K. Flay’s music is an old fashioned that’s been spiked with a mystery upper: It has an edge you can’t quite put your finger on, but you can’t get enough of it either. This alternative hip-hop artist is casually strolling to the top of the scene with her refreshing twist on a crowded genre.
Born Kristine Flaherty, K. Flay has been pumping out songs since the early 2000s. She recently released “Blood in the Cut,” a stellar single that quickly landed a spot on Billboard’s Top 10 Emerging Artists chart.
“I feel like I just kept getting shifted five degrees until I finally made a right turn,” she says about her success. “It was gradual. People started believing in me.”
Flaherty started her career as a kid in San Francisco who couldn’t stop making music. Her voice is akin to that of a tiny bird, but one you wouldn’t dare cross. Each song is as thick as her skin, with themes of drugs and self-hatred, although she does show her softer side in some of her slower soft-pop songs. She boldly mashes together layers of electronica, indie rock and traditional hip hop over her broody and moody lyrics.
Eventually, Flaherty got enough recognition with her unique sound to land several label offers, and she took her performances to stages across the nation. “When I get an idea and can make it into a thing that exists,” she says, “it’s this crazy joy, a rush of euphoria, like heroin. Even if the song was fucking terrible, I still got that feeling.”
Come indulge in the darker side of alt hip hop with K. Flay 7 pm Wednesday, March 29, at WOW Hall; tickets $13 in advance, $15 at the door.