Maxim Meyer-Horn

25 May

Interview: Kilo Kish Talks About ‘AMERICAN GIRL’ and Working With Gant

The American singer Kilo Kish has recently released her second album ‘AMERICAN GURL‘ and became the face of GANT’s global ‘Made With Liberty Fabrics’ campaign. The singer and the iconic clothing brand don’t only share a passion for clothing but also have the same philosophy: always keep learning and defy conformity. We spoke to Kilo Kish about her new album and her collaboration with GANT. Among other things, she told us about the meaning of her new project and also told us what freedom means to her.

Wikipedia introduces you as “Lakisha Kimberly Robinson (born May 10, 1990), known professionally as Kilo Kish, is an American singer-songwriter and visual artist.” But how would you introduce yourself?

I would introduce myself as Kish. I’m an artist, amongst other things. I’m inspired by exploring creatively and learning as much as I can in this lifetime. I also really love gardening, personal study projects, and food.

You’re working together with GANT. Why do you think it’s such a good match for you?

When I initially met with the creatives and team at GANT, they seemed inspired by creating organic relationships with artists and redefining what American sportswear can be. I had already been exploring my relationship with Americana for this album cycle, so I was already in that new future’s headspace. I think they are also quite open creatively, which is refreshing.

Tell us more about your collaboration with GANT? Besides being the face of the campaign, what did the collaboration entail?

We worked together to craft the feel of the video on set, and I created music for the campaign (along with producer Ray Brady), inspired by our time shooting in Lisbon.

Congrats on the new album. How was the creating process of AMERICAN GURL?

It was a unique project creatively—felt like I was working on it forever. We had a lot of delays with the pandemic as the whole world did. So it feels good to have it come out finally. I am always growing and changing, so a lot of the frustration and stuckness I am expressing on the album has since dissipated. That’s what I love about albums in general. They mark moments in time.

It’s your first project since 2019. How has your perspective on music changed in those three years?

With this record, I am breaking out from the limits imposed on my output. I am more open to exploring other mediums that have been growing out of me over the past ten years. I am excited to write more, collaborate more on projects for other artists, and enjoy new spaces.

What does the project embody for you?

License to choose, consciously, how I will spend my energy. Declaring my separation from any imposed limits, societal, personal, or otherwise.

The artwork of the album represents ‘The Statue of Personal Liberties’. How did you come up with that idea?

For the visual component of the record, I wanted to “try on” archetypal tropes and figures in American Pop Culture, like Barbie and the “southern belle” and turn these on their head a bit. I worked with Ashley Furnival, the stylist, for the cover shoot. We were inspired by this Rodarte headpiece, which reminded me of the crown on the statue of liberty or a crown of fireworks. The whole album is about taking ownership and control over your life—and putting yourself back in the driver’s seat. I kept this symbol as a reference in mind.

What does being free mean to you?

Autonomy, the ability to move at will, financial security as an artist, naming your own worth and value, the ability to create boundlessly, also the ability to give of myself to the world—but this definition is always changing.

Do you sometimes feel free or limited in your creativity?

Yes! Both! All the time, interchangeably.

If you could design an outfit yourself, what’s the first thing you would design?

I would wear a sailor’s uniform every day. I am always designing dresses for myself to wear or altering vintage dresses I find!

What’s coming up next? Is there any secret you’d like to share with us?

Currently, I am working on a film screening and food event in Los Angeles relating to American Gurl. There’s a new video coming out at the end of the month!

Kilo Kish’s new album ‘AMERICAN GURL’ is out on all platforms. And GANT’s capsule collection with Liberty Fabrics is available in-store and online.

Photo credits: GANT

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