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K Flay 2015.jpg
K.Flay at House of Blues Anaheim in 2015
Background information
Birth name Kristine Meredith Flaherty
Born (1985-06-30) June 30, 1985 (age 32)
Origin Wilmette, Illinois, United States
  • Vocals
  • drums
  • guitar
  • bass guitar
  • synthesizer
  • keyboard
Years active 2004–present
  • Interscope (current)
  • Night Street (current)
  • Bummer Picnic (former)
  • RCA (former)
Website Official website

Kristine Meredith Flaherty (born June 30, 1985), known professionally as K.Flay, is an American singer and songwriter from Wilmette, Illinois. Her album Life as a Dog, released in 2014, peaked on the Billboard Heatseekers Albums chart at number two,[3] and on Billboard's Rap Albums chart at number 14.[4] In 2016, she signed with Interscope Records[5] as the first artist signed to Dan Reynolds' Night Street Records imprint.[6] K.Flay was nominated for two awards at the 60th Annual Grammy Awards: Best Engineered Album, Non-Classical (for Every Where Is Some Where), and Best Rock Song (for "Blood in the Cut").

Early life[edit]

Flaherty was raised in Wilmette, Illinois, a suburb north of Chicago.[7] She attended New Trier Township High School.

When she was seven, Flaherty's parents divorced. Soon after, her mother remarried, bringing in an extended stepfamily. She has described herself as a tomboy during childhood, preferring baggier clothing and rejecting "all things girly."[8]

When she was 14 years old, Flaherty's father, a guitarist who loved all musical genres, died. Many of her songs are a tribute to him.[7]

In 2003, she entered Stanford University in California, pursuing a double major in psychology and sociology. According to Flaherty, many people she met during her time at Stanford influenced her musical style.[9]


K.Flay rapping at Stanford University in 2007.

K.Flay began her music career in 2003, believing that most hip hop hits on the radio were "simplistic, misogynistic and formulaic".[10] After bragging to a friend that she could write similar songs, she wrote "Blingity Blang Blang", which she described as a "low budget rap parody that contained far too many obscenities".[11] After writing and performing the song, Flaherty realized that she enjoyed writing and recording music.[10]

Flaherty continued to experiment with music by writing songs and performing and recording them on her computer. She released a mixtape, Suburban Rap Queen, in 2005, which she produced on her laptop and began performing in the local music scene.[12]

2008–2013: Self-released material and RCA Records[edit]

In 2010, K.Flay released her self-titled EP, and in 2011 self-released the mixtape I Stopped Caring in '96, which she later remarked was a career turning point.[5]

K.Flay signed with RCA Records in 2012, releasing two EPs: Eyes Shut in 2012,[13] with songs produced by Liam Howlett from the British band The Prodigy,[14] and What If It Is in 2013.[15] She parted ways with RCA Records in 2013 because of differences of opinion. Upon leaving RCA Records, she left behind more than 60 songs she had written while signed under RCA Records, but no longer owned the rights to. K.Flay has described her time with RCA Records as similar to "an ill-advised marriage."[16]

2014–2015: Life as a Dog[edit]

K.Flay at a 2014 X Ambassadors concert.

In late April 2014, K.Flay announced[17] the release of her album Life as a Dog, by offering fans the ability to pre-order via PledgeMusic, reaching 196 percent of her initial goal.[18] She wanted the project to be "DIY [and] self-motivated".[11] It was recorded and produced in New York City, Los Angeles and San Francisco, with the final mix produced at San Francisco's Different Fur.[19]

Life as a Dog was released independently on June 10, 2014.[20] The album reached number 14 on the Billboard Rap Albums chart[4] and number 2 on the Billboard Heatseekers Albums chart.[3] K.Flay toured extensively once the album was released, including headlining a tour and joining tours with AWOLNATION, Third Eye Blind and Dashboard Confessional in 2014. In 2014 and 2015 she toured Germany, France and other European countries.[18]

K.Flay also performed on the Warped Tour in 2014, saying of the experience, "it was almost like an exercise in becoming a better performer".[21]

In 2015, K.Flay collaborated with Louis the Child on their song "It's Strange". The single was praised by Taylor Swift, who added "It's Strange" as one of her "Songs That Will Make Life Awesome" list[22] and was featured on the FIFA 16 soundtrack.[23] The song peaked at number 38 on the Billboard Hot Dance/Electronic Songs chart.[24]

2016–present: Crush Me and Every Where Is Some Where[edit]

K.Flay performing in November 2016.

On March 25, 2016, K.Flay released her single "FML".[25]

Later that year, on August 9, 2016, K.Flay announced she signed to Night Street Records, a division of Interscope Records.[6] Her EP Crush Me was released 10 days later on August 19.[26] The EP's song "Blood in the Cut" appeared on the soundtrack for xXx: Return of Xander Cage,[27] Netflix's original series BoJack Horseman (season 4, episode 6),[28] and in a 2017 NFL promo commercial drive.[29]

K.Flay's album Every Where Is Some Where was released on April 7, 2017.[30] The album’s first single, "High Enough", was released in March 2017.[31] She is also a special guest for Imagine Dragons' Evolve Tour.[32] In September 2017, Flay released the book Crush Me, a compilation of notes received from fans.[33]

At the 60th Annual Grammy Awards, "Blood in the Cut" received a nomination for Best Rock Song and Every Where Is Some Where was nominated for Best Engineered Album, Non-Classical.[34]

Musical style and influences[edit]

K.Flay has cited Lauryn Hill, M.I.A., Missy Elliott, Metric, Cat Power, Liz Phair, Garbage, Royal Blood, Tame Impala, Shlohmo, OutKast and Jeremih as influences.[35][36][37]

She has described her sound as "genre-defying" and draws from lo-fi pop and hip hop with a strong indie component in her sound.[2]


Studio albums[edit]

Year Album Chart positions
US Rap
US Heat
2014 Life as a Dog 133 14 2
2017 Every Where Is Some Where
  • Released: April 7, 2017
  • Label:
  • Format:
    • CD
    • digital download
    • LP
118 1 50

Compilations and mixtapes[edit]

Year Title Label
2004 Suburban Rap Queen Flayzer Beam
2009 Mashed Potatoes
2011 I Stopped Caring in '96
2013 West Ghost


Year Title Label
2010 K.Flay None
2012 Eyes Shut RCA
2013 What If It Is
2016 Crush Me Interscope

Collaborative releases[edit]

Year Title Other Artist Label
2009 Single and Famous EP MC Lars Horris/Flayzer Beam


Title Year Peak chart positions Album
US Alt.
"2 Weak" 2011 Non-album singles
(featuring SomethingALaMode)
"Fuck & Run"
"Rest Your Mind"
(featuring Felix Cartal)
"LA Again"
"Hail Mary"
(featuring Danny Brown)
2013 What If It Is
"Make Me Fade" 2014 Life as a Dog
"FML" 2016 Non-album single
"Blood in the Cut" 4 Every Where Is Some Where
"Black Wave"[43] 2017
"High Enough"[44] 20
"Justify You"
(with Kasra V)
Non-album single
"Giver" 25 Every Where Is Some Where
"—" denotes a single that did not chart or was not released in that territory.


Year Track featured Album
2013 "Hail Mary" (featuring Danny Brown) Need for Speed: Rivals
"Ribcage" (featuring K. Flay) Heart on My Sleeve
"Easy Fix" This Is the End: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
2015 Golden Features – "Telescope" (featuring K.Flay) XXIV
"Say It" (featuring K. Flay) Dopamine
"Promise" (featuring K. Flay) Automatic
"It's Strange" (featuring K. Flay) Non-album single
2016 Louis the Child – "It's Strange" (featuring K.Flay) FIFA 16
2017 "Blood in the Cut" xXx: Return of Xander Cage (Music from the Motion Picture)
"Heartbreak Summer" (featuring K. Flay) Ego


  1. ^ Zellber, Xander (September 16, 2016). "K.Flay, SOHN & Mitski: Emerging Artists of the Week". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved September 22, 2016. 
  2. ^ a b "K.Flay finds her mojo with Life as a Dog". Georgia Straight Vancouver's News & Entertainment Weekly. 2014-09-24. Retrieved 2017-04-12. 
  3. ^ a b "K. Flay - Chart history | Billboard". www.billboard.com. Retrieved 2017-04-12. 
  4. ^ a b "K. Flay - Chart history | Billboard". www.billboard.com. Retrieved 2017-04-12. 
  5. ^ a b "K.Flay releases video for first single with Interscope Records - RIFF". www.riffmagazine.com. Retrieved 2017-04-12. 
  6. ^ a b "WebCite query result". www.webcitation.org. Archived from the original on 2016-09-23. Retrieved 2017-04-12. 
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  9. ^ Nuno Caldeira (2016-08-10). "k.flay about LH". Retrieved 2017-04-12. 
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  11. ^ a b "San Francisco Bay Guardian | Looking for a Guardian article?". San Francisco Bay Guardian. Retrieved 2017-04-12. 
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  13. ^ "Eyes Shut - EP by K.Flay on Apple Music". iTunes. Retrieved 2017-04-12. 
  14. ^ "K. Flay on Money, Education and Why She's Okay With Having No Street Cred". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2017-04-12. 
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  16. ^ "K. Flay Interview: New Album, Fan Power + Missy Elliott". PopCrush. Retrieved 2017-04-12. 
  17. ^ https://web.archive.org/web/20140517165945/http://kflay.com/
  18. ^ a b "K.Flay: The performer". Archived from the original on 2015-03-16. 
  19. ^ "K.Flay". 2016-03-04. Archived from the original on 2016-03-04. Retrieved 2017-04-12. 
  20. ^ "Life As a Dog by K.Flay on Apple Music". iTunes. Retrieved 2017-04-12. 
  21. ^ "K.Flay talks to New York Music News". NYMN. Archived from the original on 2013-02-08. 
  22. ^ "Taylor Swift's 'New Songs that Will Make Your Life Awesome' List". Retrieved 2017-04-12. 
  23. ^ "Louis The Child Produces Flume-Inspired Track, Lands Spot on FIFA '16 Soundtrack - PRO MOTION Music News". PRO MOTION Music News. 2015-09-13. Retrieved 2017-04-12. 
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  25. ^ "FML - Single by K.Flay on Apple Music". iTunes. Retrieved 2017-04-12. 
  26. ^ "K.Flay Redefines Alt Rock with New Single 'Blood In The Cut'". Retrieved 2017-04-12. 
  27. ^ "'xXx: Return of Xander Cage' Soundtrack Details | Film Music Reporter". Retrieved 2017-04-12. 
  28. ^ "Music from BoJack Horseman S4E06". Tunefind. Retrieved 2017-09-12. 
  29. ^ "NFL Drive". 
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  32. ^ "Imagine Dragons Returning to Minnesota This Fall with New Tour". 106.9 KROC. 9 May 2017. Retrieved 10 May 2017. 
  33. ^ "K.Flay Creates a Pumpkin Mask, Discusses Inspiring Message Behind 'Crush Me' Book". Fuse. Retrieved 30 October 2017. 
  34. ^ Lynch, Joe. "Grammys 2018: See the Complete List of Nominees". Billboard. Retrieved 28 November 2017. 
  35. ^ "Interview with K.Flay | LA Music Blog". lamusicblog.com. Retrieved 2017-04-12. 
  36. ^ "K.Flay: Solo rap artist shows versatility". SFGate. Retrieved 2017-04-12. 
  37. ^ "Interview: K.Flay Takes Us To School In How To Head-Bang Like A Pro & Her Favorite Books | Nerdist". Nerdist. 2014-10-24. Retrieved 2017-04-12. 
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  40. ^ "K.Flay – Chart history (Heatseekers Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved April 18, 2017. 
  41. ^ "On The Charts: April 17, 2017". FYIMusicNews. Retrieved April 18, 2017. 
  42. ^ "k.flay – Chart History – Alternative Songs". Billboard. Retrieved November 28, 2017. 
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  44. ^ Aikins, Gabriel (11 March 2017). "K.Flay shares single "High Enough" off upcoming album". Substream Magazine. Retrieved 13 March 2017. 

External links[edit]