We’re not quite sure how 21 year old model, design student and musician Kish Robinson managed to join hip hop collective, Kool Kats Klub, as well as release her own debut EP, before even finishing school. Maybe with the help of a few Odd Future mentors? Matt Martian produced Kish’ aptly named EP, “HomeSchool”, a project that Future’s Syd the Kid contributed to. Though her rap credentials are high, you won’t catch Kish bragging about success or throwing tantrums in the name of swag. We spoke to Robinson about her already immodestly sized internet following.
Is “Kilo Kish” your alter ego?
I guess a little bit. Kilo is everything Kish wants to say but doesn’t.
Who, other than Kilo Ali, influences your music?
People on the train. Friends, their stories, my stories. Going out. New Yorkers. I don’t know what exactly, it’s a sensory overload.
You describe making music as “just kidding around”. Is this casual approach important to you?
At first it was a joke; I wanted to make funny cover songs, but when I played them to people, they actually liked it which was kind of surprising. I found making music pretty interesting as a creative outlet, but I wasn’t exactly sold on it. The more I worked on things, the more drawn I was to this method of expression. But as far as the content of my music goes, I will never take that too seriously! It would be super lame if did. I don’t like to spend more than half an hour writing a song.
Why did you choose the title “Homeschool” for the EP?
I love being home alone. No matter what’s going on outside, this place is yours. Outside you can learn about everyone and everything, whereas at home you learn about yourself.
You have a massive fanbase. Is it daunting to know people are already that invested in your music at such an early stage in your career?
I love my Tumblr people! I love my Twitter friends. I love the people who make fan blogs. I love all my people. It’s super surreal for me. It’s not really daunting because I can’t be anything else than this, and everything that I do is an experiment because I’m so new to music. I make a point to leave my songs a bit rough around the edges, so people can understand that. Some stuff may work, some may suck really bad. It’s all process and I’m comfortable enough to make that accessible to those who want something real.
Being a female rapper in such a male-dominated genre, have you experienced any pressure to act in certain ways?
I don’t really consider myself a rapper or a singer. I don’t really have myself in any box in my mind so I don’t compare myself to female rappers or male. I’m just a girl who writes songs. Some would say that I am a rapper. With that word, there is pressure to be a certain way, the same goes when you put the word female in the equation. That’s why I don’t really like to box myself in; there’s no pressure when there’s nothing to compare yourself to.
HomeSchool is out now
Words: Shannon Mahanty