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Speed ontheBeat Speed ontheBeat Author
Title: An SOTB!!! Interview with Kitty (@Kittaveli)
Author: Speed ontheBeat
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Photo Credit: Kitty's Instagram As readers of this site know, I absolutely love "alternative views on mainstream topics.&quo...
Photo Credit: Kitty's Instagram

As readers of this site know, I absolutely love "alternative views on mainstream topics." Therefore, it should come as no surprise that today's interview is with the one and only Kitty. For those unfamiliar, Kitty burst onto the scene a few years back with her lo-fi rap tracks such as "Okay Cupid" and "Justin Bieber." In the years that've followed, Kitty's gone from average young woman to, well, kind of a big deal, evolving her musical musings over that time as well. Thankfully, unlike some other folks that blow up and get all holier than thou (not naming names. I'm just saying), Kitty is still a person. And, I like people. So, I reached out to Kitty and...managed to score this great interview.


(I like this for two reasons. One, it's lyrically nice. Two, it's the mic I've used on occasion)

Speed on the Beat: Ok, I’ve got to ask. Where did the phrase “Kitty do the dishes” come from?

Kitty: "Kitty do the dishes" came from a song called “My Kitchen” by Gucci Mane. One of the lyrics is "pounds in the trashcan, Gucci do the dishes.”

Speed: Ah yeah. Throwback Gucci at this point. Now I have the almost insatiable need to listen to some Gucci. Anywho, why did you drop the “Pryde” again? I remember reading it, but—I’ll be honest—my brain works a million miles a minute, so sometimes I forget what I ate for breakfast a half-hour afterwards.

Kitty: This is one of the questions EVERYONE asks. Everyone thinks I got sued by Marvel for using the name of an X-Men character, but I really didn't—I just got sick of the name. My real name is Kitty, and I thought it was more personal. Honestly, though, if I had kept the Pryde, I probably WOULD have been sued eventually.

Speed: Now that those two are out the way…when, or rather, how did you start recording?

Kitty: I started recording in 2011, on my MacBook's built-in microphone, in my closet at the apartment I lived in with my dad.

Speed: Who are some of the artists you’d say influenced you?

Kitty: When I started, I was very heavily influenced by Yoni Wolf, Nicki Minaj, Danny Brown, Madlib, J Dilla. Now, I'd say my biggest influences are pop artists from the 90s and early 2000s, like Cynthia and the Spice Girls.

Speed: When you first started popping up, you were dropping lyrics on some pretty well-known tracks—for instance, your verse on “Time is the Donut of the Heart,” one of my favorite Dilla beats. Was it just like “hey, I like this beat. Lemme spit something on it and see what sticks?” Or was it a conscious choice to permeate into ears that may’ve shut you out otherwise.

Kitty: When I first started, I didn't have any other way to get beats. I spent a lot of time listening to Dilla's instrumentals, MF Doom's entire discography, shit like that. I didn't have anyone offering to make or send me beats, so I just rapped over what was available.

Speed: Did you expect to get the buzz you did from the Jokers in Trousers stuff?

Kitty:  I didn't expect to get any buzz, and I still kind of don't.
Where did the Misery-tinged “Justin Bieber,” especially the video, come from?

Argh. I really feel like a dunce now (laughs). So…your sound. It’s kind of like a mix between hip-hop, dream rap, 2010s pop sensibilities, CocoRosie (I love CocoRosie), and no-fi (which is awesome, because I’ve done a bit of no-fi music myself). Was that mix intentional or just a natural evolution? And if I’m completely wrong, feel free to let me know.

Kitty: From these questions, I feel like you may not have heard any of my newer music. My earliest music had no real direction because I didn't know what I was doing and had no actual vision for myself. After my first couple of records, I started experimenting with music I actually liked—I got really sick of hip-hop—and now I'd say my music is more electronic-pop.

Speed: True. I actually came across your more-recent stuff, well, recently. It is a lot different—in a good way, of course—from your older stuff. Do you ever get flack for being as completely unarmed and honest as you are?

Kitty:  I get a SHITLOAD of flack. I think the combination of my music, image, attitude online, and honesty makes people feel like they know me. So, I'm not necessarily judged for my lyrical content from a musical standpoint, but I'm judged for my actual feelings and personality. It fucking sucks.

Speed: When you do rap, your flow is so damned relaxed. Even when you’re delivering some pretty technical lyrics, you do so almost nonchalantly. It feels more like you’re talking with the listener than beating the hell out of them with your bars. Just like the sound question, was this intentional?

Kitty: I don't think it was intentional—I think I'm just not a very good RAPPER. I have a lot to say and I have a disarming voice, but I'm definitely not the most expressive when using it.

Speed: Also, with regards to some of the lyrics from the D.A.I.S.Y. rage project, my admitted favorite collection of stuff you’ve done, and among your later stuff, your lyrics get pretty stream-of-consciousness to the point where you travel out of songs and begin dialogue with yourself. In doing so, were you going for more of that blunt emotional honesty or something different?

Kitty:  I didn't intend to do anything, really! None of my lyrics are calculated to appeal to anyone and I don't try to incorporate any songwriting techniques or anything. I just kind of write down how I'm feeling and if I can turn it into a song, I do it.

Speed: You’ve got a pretty nice ear for beats and instrumentals. Who are some of your favorite producers?

Kitty: My favorite producers right now are Salva (obviously, since he's working on all of my stuff now) and naturally I love everyone on WEDIDIT. I'm a huge fan of Dave Luxe, simpli, Benedek. Most of my favorites are trance producers right now.

Speed: You’ve given me some new names to vibe to after we’re done. On another note, I noticed you started a Kickstarter for your first full-length album. How’d that go?

Kitty:  My Kickstarter was really successful! I made over twice my goal, which is fucking incredible and unexpected and everyone who pledged to my project is truly an angel. I am so grateful.

Speed: Do you think artists who utilize Kickstarter and other crowd-funding efforts are the future for the indie artist?

Kitty:  I don't necessarily think they're the "future.” But I think in the current state of the music industry, crowdfunding is an incredible resource for artists looking to fund projects they're passionate about while still retaining creative control.

Speed: Can people (especially Johnny-Speed-on-the-Beat-Come-Latelies like myself) still donate to the cause in some way?

Kitty: At the moment, I'm not able to offer rewards for donations, but hopefully soon I'll have a preorder set up for my new record!

Speed: This is probably one of the questions you get asked a lot and probably hate. So, apologies in advance. But…would you ever sign a deal?

Kitty: I would totally sign a deal, if I was confident I'd be able to maintain control of myself and the project under the contract. Also, everyone at the label would have to be nice to me. I been through enough bullshit to make money for any more mean people.

Speed: When can we expect the album to drop? Sorry, I’ve got to ask since I’ve binge listened to everything you’ve put out ad nauseum.

Kitty: Hopefully it'll be here late winter—worst-case scenario, early spring. But I'm really fucking impatient, so I'm working really hard because I want it out NOW.

Speed: Who are some artists you want to collaborate with/would be willing to collaborate with?

Kitty: I actually have no idea who I'd like to collaborate with anymore. I spent so long trying to get other artists to collab with me because I felt like that's what I SHOULD be doing. It seems like lately, artists focus more on the names on their records than expressing themselves.

Speed: Agreed.

Kitty: I sort of put the thought out of my mind at this point. I feel like my most valuable asset is how personal my songs are, and I like to be able to say that everything I express in my songs is 100% mine. Then again, if Skrillex wanted to make a song with me, I'd be like (pauses) “hell, yeah.”

Speed: Outside of making music, what are some things you find yourself getting into?

Kitty: Outside of music, I'm REALLY into videogames, and I also like talking, so I have a videogame podcast as well. I have a strange obsession with theme parks (even though I've only been to like, five) and I'm embarrassingly active on theme park forums. 


A photo posted by kitty (@miamigardenclub) on

(Kitty at a theme park...obviously)


I also like making videos and web design...I like to try everything, because I know that when this music stuff finally fizzles out, I'm gonna have to have a new plan.

Speed: Do you still contribute opinion and interview pieces for other outlets? I’ve loved your thoughts on various subjects, for instance your piece on the ineffectiveness of today’s internet trolls.

Kitty:  I don't contribute to websites much anymore, only because I've been so insanely busy with all of this Kickstarter and new album stuff. I take on WAY more than I have time for, unfortunately.

Speed: On another note, I see you’re a bit of a gamer as well (I tried to do a ton of research; I hate coming into an interview unprepared). What are your top five games of all-time and why?

Kitty: My top five games are probably such entry-level basic shit, but I'm a basic bitch, so that's fine. I think: 
  • Super Mario Sunshine, the first game I ever got lost in, because it was so revolutionary and beautiful to me
  • The Sims 3, because there's no other game that could waste thousands of hours of my time on something so pointless
  • Mass Effect 3, which introduced me to the Mass Effect series and what ended up becoming my favorite version of the universe
  • Catherine, the first game that has actually taught me anything about myself as a person and
  • GTA V, which is the biggest and most immersive game I've ever visited a strip club in.


Speed: What’s harder at this point: performing on-stage or doing a livestream of a game?

Kitty: Honestly, it is WAY harder for me to engage an audience while streaming a game. Plus, streaming software is so confusing and temperamental, it's WAY easier for me to look like an idiot while streaming. Half of my streams don't even have audio because the shit is so CONFUSING!!!

Speed: Do you ever get people saying “you should go back to your XYZ days?” And, if so, how do you deal with those comments on your evolving style?

Kitty: Oh my god, literally everyday, people tell me they wish I'd go back to making lo-fi rap songs. I used to get upset, like "AREN'T YOU GUYS GLAD I'M PUTTING IN EFFORT AND TRYING TO IMPROVE MY MUSIC?" I'm over that now. I'm like, “SORRY YOU DON'T LIKE MY NEW SONGS. FEEL FREE TO KEEP STREAMING THE OLD SHIT ON SPOTIFY AND MAKING ME MONEY.”

Speed: Can’t argue with that. But, ok, I promise—I’m almost done. Where can fans, new and old, reach you on the social media networks and whatnot?

Kitty: I'm @kittaveli on Twitter, http://facebook.com/kittaveli, kittydothedishes.tumblr.comit's hard to reach me on Tumblr because I hate using Tumblr now. Everyone there is too angry. [Also] @miamigardenclub on Instagram, kittyprydebeats@gmail.com. I think that's all the major ones.

Speed: Do you have any final thoughts, wishes, shoutouts, positive vibes, etc.?

Kitty: I'd love to thank everyone who supported my Kickstarter, everyone who supports me daily with nice words amongst all the garbage words, and everyone who still waits patiently for my new music even though it takes me so fucking long to release things. Thanks for asking great questions!!!!

Speed: And thank you for further educating me, my readers, and everyone else out there on what makes you an artist people absolutely need in their lives.

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