Rising female rapper K Flay is not your everyday hip hop hopeful. The self-taught producer and songstress is a tomboy and a Stanford alum -- two things you don't see every day often among the reigning pack of racy female MCs -- and her music is just as unique thanks to her effortless ability to move from singing to rapping and back again. She built a devoted regional following in the mid-'00s with a series of self-released mixtapes, and in 2014 she took her sound to the masses with her debut album Life As A Dog. At her live shows K Flay approaches catchy tracks like "Make Me Fade" and "The Cops" with the ease and confidence fans have come to love from her recordings, delivering a laid-back and entirely original hip hop concert experience that blends the best of rap, rock, and electronic music.
K Flay, aka Kristine Meredith Flaherty, was born in the bucolic Chicago suburb of Wilmette, Illinois, where she was raised by a musical family. After high school she moved to California to attend Stanford University, and during her freshman year there she experienced two life-altering events. The first was receiving news that her father -- a music lover and skilled guitarist -- had passed away unexpectedly. The second was the creation of her first rap track "Blingity Blang Blang", a parody song that she made to amuse her friends. The gag led to the realization that she liked writing music, and by year's end she had written several more songs as a tribute to her father. She taught herself to produce tracks on the computer and began performing live, and in her junior year she made her debut as K Flay with the mixtape Suburban Rap Queen. She followed up in 2009 with the Mashed Potatoes mixtape, and in 2010 she dropped the K Flay EP. Two more solid EPs and extensive regional touring followed in the early '10s, and in 2014 she made her official studio debut with the album Life As A Dog. The record peaked at No. 2 on the Heatseekers chart and No. 14 on the Rap chart, receiving praise from critics and earning her a national fanbase. Following the record's release K Flay proved herself the real deal with a string of self-assured performances on tour, leaving little doubt in fans' minds that she's got big things on the horizon.