Kenzie: Step Into My Office
Dress by Kiko Kostadinov, tights stylist's own.
Not to mention, this chick is a natural-born lyricist whose verbiage packs a punch potent enough to break your heart into a million little pieces, then lovingly mend them back together all within the same verse; much like those delicious lil gummies that almost hurt to ingest, first it’s sour, then it’s sweet.
In the wake of the release of her newest single, “You The Best,” and debut EP, Dark July, a couple months ago, the energy of which perfectly encapsulating the blue-sky yet brooding nature of it’s creator, Kenzie continues to focus on the future, and the brilliant twists and turns 2019 has in store for her. office had the opportunity to catch up with the budding musician to pick her brain about some random shit.
If you could collaborate with any animal what would it be and why?
With any animal? I’m trying to think of an animal that I don’t see myself as at all because the thing about collaborations, I guess, is that I look to have an interesting mixture of things. So, I’m thinking a snake because I’d want to see how a snake’s mind works precisely because I don’t see myself as one...hopefully not, hopefully not a snake.
What animal do you see yourself as or the most spiritually connected to?
It’s not that far away from a snake to be honest but I do see myself as a gecko, I have a gecko.
Is it a leopard gecko?
It’s a gargoyle gecko, so kind of similar, it looks kind of like a little crocodile. Sometimes I look into her eyes and see a little bit of myself in them.
What’s the first thing you notice about a person?
First thing I notice is their teeth, normally—I have a weird obsession with people’s teeth. The mouth really draws me to people, especially when you have a conversation. I’m not the best with eye contact—my thoughts wander and I kind of follow them around the room. But definitely when someone smiles, seeing the makeup of their teeth makes me feel some kind of way, I don’t know!
What was the last photo you took?
The last photo that I took… let me just look on my phone. I wish I could say it was on an actual camera. I’m in the market for a new camera but in the meantime I am taking them on my phone. The last photo that I took was on the underground—there were these tiles that I saw that I thought looked super interesting. I’m really happy the last photo I took wasn’t a selfie!
Leotard, skirt & shoes by Repetto, corset by Claire Barrow, tights by Wolford (left); Bikini by Pucci, dress by Sonia Rykiel, tights by Claire Barrow (right).
Do you have any hidden talents that only your close friends and family know about?
I don’t know if it’s so much hidden because I talk about it but know one believes me because I can be such a clumsy mess, but I really like doing things with my hands—building things, kind of like craft-based stuff. It’s almost embarrassing to the point where I think that, in another dimension, I would set up a really awful Etsy shop. I do love anything tangible that you can work on, from embroidery to building a table.
As a musician and a lyricist, what is your biggest source of inspiration? Where do most of your themes come from?
I think that most of my favorite songs that I’ve written are very connected to visuality. I’m not the kind of person who sits down and writes a song because I think, ‘This is the song that I need to create today, I’m feeling like this so this is gonna come out.’ It’s more like a stream of consciousness, and then afterwards I’m like, ‘Oh wow I blacked out and this came out,’ then I start to put it together and find out what it actually means. When I’m in the middle of creating a song, I see a color, or I see what the situation is about. I used to be very anti-writing about love and relationships and all that kind of stuff just because I found it boring, or obvious, I guess. Then I realized how pretentious it was of me to think about things that way—if you feel something then you should probably write about it. I am a hopeless romantic whilst probably being one of the most cynical in the room about that kind of stuff. All of my stuff normally comes from a place of feeling some type of way about loving myself, or someone else, or just...that feeling.
If you could describe your sound in three different foods, what would they be and why?
I feel like I want to make this a well-rounded meal. I think mac n’ cheese would be in there because it’s not the best for you, but it’s comforting—and it’s just one of my favorites, it makes me feel good. A lot of comfort foods are coming to mind, I feel it’s because I find that my songs are quite easily digestible—that was an unintentional pun. Mac & cheese also because it has that salty element, so it’s not necessarily good for you. I want to say ice cream—chocolate ice cream—and something really tough, like broccoli.
Broccoli? This is a weird meal, dude, but I like it!
Okay I take that back! I was thinking of something kind of tough and not the nicest. Lyrically,some things are a little harder to swallow. Yeah, fuck it, broccoli—broccoli, ice cream, and mac & cheese. Such a strange combination, I’m sorry...don’t ever eat my music.
What is one thing that you can’t live with, can’t live without?
This is so awful, I can’t even believe I’m saying this because it’s so bad, but my juul. That is the most basic answer ever, but at least it’s real. It’s such an addiction-based question. There are so many things I could list instead, but my juul specifically.
Top by Kepler, dress by Molly Goddard, boots by Kiko Kostadinov (left); Top by Kepler, dress by Molly Goddard, jeans by Seven, boots by Kiko Kostadinov (left)
So, I see you have some tattoos—which one speaks to you the most, or relates very strongly your music?
One tattoo that mean a lot to me is this one, it says being and then doing crossed out. I equate it to my mother, because she says it all the time, and any time I call her really stressed out: ‘You are a human being, not a human doing.’ It’s a quote from a philosopher, I’m sure, but anytime anyone asks where it’s from I just say my mom because she’s the one who really instilled that in me. Being still and doing nothing are very different things.
Do you have any dream collaborations? The collaborator can be living, made-up, or dead.
I mean, I’m waiting for this snake collab for sure. Obviously because they’re gone you think of people like Bowie or Prince—obvious but amazing. I think I would love to collaborate with Bukowski, someone who is so different from me, like an old ass white dude with a drinking problem, womanizer. There is something so interesting about getting into someone else’s head, someone who is so far removed from your perspective and your point of view. So someone like that would be awesome. Björk would be sick, she is incredible. Her voice is so fragile and powerful at the same time, which I think makes for the weirdest, most amazing and magical balance. Collaborating with her would be an absolute dream.
One piece of advice that you know now that you would’ve given yourself when you started out in the music industry?
It’s so blanketed but I tell myself it all the time now that life is long, hopefully. I think I was really excited but also anxious about saying what I wanted to say, or wanting to prove myself, or wanting to live my life on someone else’s terms. I think that taking a minute and realizing that there is so much more still to be experienced, really all of those cliches—life is what you make of it and all that kind of shit—it’s true. Just taking your time with something, understanding that some things really do take a little more time to boil. Even now, I’m working on new music and I’m at the point where I’m like fuck it, if I’m not 100 percent happy with what I’m putting out, I don’t want to put something out that is half-baked. Life is long, so am I really going to want to listen to this shit in twenty years time and be like I put that out in the world? Give yourself the time and the space, emotionally and mentally, to grapple with all that.
If you had any at all to begin with, which New Year’s resolution have you broken already?
I don’t know if I even gave myself resolutions exactly because my whole thing is this that if you want to do something just start now, why wait until the new year? I know that there is something that I did said that I was going to do that I have already broken, but if I can’t even remember it I bet it’s not that important. I haven’t been smoking though and I’m really proud of myself for that. I have been juuling and not smoking.
What do you have coming up that you’re super excited about?
I have been in the studio since the beginning of the year working on new stuff. There is one song that I’m so excited about which is honestly more than enough at this point to keep my momentum going, or to keep me motivated and ready to move on to the next thing. I think I’m definitely going to shoot a video the next little bit, which I’m very stoked about because as I said before, the visuals are such a big part of what I do—the song doesn’t really feel complete until there is a visual element to it. Beyond that, just enjoying the fact that I don’t know what’s going to come next. Putting out new music is definitely the thing I’m most excited about right now.