Artist Spotlight: K.Flay

Kristine Flaherty, better known as K.Flay, is reveling in her eclectic grunge rock sound and dominating the alternative charts this year.

With various Grammy nominations and top Billboard 100 songs, K.Flay has successfully reinvented her musical roots. Her drive for voicing her opinion in and out of music has made her a feminist icon in the industry and led her to produce emotionally raw and inspirational lyrics.

K.Flay learned to play the guitar at a young age in a small Illinois town. She soon discovered a passion for blending genres, creating a space in her music for everyone to enjoy. Her goal when releasing music has always been to use it as an outlet for the chaos and unsteadiness in the world.

In a 2013 interview with The Berklee Groove, K.Flay opened up about being a feminist in a genre mostly filled with male artists.

“I think there’s this inherent push to sexualize — and it’s true for men too, but it’s much more true for women,” K.Flay said in the interview. “I think there’s less of a spectrum and more kind of categories for women who do things in entertainment, and for me, the people that I really respect and look up to and am intrigued by are people who straddle those lines. I think it’s important to be aware of that as a female artist and to be … conscious of the ways in which you can get steered in one direction or another.”

At the age of 19, K.Flay began her music career at Stanford University, where she pursued a double-major in psychology and sociology. In many interviews, she claimed that much of her musical influence came from the people she met while at college.

She first started out as a rap/hip-hop artist and began experimenting with various styles to break the norm of the typical misogynistic rap song. Her defiance and love for producing music that expresses her creativity are what got her to where she is today.

After graduating college in 2011, K.Flay made her breakthrough mixtape, “I Stopped Caring in ’96.” She soon landed a deal with a major record label and released another EP titled, “What If It Is.” For her first album, “Life as a Dog,” she captured the essence of her thoughts with hits such as “Make Me Fade” and “Can’t Sleep.” K.Flay wanted to fuse her ‘90s and early 2000s rock inspiration with a more modern rock and pop sound.

Her sound is unique, combining hip-hop roots, smooth pop undertones and rock vibes to create music that appeals to everyone.

In 2016, K.Flay released her notorious single “FML” and released her “Crush Me” EP later that year. Before touring with Imagine Dragons in 2017, K.Flay signed to Interscope Records under lead singer Dan Reynolds’ Night Street Records. Soon after, she released her sophomore studio album, “Every Where Is Some Where,” featuring chart-topping “Blood in the Cut” and “High Enough.” Bringing a gritty rock tone and deep lyrical meaning, K.Flay wanted “Every Where Is Some Where” to portray a sense of meaning and self-acceptance.

“The President Has A Sex Tape” mirrors her raw emotions on the current state of the world. In an interview with Interscope, K.Flay stated that she wanted this song to be a “rallying cry” and a hopeful “weird little anthem for people feeling disillusioned or alienated.”

Opposite the coarse anthem, “Mean It” has a more tender meaning as she talks about her family relations and becomes entirely vulnerable in the lyrics.

Although she’s taking a short break from touring to record more music, K.Flay hinted at an album release sometime soon and stated multiple times that she’s feeling more creative than ever.

If you want to stay updated on her next breakthrough album or take a listen to some of her empowering songs, be sure to visit kflay.com.