K.Flay

Chicago born and raised, Stanford-educated and Brooklyn-based rapper K.Flay is homeless.

It’s a temporary predicament, but less than two years after moving to New York to pursue her career with RCA Records, 27-year-old Kristine Flaherty finds herself on the road through the end of September, touring in support of her latest EP, What If It Is (to be released in August). The September stretch of dates, opening for dance duo Icona Pop, will be the rapper’s largest shows to-date.

“My lease was up, so I actually don’t live anywhere, technically,” Flaherty said. “I live in a storage unit in Yonkers. Ultimately, I’ll return to New York. I’m sort of being transient and hoping that does not affect my mental well-being.”

K.Flay will likely be too busy to consider she has no home address. She ended June between Los Angeles and Seattle. In July, she plans to film several videos on the West Coast and perform at Phono del Sol on Saturday, July 13th: “I’m super excited; I think the line-up is really cool, and the food trucks are going to be amazing.”

And the two-month Icona Pop tour will begin in August and take her through the end of September.

“I’m not at all (settled down),” she said. “I’m the opposite.”

What If It Is will be K.Flay’s third EP in the past year, and the short-form release has become the rapper’s preferred method to put forth new music into the world. A long-gestating full-length debut has taken a back seat for now.

The EP “expands on some of the electronic themes that have been going on (on previous releases), not like in a cheaper EDM way, but it’s incorporated into things,” she said. The organic, DIY feel of her music remains.

“I’m not sure about the full length,” K.Flay said. “I think I’m starting to get the idea of putting out smaller installments of material because I think it’s an interesting way to get to know music.”

Her record label has allowed Flaherty to pursue her musical interests, from song creation to distribution. RCA understands that the music may go in a number of directions, and has placed no pressure to record a traditional album, allowing her to continue to develop her sound.

The Icona Pop tour will expose K.Flay to a new crop of potential fans, but she said she would continue to change her live show and try new things, as she did recently when she performed a string of shows with a DJ/hype man (in addition to drummer Nick Suhr).

“I’m starting to incorporate elements of my controllers and modulating sounds in a more interesting way than in the past,” she said. “That’s just come with more touring experience and seeing what crowds respond to. As I’ve done more shows with a lot of different kinds of artists, I’ve become more liberated on stage.”

K.Flay plans to continue to tour and write songs relentlessly, and does want to eventually release a full-length debut, as a rite of passage.

“Things are definitely in the pipeline, so we’ll see what happens,” she said.

Follow writer Roman Gokhman at Twitter.com/RomiTheWriter and RomiTheWriter.Tumblr.com

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