As an emotionally adept and critically thinking artist, there’s a certain weight to being Kristine Flaherty.

While still a student at Stanford University, music was something K.Flay had somewhat stumbled upon. Without any intention of becoming a musician or rapper, she wrote a few songs, learned a few chords and discovered that not only was she was good at it, but that it was something she enjoyed and vitally wanted to pursue.

With an unmistakable voice, outstanding ear for production and obvious penchant for cadence, K.Flay impressed with the 2014 release of her full-length album, Life As A Dog, and recently wrapped a tour supporting Third Eye Blind. Currently, K.Flay is still on the road, captivating crowds and smoothly navigating the beginning of a pretty damn successful music career.

With her latest album, K.Flay seems to have found a balance within music, a point of stability for unpacking her flaws, sorting through the excess baggage and letting go of all the shit she doesn’t need.



How did you first get involved with music?

It was during college, I knew how to play guitar and stuff growing up. But I wasn’t in bands, I didn’t know anything, to be honest I wasn’t really that into music [LAUGHS]. They kind of make fun of me now but I was just sort of late to the game, and it took me longer to figure things out, this being one of them. But yeah, I started when I was at school and it was just a good place to be, I feel like the bay (San Francisco) especially for hip hop, there’s a good mix of totally out there pseudo party music.


“Make Me Fade” is doing great on Spotify, with 2 million plus listens. How did you decide to promote that song as a single off of Life As A Dog and was its popularity unexpected?

I think I don’t understand in some ways what people will like. I worked on it with friends who are incredibly talented and just awesome people and I feel like we’re a good team and they were really stoked about it and this guy who is my manager and friend was stoked about it. I just had a trusted circle of confidants and consigliore’s and they were like, “this song is cool” so I was like, “oh cool.” Not a good answer…


It was a damn fine answer, but would you say that it was very collaborative?

Yes because you’re so inside that very tiny space in your own head and it’s very hard to, because I think my taste is different, like maybe the songs I like to play aren’t the sort of songs that other people would want to listen to.


Yeah, I guess if you listen to or look at something long enough it starts to take strange shapes.

Yeah, totally, so it helps to be around people that I trust.


You have some songs about drinking and drug use. How has your experiences with those things informed your music.

I think for me, I didn’t drink or do anything until I was 23, so I started making music and performing. So I did every major life thing totally stone cold sober, and I think kind of because of my family history, I think I have a lot of guilt that recurs in my music and fear and negative emotionality associated with drinking, and a lot of that I sort of hash out in my music, but it’s sort of like anything else, the middle ground is the place where things are interesting.


During your Northside showcase, you performed “Time For You” off your latest album Life As A Dog, and you warned the audience that you might get a little emotional, and I cried, by the way, so thanks!

[LAUGHS] I think that’s a song that interestingly, is a bunch of experiences tied into one and also experiences of people that I know. My friends for example, because I think it’s a very common thing in life, to make time for and accommodate and bend over backwards for those who are shittiest to you and then there are the ones who are just down, who support you and love you. So even though it is a love song, I think it’s true across the board, whether it be your family, or people you’re going to call when you break your arm or who you call when you barfed all over yourself and you look gross.


Well.. If I’m drunk enough, you can bet I’m going to be texting him no matter what.

{LAUGHS} Ok, yes, of course… But like, for example, in these times where you need pure love and support, who are the people you would turn to? Sometimes those aren’t the people that you make time for the way that you should. So the song even though it’s a love song, it’s more about a general appreciation for the people who really love you and care for you, in a very backwards way. For me when I perform the song, it’s kind of like a strange homage to them.


How do you think you’ve grown as an artist and musician since your previous album?

Ok so if the wingspan of it used to be like really long like a giant, like Andre the giant, like a man with marfan syndrome, now it is smaller, so it’s a little bit more focused. Like, sonically, what I want to do, just even knowing how to sing properly and use my voice.


I did see you play bass at your show. Well done!

I played the bass! I played the upright bass! Well pseudo you know, it didn’t have a body, just the neck, which is how I like my people, just necks. Just Barbie dolls with no body, necks only.


Article: Lea Weatherby





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