In this weekly series, we spotlight the performers and other participants who will combine for the Emerge Music + Impact Conference on the Las Vegas Strip November 16-18. Tickets are available now at emergelv.com.
With her raw, witty lyricism and moody, punk-rock sensibilities, it’s easy to see why K.Flay is the first signing to Interscope Record’s Night Street imprint, helmed by Imagine Dragons frontman Dan Reynolds—and why she’s an ideal get for the first Emerge Music + Impact Conference in Las Vegas, Reynolds’ hometown. The 32-year-old Illinois-born musician is one of the most different-sounding artists out there; Entertainment Weekly called her 2014 full-length debut Life as a Dog a combo of “spaced-out rap beats and chiming indie rock.”
Initially inspired by the early recordings of Kid Cudi, K.Flay is dedicated to creating something musically interesting while remaining utterly honest. Those dual ambitions are as evident in her breakthrough 2011 mixtape I Stopped Caring in ’96 as they are in last year’s Crush Me EP, which she recorded with Nashville musician JT Daly (and LA producer Simon Says) in a converted carriage house in Tennessee. “I remember I was leaving the studio in Tennessee really late one night and playing ‘Hollywood Forever’ super-loud in the car,” she recalls. “All of a sudden I was jolted back to the first time I ever pressed my music onto CD, and to putting all the boxes of CDs in my trunk and saying to myself, ‘That’s cool — I made that.’ It was this weird joyous feeling, and I’d completely forgotten all about it until that night in Nashville.”
The plan is to supply plenty of those weird, joyous feelings at Emerge—especially when K.Flay takes the stage.