Interview: Kodie Shane Leads The New School At Made In America

Kodie Shane is dripping in Fila gear from head to toe. Her red track suit jacket is without pleats and her sneakers are blindingly white. It’s ferociously raining outside, but unbothered, Kodie assures us she has another pair of Filas in case those get muddy.

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The First Lady of Lil Yachty’s Sailing Team is a breath of fresh air. She’s bubbly and talkative, infecting other with her energy despite the weather outside. After all, it’s day one of the Made In America Music Festival, and Kodie is scheduled to perform a lengthy set.

Prior to heading out on the Tidal Rising stage, Kodie Shane sat down with VIBE to talk about her budding career, pre-performance rituals and leading the new school in a style all her own.

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VIBE: How are feeling to be here?
Kodie Shane: I’m feeling really great. It’s surreal to be here right now. I was just here with Yachty last year, so now I’m here doing my own set. And I got a 30-minute set, so I’m really excited.

How do you prepare for a show?
I just be ready to turn up. Sometimes I get so excited that I’m out there before I’m really out there. I don’t have a ritual; I definitely need to eat or I might pass out. Definitely need to say a prayer before the show.

What are you most excited about today?
I’m really excited to perform. I’m at a loss for words. I want to see Cardi B because she so fire. Shoutout to her!

Your music is extremely versatile. How would you categorize your music?
I’m always stuck because I never know where to put myself. It’s nobody doing what I’m doing, especially not a girl. So I can never categorize my music. I can just say, it’s fresh, new, it’s the sh**. You really got to listen to it and make your own assumption.

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As far as genre though, you seem to mix around with a lot of things…
Alternative R&B, alternative, hip-hop, rock.

Where did that rock influence come from?
I grew up around 90s, 2000s R&B, which is my favorite. But I’m a rockstar. I love rockstars in general, so it’s just in me and comes out sometimes when I’m on the record. I’m trying to be like Drake and make my own genre.

You’ve said that you had to prove yourself, especially as a female artist. Why is that so important to you?
My thing is I guess they thought I want to be like Uzi, then Dex. I felt like they weren’t taking it serious. But it’s a real thing. You can’t name another girl doing the stages I’m doing. I’m getting recognized by the right people. You either hate it or love it. But I think that they weren’t taking it as serious as it is. And now, maybe they looking like whoa! [I’m] still proving myself though.

You’re one of those female artists that can get down with everyone in the game…
I’m definitely running with the boys.

Do you feel like it’s ever been a challenge to run in a male-dominated genre?
It’s been natural. I’ve been a tomboy all my life. When it comes to fitting in, I think I’m really fly. It’s not really hard; I’m just being myself. I never feel forced. The only time it’s hard to fit in is at school.

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Why?
It’s school and that’s not for me. I can’t even pretend.

You didn’t have any features on Back from the Future. Are you going to stick with that?
There will be features on the new one, but not too many. You don’t want to do too much, water it down. Use your features wisely. Album is coming in January.

Your visuals are crazy… Obviously those videos are just a reflection of your style.
Yeah, they have to be. You have to be able to get your persona across in the video. And that’s hard for a lot of artists. Sometimes my favorite artists, I watch their video and be like, ‘ahh, you didn’t give me what I wanted.’ I’m directing my next video, so I’m really excited. I pretty much begged everybody to let me do this.

What’s your end goal?
On the main stage in Made In America. [Laughs] No, but I just I want to be a hero for the kids. I want to be the leader of the youth. Leader of the new school.