Kilo Kish: The Making of a Brand
Life is a collusion of paths, winding and intertwining down roads that lead to destinations and stops we rarely glimpse sight of before our distinct arrival. Yet, as byzantine as these trails can be it is these very journeys which, cumulatively, act as the fire within which our true personas are forged or destroyed. Kilo Kish’s debut studio album Reflections in Real Time explores both the difficult but necessary process of self- reflection and the dynamics of growth through a compilation of multi- genre tracks ranging in length from quietly musing minutes to raucous mini- opuses reminiscent of the alt girl bands of the early 2000s.
Kish, born Lakisha Kimberly Robinson, discusses just what was going through her head during the creative process for her album: “I wasn’t really working much, I was at home and was just really thinking about the things I did and how I got to Los Angeles [from NYC]. I had a relationship that ended and had to step back and just like ask myself what I was doing here [and where I was going next]. Kish continues, “I was battling with the ideas of who I was, who people thought I was and who I actually am and I feel like I birthed who I really am here [in LA]. Reflections was just a natural ending of that chapter and [the means to vent] all of my frustrations from that chapter.”
Despite Kish’s assertion that she “wasn’t working much,” she has in fact been quite busy these past couple years working on both her debut studio album and all of its corresponding projects. This month saw the first release from Kish’s highly anticipated apparel and home accessories line Kisha, a division of her umbrella label KSA (Kisha Soundscape + Audio). Says Kish of her label, “I wanted the label to have more of a scientific feel because the purpose is to release projects that push boundaries with a focus on projects that are not fully classified as music. From poetry to supplemental music projects to visual arts, KSA aims at bridging the gap between music, art and fashion and for making sounds that go with our designs [as well as] sounds that work in the home for creative professionals.”
True to KSA’s mission statement, Kisha’s premier release is a cohesive product borne of the creative efforts of Kish’s friend and designer Leyman who used songs from Reflections as a muse for each illustration: “I had already done so much for Reflections and wanted the merchandise to have a different look, so I hit up Leyman because we both have this very similar sense of humor, like very dark and we both love hand based crayon drawings. I gave him the album and I’m going to give him the track listing and he can draw whatever he wants for each song.” Each drawing, featured on a series of tees, correlates to a track from Reflections. For example, for the song “Cool Interlude” the pic on the tee depicts “an anvil with the word ‘life’ written on it and the word ‘me’ underneath the anvil, which is meant to convey the idea that life is crushing you.” All tees are currently available exclusively via UNION Los Angeles (both in- store and online).
Part of the lasting nature of Kish’s brand is derived from her clear commitment to both painstaking process and unswerving authenticity. As Kish wraps up the release of her tees and album and begins the process of working out touring and what comes next with KSA, she makes it clear that design is a central tenet of her life and will, most likely, be the main thing occupying her time for the next several years: “I’ m going to be doing design forever. I’m 26 years old so even if [KSA] doesn’t get completely underway until I’m 30, it’s something that I know I’m going to do forever.”