PAMM Presents: Kilo Kish

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Photo courtesy of artist

We’re bringing the community together for an eclectic line-up of artists for our Miami Art Week signature Thursday night event. On December 6, Kilo Kish is bringing her show-stopping performance to the museum for the first time, and we’re thrilled to have her at PAMM Presents.

Be sure to check out her latest EP, mothe, before the show.

PAMM Presents is an invitation only event open to PAMM Sustaining and above-level members, as well as VIP passholders of Art Miami, Art Basel Miami Beach, NADA Miami, PINTA Miami, and UNTITLED Miami Beach.

Get to know Kilo Kish and check out our interview below.

How does your background, upbringing, and current location influence your music?
Growing up I spent a lot of time being creative alone, making up games, writing books/poems, and drawing and painting. I think going to art school helped me to think conceptually about art and therefore music. Currently—living in Los Angeles allows for a lot of the space I had as a child. I spend a lot of time without outside distraction, which makes flow a lot easier.

How do you find a connection between and audio experience and a visual? Do you find that one inspires the other?
They aid each other. In my art shows I always create an audio element to go with the film or performance as it just seems appropriate to me. I think within music there are worlds and palettes and layered universes to create in an album, even in a three minute song. Visuals can help to drive music concepts home and can be chosen carefully and with that in mind. Though I think sometimes music is best with your eyes closed.

What stimulates you to develop new ideas for your work? On both a small and larger scale.
I am not sure. I just wait, really wait, to be stimulated. I can be inspired by most anything if I allow myself to interact with it closely enough. I’m quite sensitive like that, so I manage my sensitivity and focus by allowing a very finite amount to stimuli. This helps me to create continuity and pathways with themes within my work without opening the floodgates. It’s more a question of how to I keep myself focused from over stimulation.

How do you stay motivated to continue producing and what pushes you further?
Naturally, I just like to finish what I start. It kind of eats at me if I don’t, at least with big ideas. There are projects I’ve worked on for years that I haven’t even begun to roll out. I guess I just think of myself as a lifelong creator, it’s what I chose to do in life, so there’s not a question of continuing. It can be quite frustrating the time it takes for all the pieces to align themselves in real life, but I take it all a day at a time for now. I am pushed to fill the space unfilled—and by a curiosity—and an anxiety. And boredom! And the need to stretch my mind.

Photo courtesy of artist

How do you define success?
I don’t know, in many ways. There’s a lot of ways of being and I teeter between them all at any given moment. I am competitive and I like to win so there’s always the basic capitalist dream. Crossing off the goals achieved, etc. There’s the need to feel like you’ve made a difference or impacted the world positively in some way, the most noble. The humility of living for GOD or something outside of yourself. There’s the romance of dying for and in your art and the eternal mark you leave. Sometimes (for someones) it’s a success just to get through the day. I don’t think I stick to one way of looking at life and that’s what makes it all the more confusing.

What do you hope people take away from your music?
I hope that it is interesting at the least.

What are you looking forward to most about performing at PAMM Presents?
Being in my home state and learning, experiencing something new.

About Kilo Kish
As if spun from ether, the synthy experimental reflections of Kilo Kish (nee Lakisha Kimberly Robinson) strikingly embody what is intangible—the overwhelmingly complex emotions we sometimes feel but cannot find the language to express. A singer-songwriter, multi-disciplinary artist and designer, Kish’s musical offerings have always been deeply intertwined with her work in other mediums. Her debut EP Homeschool (released April 2, 2012), earned praise for its disarming honesty, marking the genesis of a discography informed by Kish’s deeply self-reflective nature and innate curiosity about the boundaries of human interactions with the world. “I think people liked Homeschool because it felt really naive but also natural. That naturalness of it is almost like catching an artist in their garage band stage,” explained Kish. The EP also provides early insight into Kish’s collaborative process, featuring production and vocals from longtime friends the Internet and Pyramid Vitra—Kish had previously connected with Matt Martians (the Internet) online, and subsequently formed relationships with the rest of the band.

Born in Orlando, Florida, Kish spent much of her early childhood in solitary settings, critiquing and exploring her surroundings autonomously, while at the same time fully immersing herself in creative projects and activities that challenged her world view. She entered her school’s gifted program at the age of five, and the advanced curriculum soon separated her from her peers. Still, the young Kish found that she preferred the company of adults, finding inspiration from the complexity of their realities. Despite having few friends of her age, her family were early advocates of both her independence and creative spirit.

Her mother in particular provided a steady stream of art supplies, books and activities to feed Kish’s voracious young mind. “I would get bored of things really easily. So once I learned how to do something I was always trying to find the next thing to learn,” Kish explained of her lifelong sense of restlessness. Yet, even in becoming easily disillusioned with standard childhood activities, Kish still fell under the spell of the popular culture of the ‘90s. When she wasn’t watching a steady stream of music videos on MTV, she listened to the top 40 hits on her favorite local station. In her teenage years, Kish’s musical tastes imploded, expanding into the realm of alternative sounds and internet-based sub-genres. Spurred on by the popularity of pirating platforms like Limewire, she sought out the future-facing croonings of Bjork, and connected with the empowered folk-pop of Regina Spektor.

This plethora of influences coupled with a rejection of any state of stagnation still defines Kish’s music. A year after the release of Homeschool (while still studying at FIT in New York), she completely pivoted directions and released K+. The free mixtape was supported by a digital art zine and immersive listening session. Featuring A$AP Ferg, Childish Gambino, Earl Sweatshirt and more, K+ chronicled the process behind its own making in order to bring the listener closer to the mind of the artist. “At the time, I kind of just considered music as another form of making stuff. I was in college thinking I was going to become a textile designer, but then to see some of my peers blowing up—Matt was with Odd Future and some of my other friends were in A$AP Mob. So I saw it happening around me and it occurred to me that it was possible,” she explained of the time.

The following year, in 2014, she released her second EP Across with the support of French fashion house and record label Maison Kitsune. On its heels came Kish’s debut studio album, Reflections in Real Time (2016) which she released through her own imprint label Kisha Soundscape + Audio. The album, a searing and deeply personal journal entry into the motivations, fears, and obsessions of an artist unafraid to document her own fallacies, garnered praise for its earnestness and impeccable musicality. In an interview with Elle that year, Kish even joked that the album’s level of honesty would probably embarrass her later. As her story continues to unfold, and her already-impressive buzz continues to grow, stay tuned for more on one of 2018’s most exciting artists…Kilo Kish.


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