to win them over a little bit. A club show is great though, because that’s your own and that’s really fun too. It’s the more frequent kind of touring that I do.

You released your Crush Me EP last week. How do you feel that the initial reception to the new music has been?

K.Flay: The reception has actually been great. I think before I put out music I get in this very oblivious state, where I forget that people are going to judge me and maybe not like it. However, I think the response has been really positive so far. At the end of the day I try to be honest when I’m writing, and I think it’s difficult even if you dislike all the sonics of something, to dislike honesty. I find that with music that I like too.

Generally, your music doesn’t really fall into any particular category; it’s a crossover of genres. Is there anything that inspired you to write in that particular way?

K.Flay: Nothing conscious. I think my musical styles are very wide-ranging; the music that I like to listen to is varied. Also; growing up, I wasn’t really part of any group of friends who were into this kind of music or that kind of music. I always had friends who were in the rap world, and other friends who were in the indie rock or grunge world, and then I also had friends who were into DJing and electronic music. I started taking all sorts of bits and pieces from those scenes and that resulted in me writing in the way that I do.

You’ve toured with all sorts of different artists over the last few years including AWOLNATION, Pvris, Snoop Dogg and Passion Pit. What is the greatest piece of advice that another musician has given you?

K.Flay: Well, I can’t remember who told me this; but basically the best piece of advice is even though you’re up on stage and people are looking at you, most people in an audience are attuned to the experience and themselves. You need to remember when you play a show that it’s about the whole thing and you don’t need to feel too self conscious or too self aware. The idea is to give yourself up to the experience, and when you do, it’s positive for everybody.

You’ve travelled all over the place when you’ve been touring. Is there anything really odd that you’ve seen while you have been on tour?

K.Flay: How much time have you got? I’ve seen a lot of strange stuff. I mean, there’s adventures every night. For the most part; to flip your question a little bit; the greatest part of touring is that every night you see the same thing, but taking on completely different forms. We play the show and that has its own experience of community and being social; but afterwards, when you go out into the local area to get dinner and drinks or whatever, you see that everywhere people in all walks of life are just trying to live their own lives. It makes me feel a lot more secure and happy to see that, because sometimes it feels like the world is very chaotic and unpredictable; but to have these experiences on tour when you get to see the daily lives of people, it is nice to see they are very similar to your own.

If you could take any one thing on tour with you from home, what would you choose?

K.Flay: Well, I don’t know if my computer counts. If that counts as an answer; my computer, as I need it all the time. If I was choosing a non-technological item, I’d probably choose my notebook. I don’t write down my lyrics in it, but I write a lot of my ideas and notes in it based on weird things that people say. It’s kind of like this pieced together memory book of all the adventures that I have.

If you could choose any artist at all to collaborate on something with, who would you choose?

K.Flay: Growing up and still to this day, I am a really big Outcast fan. I’d choose Andre 3000; he’s one of my heroes. He sings, he raps and he does a lot of different genres and styles. It would be potentially cool.

If disaster struck and you could only listen to one album for the rest of your life, what would it be?

K.Flay: Emily Haines; who is the singer from Metric, released a solo record in 2006 called Knives Don’t Have Your Back. I’d choose that. It’s good; you should really check it out. It’s very minimal; it’s piano and a very small backing band, but lyrically to me it’s one of the best.

Last question; what’s next for you over the rest of this year? Are you doing more touring or recording?

K.Flay: I’m here in the UK and Europe for the next three weeks. I’m doing some more shows and some more festivals, and then I’m heading back to the US and doing a headline run over there for a bit along with some other shows. In the meantime, I’m finishing up my album; which we’ve been working on for a while and it’s getting close. I’m really stoked about that and looking forward to people hearing it.


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