Kilo Kish | MOTHE
On the day of her photoshoot with Flaunt, the 28-year-old musician walks into the office space we’re using in the Arts District of LA, her short, black hair parted in the middle and pulled down into a low pony. Her bangs are held back by two plastic hair clips, pink for the right side and yellow for the left, with a small cluster of cherries rising out of the center mold of each clip. The cute hair accessories and medium-wash, wide-legged jeans scream 90s vibe and instantly I’m a fan of her.
“Dr. Kilo Kish has a nice ring to it, doesn’t it?” I say, as Kish and I are headlong into a conversation about philosophical thinking and how she wouldn’t mind going to online school to get her PhD. “Should I get a degree in psychology and just become a doctor on the low?” she asks me, and I don’t dare disagree. Honestly, Kish would be a damn good psychologist, her thought process on the way the world works already so beyond anything I’ve ever heard before and I eagerly fantasize about attending her TED talk in 10 years.
However, before she conquers the great world of TED she must continue her conquest of the indie sound waves. Today marks the drop of Kish’s new EP, MOTHE, an electro, pop memoir to her childhood in the late 90s, early 2000s, hence the yellow and pink cherry hair clips that she dons. Kish reminisces playing video games as a kid with Britney Spears, Mandy Moore and house music blasting in the background. “I wanted to pay a little homage to it,” Kish explains about her EP, “but then also explore within my own self.”
It has been two years since Kish released any new music of her own. Her last project was the studio album, Reflections in Real Time, which served as a time capsule for her early twenties. With MOTHE the artist capsules her much younger years, the irony being that she is a person who is constantly looking forward, leaving the past behind. “It’s funny because I’m always thinking to the future,” Kish says. “That’s mainly where I spend most of my time.”
Kish also hates wasting time. When it comes to social media she won’t pay attention to most things simply because it’s all so grossly negative and she doesn’t need that interfering with her every day goings. “I try to stay away from that because I’m so emotionally open all the time,” Kish says regarding the negativity that is ever so present on our phones. “I get caught up in the drama of it all, so for me I just steer as clear from it as I can to be able to get stuff done in a day and not waste time.”
It’s passion projects like MOTHE and an itch to start another studio album that keeps Kish focused with laser-esque vision on each mission. “I’m always really intense.” Kish looks at me with the fiery, dark brown eyes of hers. “Like I’m on 100 all the time. Everything is either 0 or 100 with me. If a mistake was made, it’s a huge mistake, if something really cool happens, then it’s the best thing ever. It’s something I’ve learned about myself over the years. I’ve tried to curve it, but it’s really just part of who I am and how I see the world.”
How do you see the world? I prod the fiery woman in front of me, even more in awe of her that I was when I saw the plastic hair clips. She pauses, waiting to add some oxygen to her burning brain. “The world is a really, really interesting place,” Kish starts. “There’s a lot that we see and a lot that we don’t see. It’s all perspective. To me it’s whatever perspective and however much any of us are seeing at any given time that dictates who we are at any given moment. It’s always subjective.”
Now it’s my brain that begins to burn as each passing second I intake more of Kish’s complex insight. “When it comes to issues that feel black and white, to me it’s always grey. The whole world is a grey area of questions and belief systems and backgrounds and ideals...no one’s life has anything to do with you, except for yours.” Damn, there goes all my worries about what other people think of me. I feel as though I have just sat through Dr. Kilo Kish’s first therapy session as her patient, thinking that it was well worth the fantasy cost.
But Kish reminds me that her thoughts could change tomorrow as she always wants to continually evolve, especially when it comes to her sound. She looks to artists like Beck and Björk as music shapeshifters, a term she loves. “It’s a place I want to be where I’m never getting bored and I’m never stuck in one particular box,” Kish says, excited for the new and different doors that MOTHE will open. Out of her cocoon, Kish is ready to evolve wherever her philosophical thoughts and musical inspirations take her.
Written by Sam Bashaw.
Photography by Cat and Coyote.
Styled by Jasmine Benjamin.
Hair by Sami Knight using Kérastase at Starworks Group.
Makeup by Allan Avendano using Marc Jacobs Beauty at Starworks Artists.
Produced by BJ Panda Bear