Vixen Q&A Vixen Q&A

The Vixen Q&A: Kilo Kish Talks Uninhibited, Generational Rebels + Respecting Odd Future's Flippant Attitude

Kilo Kish (pronounced KEY-LOW KEESH) is a mystery. Even a thorough Google search won't result in Wikipedia-sized article about about this quirky, 20-year-old Art Institute of NYC student who vocally laced "Want You Still", a track created by The Jet Age Of Tomorrow (a group nestled within the ever-growing collective Odd Future). The trippy, spaced out record launched Kilo, who is a member of hip-hop threesome Kool Kats Klub, into our radar and we caught up with the easygoing and sarcastically non-serious New Yorker. She talks to VIBE Vixen about jokingly starting her music career, why she has respect for Odd Future and why the extent of her fashion sense is comfortability. -Niki McGloster


Kilo Kish – where did you get your rap name from?

We listened to a lot of Kilo Ali at our old apartment where I lived with Justin [her manager] and another friend who I do music with, Smash Simmons. They’re from Atlanta, so we listen to a lot of Kilo Ali and they put me on to it. I kinda just fell in love with it, so they would joke around and be like “Kilo Kish” and all that. I think it was my Twitter name before it was my rap name, then I just kept it.

I like it! Do you live with the other members of Kool Kats Klub now? Smash Simmons and Mell McCloud?

I no longer live with them now, but for like a year we were all just roommates hanging out and that’s how I started doing music. Smash had the whole recording studio set up in our house, and we would just get in there late at night and hang out, have a beer and just make music. At first, I was just kidding around. I’m still just kidding around which is kind of the point.

That’s what’s so awesome. You’re just having a good time with it. Now, just to rewind a bit, when did you start wanting to record and release the music?

Well, maybe last year, I noticed that every one in New York was coming out with a mixtape. Like, everybody you met was a rapper or something, and it was funny to me. It would be really hilarious if I could go to parties and have a mixtape just to joke around and be funny, so I started doing it and then I realized why everyone does it. It’s so much fun to get in there, screw around, say whatever you want and just be you. ‘Cause I go to school for art, so I’ve always just been a painter, but I realized music is a really quick way to get out your own personality and get out your style. It’s really cathartic just to do it. The first music I have is me [when I was] even worse of a rapper hanging out and saying whatever. I was working at this store called Georgia and I would play it there, then my friends were like, ‘That’s really funny, but it’s also not bad.’

While you were joking, people were taking it seriously.

Yes, and people were like, ‘No, it’s actually pretty good!' And I just kept doing the same thing. My friends would play it at Supreme, and it’s just funny to me that people like it.

People are really into it, and I think that’s what’s good about it. It’s very organic and it just so happens that it’s good.

Yeah, and I don’t even have to try. Music is great because you can be yourself, and you don’t have to try to be like anyone else. Like, I’m not trying to be the best rapper ever; I’m not trying to compete with anyone. I’m just being myself, and that’s what makes it fun for me. When it’s not fun anymore, I’m just going to stop doing it because I’m not a musician [Laughs].

I feel you. Well, you’re featured on “Want You Still” from Journey To The 5th Echelon, and that’s what everyone is recognizing you for. Tell me, what are your affiliations to Odd Future, specifically Matt Martians and Hal Williams.

I ended up meeting with some of the guys from The Super 3, and my friend Matt who happens to be really good friends with Justin and Smash. He stayed over at our apartment one time, and I was just playing some of my music and he even jokingly was like, ‘You need to get on a song.’ Even he thought that it wasn’t going to be that big of a deal, but he just sent me a beat and was like, ‘This is yours. Do whatever you want on it,’ and that’s how “Want You Still” came about. Like, some stuff I write down, and some stuff I improvise as the song is playing, and that’s what I did with that song. He ended up really liking it and keeping it on his CD. I haven’t met any of the other guys from Odd Future ‘cause I haven’t gone out to LA and they’re not really [in NY] that much, but I feel like it all works out pretty well. The sense that I get from them is that they’re just hanging out, having fun and just being themselves, and I’m the same way. I’m not all puppies, kittens and butterflies. I’m kind of a bit dry too and really sarcastic, so it works out. [Laughs]

Swag

You’re personality definitely seems to fit with their style of music so well. I can tell that with The Jet Age Of Tomorrow, your vocals match perfectly with their spacy, futuristic beats. You fit so well that I had to double check if you were apart of the Odd Future collective.

[Laughs] No, I’m not a member, but I think they’re awesome. They’re just kids having fun, and I think that’s great. I think people should be more uninhibited to do what they want. Tyler and the whole Odd Future crew, they’re all really, really talented. I think it’s just their personalities that it comes from. A lot of rappers and musicians try to live up to this persona where you have to talk about cars and girls and champagne and shit. Odd Future is just talking about what they know about which is good. They’re not speaking on anything that they don’t know anything about, and that’s really respectable. I respect them for not caring and not giving a fuck.

Do you think the movement of "not caring" is what this generation needs?

I think every generation has their own way of standing up for themselves, you know? Every generation. Like, the 60's had their whole peace movement. Every generation has their own movement of rebellion and standing up to whatever system that they dont' agree with. There are kids all over the place who have ideas and feelings and opinions and it's not any different now; it's just easier for them to get those opinions across because we have the internet, we have Twitter, we have all these social mediums to allow you to say whatever you want, and I think it's a culmination of that more than anything.

Whoa, I understand that so much. With your own crew, Kool Kats Klub, are you expressing your own movement of rebellion?

Um, I feel like everybody has something that they have to say. Sometimes Smash will get on a track and talk about whatever he's feeling about girls or working and daily life. But it's more of us just having fun because when we're making music, it's hilarious!

How does your painting and drawing directly influence your music or vice versa?

I don’t know if they reflect on each other so much, but it all reflects me. My paintings are very expressive. I use a lot of black; I don’t use a lot of straight lines. I just flow and let it do whatever it wants to do. I let paint drip, and I’m not the neatest, geometric artist who takes the time to finesse every little thing. And it’s the same thing with music, I don’t really freak out over it. I got to school for textile design, so I’m really into patterns and prints. I want to create home products at some point. Everything. Lamp shades, bedding, everything...

How deep is your love for fashion?

I love fashion to a certain extent. I go to fashion school, so I like it. I can appreciate fashion, but at the same time, my own style is pretty simple. I like my space to be pretty simple—a clear palette to go through life with. I keep it comfortable. [Laughs]

Is there any person or particular thing that influences your style, or is it very much “wake-up-and-go”?
It’s definitely “wake-up-and-go” because I have a million jobs. Not only just school and the music, I work in restaurants and nightlife. I have to run from 9 a.m. all the way to 3 a.m. some days, so I have to be comfortable and just go from there.

And from here, this point where you are in your budding career, where do you want to go? What do you want to come from the recognition you're gaining?

Music isn't... I know that there's a lot of people that want it way more than me. With me, my passion for music grows every day, but I don't think I'll ever be at that level where there's somebody who wants it so bad. Like, they want to be on television so bad and they want everyone to hear what they have to say. I'd really like to just have something chronicling... because I don't really keep a diary or anything to help me chronicle what I'm feeling. I think that's what people sell art for. It's not just to sell paintings or make money or become famous; it's just to have a diary of yourself. And if nothing comes out of this, I'll be happy just knowing that this is how I felt when I was 19 or 20 or 21... Just to say that I did it.

Something that can show that you lived! And lastly, what other projects are you working on?

[Kool Kats Club] is going to release a few tapes on ImNotAToy.com, and I'm also working with The Super 3 from Odd Future doing a whole CD by myself. That's going to be out at the end of the summer, and we're going to call it Junior Varsity.

 

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‘RHOA’ Star Kenya Moore And Husband Marc Daly Announce Split

After two years of marriage and the birth of their “miracle baby,” Real Housewives of Atlanta star Kenya Moore and husband, Marc Daly, are calling it quits. Moore announced the split Thursday (Sept. 19) in a statement to People magazine.

“It is with profound sadness that I regret to inform my fans that I am divorcing my husband Marc Daly,” Moore told the outlet. “Due to recent and ongoing circumstances, I can no longer continue in the marriage. My sole concern and focus is and will always be my daughter, Brooklyn, my miracle baby. She was made in love and true commitment. I ask for our privacy to be respected moving forward.”

The reality star didn’t go into detail about what caused the marriage to end but according to LoveBScott.com, the break up could have to do with newfound information about Daly's personal life. According to the site, Daly was married before and has two other children from his first marriage.

Daly seemingly slammed rumors surrounding the end of their marriage in a separate statement. “I have come to the difficult decision to separate from Kenya at this time,” he said. “Our daughter has two parents that love her very much and in her best interests, this situation should remain as private as possible.” The restauranteur added that he cherishes “our family’s good times together and will continue to co-parent in a loving way.”

“Rumors, innuendo or false accusations only serve to hurt our family and will be addressed through counsel as the law permits,” the statement continues. “Please respect our privacy during this challenging period.”

Moore, 48, and Daly, 49, began dating in December 2016, and wed six months later. The beach nuptials became an ongoing topic of discussion when Moore returned for season 10 of RHOA. The former Miss USA confirmed her departure from the reality show in 2018, but will return for season 12 of RHOA, which debuts later this year.

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Ursula Stephen Debunks Natural Hair Myths With Dove's DermaCare Line

Ursula Stephen is a master of all trades. For this season of New York Fashion Week, the celebrity hairstylist was booked and busy thanks to versatile clients like TRESemmé and Zendaya. She also had time to engage in her co-hosting duties for BET Her's The Hair Show and support her famous client Rihanna's Fenty x Savage show. There's also her longstanding relationship with Dove's DermaCare line which caters to the current natural hair movement.

Setting up shop in her Brooklyn salon, Stephen is hard at work. Dove's latest product Clean & Fresh Anti-Dandruff 2-in-1 Shampoo & Conditioner ($5.49) is a hit with guests as they flip their hydrated tresses. Formulated with Pyrithione Zinc, Stephen tells VIBE Vixen it's the perfect product for those searching for a solid solution to a dry scalp.

"When you think of dry scalp or shampoo for dry hair, they're always very stripping, that's why I'm very proud of Dove's DermaCare line because when you think of Dove and their skin focus technology, they're very natural," she said. "The products include zinc which is great because it helps minimize dry and itchy scalp. And the shampoo really cleans, but the conditioner brings the PH balance back."

Most of the guests who were treated to a salon day were natural, Stephen noted. As she consulted every guest, she shared how important the natural hair movement is and just how much myths lie beneath the surface.

Check out Stephen's breakdown of what myths are Fenty facts and others we have to break (before they break your hair) below.

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Myth 1: Black Women Have Naturally Dry Hair  True!

What Ursula Says: 

Our hair is naturally dry and the reason is because of the way it grows out. Our [hair] follicle compared to a straight-haired person's is a lot tighter and smaller. It's why our hair grows out curly. When you have a bigger hair follicle (like those with naturally straight hair), it grows out straight. It doesn't have that type of issue because it grows out easier from the follicle. But as we continue in the natural hair movement, we want to have healthy hair. We have to concentrate on our scalp as much as our hair.

Myth 2: Coconut Oil Will Refresh Natural Hair False! (But Lizzo's "Coconut Oil" is good for the soul)

What Ursula Says:

I do feel like one of the more forgotten oils is jojoba oil and it's actually better than coconut oil. Jojoba oil is better for us because of the molecular size of the oil, it's very similar to our natural sebum. With it being so naturally close to what we produce, it plays well with our hair. A lot of people who hopped on the coconut oil wave are complaining about it and that's because it has a lot of protein in it and our hair already has a lot of protein so it causes breakage.

If you're a natural girl and your hair is all strong and you put in coconut oil in your shit, it's gonna break. You have to be conscious and knowledgeable about your hair type and be reasonable about the expectations. If you have strong hair, you can't tell everyone about how coconut oil is bad, it was just bad for you because you used too much.

Myth 3: Your Hair's Curl Pattern Is More Important Than Your Scalp's Health False!

What Ursula Says: 

Girls are so concerned about figuring out their curl, pattern but they haven't been focused on their scalp. That's a bad thing for black women because at the end of the day, our hair is naturally dry, and the reason why our hair is naturally dry is because of the way it grows out.

I get frustrated because people ask me, "What's the next hair trend?" or "What do you do to make your hair grow?" It's the same shit. It's hydration, moisture and trimming your hair. Those are the things that make your hair flourish, period.

Myth 4: Dove's DermaCare Is Perfect For Natural Hair True!

What Ursula Says:

For a long time, girls have asked me to recommend them a dandruff shampoo and I really felt stumped because everything I could think of would be so harsh. When you think of dry scalp or shampoo for dry hair, they're always very stripping. That's why I'm very proud of Dove's DermaCare line because when you think of Dove and their skin focus technology, they're very natural. The products include zinc which is great because it helps minimize dry and itchy scalp. And the shampoo really cleans, but the conditioner brings the PH balance back.

Myth 5: Rihanna's Iconic Black Short-Do Is One Of Ursula's Top 5 Style Moments False!

What Ursula Says: 

Rihanna's Elle Magazine cover from 2012 with the blonde hair is one of my all-time favorites. Everyone knows she changes her hair so much but that was one hairstyle I really wanted her to keep for one more week.

 

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Next is Laverne Cox. I recently styled her for the premiere for the Orange Is the New Black. That was iconic because I worked with a lot but not so much since she lives in LA now. But when she comes to New York, I'm always one of the people she books so I knew whatever we were going to do, it was going to be it.

She likes to have fun and she trusts me so when she gave me the reference, I was on it. I was very happy with how it came out and everybody loved it. It was actually a Beyonce reference, B-Day. And everyone caught it, and she showed me that album cover and a photo from the '60s.

So I combined it and made it my own but I'm happy people connected it to Beyonce cause it says that you nailed it.

I like Rihanna's short black hair I did for the Teen Choice Awards. That's one of my favorites from the short black hair era. It was just really disheveled and second-day hair. We washed it and did everything before and then the next day, it was just so perfect.

There's also Zendaya for Met Ball when she had the bowl cut. I wasn't actually booked for her that day. I spoke to my agent the night before and shared how funny it was that I didn't have anyone for Met Ball that year and the next day I was running around Brooklyn and her stylist texted me saying, "Where are you at?" and I replied saying, "Where do you need to be?" and he said, "I need to come up here because we have got to do this look. It didn't work out."

I shot up there in sweatpants. I looked nuts and went in there and just killed her hair. We ended up working together consistently after that.

Myth 6: Hair Stylists Should Learn From Their Peers

or

True! 

What Ursula Says: 

I like when I get inspired by other hairstylists. I didn't do this, but I think Beyonce's hair for The Lion King premiere was iconic. It was braids that looked like finger waves that curled in pieces.

I thought that was amazing. It was genius, it really inspired me. When work like that sticks out to me because it makes me do something. That made me want to do some hair. I like when I get inspired by other hairstylists, because I'm very competitive, like, "Oh, you curled it like that? Okay, but watch this."

It's innocent. I like when other hairstylists, especially those on my level, inspire me. Sometimes you get in a rut and get tired and it's like, "Okay girl, get to work, shit is still happening."

Learn more about Dove's DermaCare line here.

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Cara Stricker

Alicia Keys Brings Love To Cryptic Visions With New Single "Show Me Love"

"I’m loving that we’re doing this together it’s been a minute," Alicia Keys said to a packed crowd at the Dolby Soho studio in New York Monday night (Sept. 16). Adoring fans and close friends were invited to a visual sonic installation for her new single, "Show Me Love" featuring Miguel. Soft but sensual, Keys keeps the desires of love fresh and melodic. "I’m not sure what was taking so long but the wait is over."

The artistic visual for "Show Me Love" includes three parties exuding variations of love. Actress Zoë Saldana and husband Marco Perego Saldana represent love's ups and downs. Next is Michael B. Jordan, who pushes through hard rainfall, a comparison to the journey to self-love. Finally, we have Alicia and Miguel, who showcase elements of love absorbed through art and collaboration. Directed by Cara Stricker, all moments (which were only shot for seven seconds) hold the message of Keys' demand to well, show love.

At Dolby Soho, fans got to view the video on wall to wall projections as well as curved canvases that offered a 360 vision of the music video. They were also treated to an intimate performance by Keys and Miguel. Keys also performed some of her biggest hits like "Diary," "Sleeping With A Broken Heart," "NY State of Mind," with Miguel performing "Skywalker."

With the singer releasing her seventh studio album soon, Keys is thinking in, out, and around the box when it comes to her new music.

“I have been on this journey to be more vulnerable; in my life, in my music; and this new visual experience reflects this time," Keys said in a statement to VIBE. "Show Me Love" displays different expressions of love, the journey of it, the push and pull, the struggle and the eventual joy and peace."

Written and produced by Keys, the single also credits Tory Lanez and Morgan Matthews as producers. 

The installation is located at 477 Broadway and will be open to the public from Wednesday, Sept.18-Sunday, Sept 22.

Keys will perform the song next during her headlining set at this year’s iHeartRadio Music Festival in Las Vegas on Saturday, September 21 and then a set at New York’s Global Citizen Festival in Central Park on Saturday, September 28.

Watch "Show Me Love" below.

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