I wanna be the best
I wanna wake up feeling like I fucking slept
I wanna prove you wrong, that my story isn’t written
I wanna be something gold, I wanna be someone different
There is often an immediacy that comes with an artist who feels pent up, but not everyone who gets set free ends up writing their All Eyez On Me . . . sometimes the wait takes the energy away and the moment for that voice passes. In January of 2014 after leaving New York and finally being freed of an RCA contract that had kept her creatively captive and relinquished all of her songs, Kristine Flaherty settled down in a rented LA rehearsal space and over the course of a couple months wrote all of the material for her debut full length Life As A Dog.
Having been a long time fan myself, I was obviously excited when her manager contacted me about the prospect of mixing the record. K.Flay was once my suggestion for “Artist Not To Miss” at the Treasure Island Music Festival, and I had blurry-yet-fond memories of being completely high (and high-fiving her randomly) at a NYE performance once at Milk Bar. So with that knowledge you would think I wouldn’t have been very surprised when she played me the new material and it was amazing, but it was . . . and it did surprise me.
A very obvious progression had happened with the new songs. They were SONGS. The rapping was still there and as sharp and witty as ever, but a new melodic element had been introduced and it was very plain to me that people were going to not only enjoy this record, but sing along to it. Apparently this feeling was right, because through a smart self-release fundraising effort on pledgemusic.com over 1600 people helped raise almost 200% of her original goal, eventually pushing the release to #14 on the Billboard Rap chart and #133 overall. Despite some minor hiccups (like having her van stolen while home in the East Bay between tour stops) she has basically been touring and writing since.
Life As A Dog can’t exactly be compared to 2Pac’s 2 week post-prison Death Row firestorm, but when you take into account that the majority of the tracks were also self-produced, and couple that with a work ethic that doesn’t seem ready to stop, to me this year has been a clear indication of what K.Flay is capable of . . . and I can’t wait to see what comes next.
Patrick Brown is a recording engineer / producer as well as the current owner of Different Fur Studios. He considered writing about other artists that he hasn’t actually worked with, but decided that would be dishonest.