Monday, 13 July 2009

Throwback Interview: Kid Sister

Posted by Tahirah

While co-ordinating my finger-nails & toes a few days ago, I found myself humming Kid Sister's Pro-Nails and I thought "hmm...I'd quite like some new Kid Sister!"

So I dug out the interview I did with her from June 2008 for Origins Media (and I mean dug up - my old laptop died and took all of my work with it AND Origins Media is down at the moment). This was my favourite interview of 08; probably because I was a fan before I met her and our interview was more like a real good conversation with an old friend - it was a biatch to edit because we kept veering off topic so much!

At the time of the interview Kid Sis was doing nuff promo and seemed like Kid Sis was going to blow, with a single backed by Kanye and her album pending release late summer. However, the album release got pushed back and everything got a little quiet around her late 08. I've heard that this year she's back in the studio prepping for club domination with some new hot ish...and I personally can't wait for it to land - Beeper was my ringtone for the longest, Control was a part of my workout playlist!

Kid Sister Interview - June 2008

In 2005, amidst working three jobs, Melissa “Kid Sister” Young started to rap. Three years later Kid Sister is performing in clubs and festivals around the world and promoting her club hit Pro Nails featuring Kanye West. An open and animated Kid Sister talks about nerd rap, working with Kanye West, her dream date and much, much more.

Tahirah: You’ve done Glastonbury, and you’re doing the festival circuit worldwide – how does it compare to more intimate crowds you play in the clubs?
They’re the same! You can take me to a room like this (a cosy room with a settee and arm chairs), or the big crazy huge Glastonbury festival and I’ll bring the same energy and emotion – it doesn’t matter! Every audience deserves the same show! Sometimes I get the butterflies though. Like when I played Fabric I was so sick before the show and I fell on stage – because I was so nervous – but I pulled it off. I brought the same energy to Fabric as I’d bring to a room like this, jumping on the couch with a beer.

Tahirah: I can definitely hear the Chicago house scene influencing your music, but what are some of your other musical influences?
I really like mid-to-late R&B; it’s really my favourite kind of music! I love 112, Mint Condition, Dru Hill…it’s just so good! So cheesy, but so good! And I love rap that I can dance to! Remember Skeelo – I Wish? It doesn’t have to be hipster rap or anything; I’m not trying to make something new, because really, there’s nothing new under the sun!
Tahirah: How would you describe your music?
Nerd rap! I’m a self-described dork and I embrace it!

Tahirah: Do you aspire towards being categorised as a mainstream artist?
Yeah! I kinda want to change the way mainstream looks, that’s why I’m doing I’m doing. I feel like my music should be able to play on the radio to. Often underground music – it doesn’t even have to be rap; hipster music, indie rock, or indie pop, whatever – comes with a lot of warning labels of exclusivity and pretension. And I’m like why? I don’t get that. It’s music; it’s meant to be fun! For me at least, it’s meant to be fun and I don’t think it should come with a set of requirements before you’re allowed to have it! That’s how my music is meant to be. There’s no warning labels on it, just come as you are. Don’t be disrespectful, but just have fun!

Tahirah: You started rapping in 2005…
Yep, at the end of 2005, like the beginning of 2006 so about 2 & a half years.

Tahirah: What were you doing before that?
Working three jobs! Working a baby store, a reggae bar, and a Bath & Body Works, which is like Body Shop, putting lotion on old people! It was pretty horrible – I was riding my bike at the time. I’ve just got a car; it’s my first car in 6 or 7 years. Riding my bike in the wintertime, in Chicago, to three jobs? Not pretty! It was really really unpleasant. My brother was just starting to get popular with his music – he’s the DJ, J2K, in the group Flosstrodamus – I’m so proud of him! He just took off. I was like “I wanna do that too! I wanna get paid to have fun!” Life was so serious then, I was struggling to make ends meet. I was depressed all the time, crying all the time. I was on public assistance because I couldn’t afford to pay for my bills. Natural gas prices went up really really significantly the winter of 2005/06 and I couldn’t afford to heat my home. It was the shittiest time of my life. Those were the worst hardships I’ve faced. So I kinda turned my frown upside down, and started writing music. I thought, I’m going to be poor if I write and I’m going to be poor if I don’t, so I might as well. And it worked out, so, yay! I’m not poor any more!

Tahirah: You’re always dressed fresh! How important is image to you?
Well…Kind of important. I’ve been in a lot of different categories. I’ve been overweight, I’ve been underweight, I’m black, I’m white, you know, I’ve been a lot of different situations [where people think] “you should look this way, you should look that way!” People have tried to impose different labels on me. I’m definitely aware of how I look but I’m not too consumed about it. For a while I was worried about what people thought about me, and I still am to a certain degree – but no so much now! I think, as you get a little bit older you’re like “hmm…fuck it!” Image isn’t too important.

Tahirah: So do you think fashion is an outlet for your creativity?
[Fashion] is fun but you can’t get too caught up about it, its just clothes!
 Tahirah: Lets talk about Pro Nails, the first single...

It’s a fun, danceable party song. I’ve been getting my nails done since I was about fourteen, so it’s been a minute! My boyfriend A-Trak (Kanye West’s DJ) actually picked it for me, he was like “listen to this, its great!” and you know, toes done up with the fingernails matching? That’s so me. How could I not write on that? Then Kanye got on it. And it kinda turned to gold for me – it was like my little gold nugget I never knew existed. I didn’t even like the song at first; it was my least favourite out of all the beats.

Tahirah: Did you tell A-Trak that?
He knows! He was like “why don’t you get on the song?” and I was like “NO!” then I thought “I might as well…” then Kanye jumped on it and it popped off. Thanks Kanye!

Tahirah: Is the album still due to be called Koko B Ware?
No! I’m so bummed about it! It’s going to be called Dream Date. Which is also cute and girlie, not as much so as Koko B Ware but it’s all good! I can tell you about MY dream date – I like surf or turf, sushi or steak and I’m free on Friday! Hook it up! [laughs] But honestly, it’s going to be an interesting package. I used to play Dream Date all the time when I was younger, it was a board game, and I was boy crazy. I still am in fact. I love my boyfriend!

Tahirah: And finally, advice for other artists?
Just be yourself, don’t get wrapped up in no craziness. Be yourself - that’s the only thing that’s really going to translate to people! Don’t try to hard. That shit comes off a little bogus!
I love her...