Kitty (rapper)

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Kitty
Birth nameKathryn-Leigh Beckwith
Also known as
  • Kitty Pryde
  • Miel
  • Kit
Born (1993-02-25) February 25, 1993 (age 26)[1]
Plantation, Florida [2]
OriginDeland, Florida, United States[3]
GenresCloud rap[4]
Occupation(s)
Years active2011–present
Associated acts
Websitekitty.limitedrun.com

Kitty Ray (born Kathryn-Leigh Beckwith; February 25, 1993),[5][6] known professionally as Kitty (formerly stylized as ♡kitty♡),[7] or, previously Kitty Pryde, is an American musician.

While serving as a member of Jokers in Trousers, a comedy hip hop group, she received recognition from fellow American rapper Riff Raff. The duo collaborated on a single, "Orion's Belt", in June 2012.[8] Kitty's song "Okay Cupid" became a viral hit and was ranked number 17 on Rolling Stone's list of the top 50 songs of 2012.[9]

After releasing several extended plays between 2011 and 2014, Kitty released her debut full-length album, Miami Garden Club, on August 25, 2017.[10] The album marked a change of sound from her earlier work, going in a more pop direction.

In 2018, Kitty joined American Pleasure Club, of which her husband Sam Ray is the lead vocalist and guitarist.[11] The couple are also involved in two separate side-projects: 56colors, formed in June 2016,[12][13] and The Pom-Poms, formed in September 2018.[14][15]

Kitty's second album, Rose Gold, was released on April 5, 2019.[16]

Early life[edit]

Kitty was a clerk at Claire's in Daytona Beach.[17] She started college when she was 16,[18] and signed up to attend classes at the University of Central Florida.[19]

Career[edit]

2011: Jokers in Trousers & The Lizzie McGuire Experience[edit]

In high school, Kitty was interested in writing poetry, and was encouraged by a classmate to try rapping. She wrote songs about an ex-boyfriend as a joke, and shared them via Tumblr.[20] Her first song, titled "Sickfit", was shared in September 2010.[21] In 2011, Kittythen known as Kitty Prydefronted the four-piece hip-hop group Jokers in Trousers. The other members of the all-female group were known as Hamtaro, Mimi-Chan and HH Slider.[22][23] They released a self-titled extended play on May 24, 2011.[24] This would be the group's only release.

In July 2011, one of Kitty's Tumblr followers compiled a mixtape out of songs ripped from her blog, and made it available to download through MediaFire.[20] The mixtape, called The Lizzie McGuire Experience, included the 8 tracks from the Jokers in Trousers EP and 4 other songs.[25] Despite the unofficial nature of the release, Kitty shared the download link through her social media pages.[26][27] On December 22, 2011, Kitty re-released The Lizzie McGuire Experience via Bandcamp. This version contains a shorter track listing, and one new track: "Hood Friday", a cover of "Good Friday" by Why?. Kitty has since admitted to disliking and being embarrassed of the album.[28]

2012–13: Haha, I'm Sorry & D.A.I.S.Y. Rage[edit]

Kitty released her first single, "Time Is the Donut of the Heart!!!", on January 9, 2012.[29] The song samples J Dilla's "Time: The Donut of the Heart". It was followed up with "Justin Bieber!!!!!", a song about the Canadian singer, on March 6, 2012.[30] The song was written as an "extreme joke" for one of Kitty's friends.[20]

Kitty's third single, "Okay Cupid", was released on April 11, 2012.[31] The music video, released the following month, went viral on YouTube, causing the song to become an internet sensation.[32] "Okay Cupid" served as the sole single from Kitty's debut solo EP, Haha, I'm Sorryreleased on June 11, 2012. The EP features guest vocals from fellow rappers Riff Raff and Dankte.[33] The final track, "Give Me Scabies", samples vocals from Carly Rae Jepsen's "Call Me Maybe", and saxophone from Kenny G's "Sentimental".[34][35] A music video for the Riff Raff collaboration "Orion's Belt" was released on June 18, 2012, through the Noisey YouTube channel.[36]

On August 1, 2012, Kitty released a new song titled "Hittin Lix".[37] The single preceded the EP D.A.I.S.Y. Rage, which was released on January 31, 2013.[38] It was premiered by Rolling Stone, whom Kitty told, "I exist in the real world now. It's going to be nice because people won't be able to just say that I'm a meme anymore."[39] The EP saw Kitty take her music in a more serious direction. Unlike earlier releases, the tracks were recorded in a studio.[40] The second and final single from the EP, "Ay Shawty 3.0", was released on June 18, 2013.[41] An accompanying music video was uploaded to YouTube the following day.[42] The track features rapper Lakutis, and is a rework of "Ay Shawty: The Shrekoning!!!!" from Haha, I'm Sorry. D.A.I.S.Y Rage was Kitty's first release under her mononym stage name, rather than Kitty Pryde. She had chosen the name Kitty Pryde as a reference to the Marvel superhero, and dropped the "Pryde" because of displeased Marvel fans.[39]

2013–15: Impatiens, Don't Let Me Do This Again & Frostbite[edit]

On June 17, 2013, Kitty released a song titled "Barbie Jeep" as part of the Adult Swim Singles Program.[43] The song was later removed from the Adult Swim website, after Kitty was sued for using lyrics similar to those by another band.[44] On November 8, 2013, Kitty shared the track "Second Life" via SoundCloud. It was intended to promote her debut albumto be titled Flowerviolence—which was reportedly near completion at the time.[45] The album was scheduled for release in the winter of 2013–2014, but was delayed. A second track from the album, "285", was leaked by Kitty on February 6, 2014. The song is about the closing of the Brooklyn underground music venue 285 Kent.[46][47]

On May 13, 2014, Kitty released an EP titled Impatiens. It was named for the impatiens genus of flowers.

Impatiens are flowers that bloom in summer, and when the first frost comes they shrivel into nothing until the summer comes again. Even though their lives are short, they can grow to be seven feet tall. There are hundreds of species, all of them bitter and toxic and beautiful in bloom. These are the impatiens that grew in me last summer and I can't believe I felt any of this dumb shit and I REALLY can't believe I bothered writing all of them down (I was bitter and I'm still toxic). But they were beautiful in bloom, so once they shriveled into nothing I turned them into 5 silly songs 4 u.

— Kitty; taken from the Impatiens Bandcamp page[48]

Impatiens consists of 4 new songs and, as bonus tracks, the previously released singles "Second Life" and "Barbie Jeep". The EP version of "Barbie Jeep" is a new mix, stylized as "Barbie J33p".[49] Kitty made visual components for each of the 4 new tracks.[50] She shared these videos via Tumblr on the day of the EP's release. An official music video was made for "BrB ( ˘ ³˘)❤"; the first music video directed by Kitty herself.[51] An outtake from the EP, "Marijuana", was released as a single on June 18, 2014,[52] and the accompanying music video was released on June 30.[53] The song samples "Marijuana" by Chrome Sparks, which, in turn, samples "Could Heaven Ever Be Like This" by Idris Muhammad.[54][55]

Kitty recorded a series of covers one night while "drunk in [her] room alone", and released them on June 27, 2014 as an EP titled Don't Let Me Do This Again.[56]

On November 10, 2014, Kitty shared the song "Miss U" from her upcoming album.[57] The album's working title, Flowerviolence, was abandoned by Kitty when Lana Del Rey released her similarly-titled album Ultraviolence.[58] It had originally been promoted as Kitty's debut album,[59][60] but materialized as a 5-track EP. The EP, re-named Frostbite, was released on November 18, 2014. It includes the pre-singles "Second Life", "285", and "Miss U".[61] For the EP, Kitty experimented with trance and electro music, as she had gotten "over hip-hop". According to Kitty, she felt embarrassed of her earlier music, and was finally making songs she was proud of. Two of the songs sample remixes of My Little Pony songs.[62] Frostbite reached number 6 on the iTunes album chart.[63] A music video for "Second Life" was released on December 17, 2014.[64] On March 9, 2015, Kitty released Frostbite: The Remixes; an EP of remixed tracks from Frostbite.[65]

In 2015, she was chosen to perform as a headliner at Pacific Northwest music festival VanFest Five.[66]

2015–17: Side projects & Miami Garden Club[edit]

Kitty's second contribution to the Adult Swim Singles Program, "Drink Tickets", was shared via SoundCloud on June 5, 2015. It was made available to download from the Adult Swim website on June 22.[67]

In 2015, Kitty began working on her debut full-length album. She worked in the studio with big-name producers, but was unhappy with the results and decided to make the album herself.[68] To fund the album, Kitty launched a campaign through the crowdfunding platform Kickstarter on August 11, 2015. The album's title was revealed to be Miami Garden Club. By the end of the one-month campaign, she raised $51,863 from 1,164 backers. According to the campaign, the album was expected for January 2016;[69] but the release was pushed back.

On March 30, 2016, Kitty, under the name Miel, shared a demo on SoundCloud titled "Look Demure".[70][71] She had revealed in 2015 that she was starting a new project named Miel (meaning honey), to keep her new dance music separate to her music as Kitty.[72] From March–May 2016, Kitty shared 4 songs through the Miel SoundCloud account: the original songs "Look Demure" and "I'm Like a Broken Record Aren't I",[73][74] and covers of "The End of the World" by Skeeter Davis and "Cry Me a River" by Justin Timberlake. The "Cry Me a River" cover was shared under the title "SexyBack Pt 2".[75][76][77]

On October 12, 2016, Kitty released the track "Asari Love Song" as part of the Adult Swim Singles Program 2016. It also served as the debut single from her upcoming album.[78][79] Kitty announced the album's completion on April 1, 2017.[80] On July 28, 2017, the title track premiered with the release of its music video,[81] and the album was made available to pre-order.[82] Miami Garden Club was released on August 25, 2017; it was self-released through Kitty's own label Pretty Wavvy.[83] Stylistically, it was influenced by '80s and '90s pop music.[68] A music video for the album track "Mass Text Booty Call" was uploaded to YouTube on September 17, 2017.[84]

In June 2016, Kitty and husband Sam Ray formed the music project 56colors.[12] Kitty's "Miel" SoundCloud account was renamed "56colors", and re-purposed for sharing Kitty and Ray's new EDM songs. Throughout 2016 and 2017, the duo have released remixes of songs by O.T. Genasis, Gwen Stefani, Ariana Grande, and Peaches.[13] On May 10, 2017, the original song "Hollywood" by Kitty and Sam Ray was shared through the SoundCloud account.[85] The song was later released as a single through Kitty's Bandcamp, with all proceeds going towards the rebuilding of homes for Mexico earthquake victims. For this release, Kitty is credited as "Kit".[86] On November 5, 2017, Kitty and Ray shared a cover of "Heretics" by Andrew Bird.[87] The duo shared a demo titled "Mad Girl's Love Song" on Christmas Day, 2017. The song is intended for a new album that Kitty and Ray are working on together, which was announced upon the demo's release.[88] They will release the album under a new band name, which has yet to be chosen.[89]

2018–19: American Pleasure Club, The Pom-Poms & Rose Gold[edit]

In 2018, Kitty joined the indie rock band American Pleasure Club as a vocalist. She provided vocals for the song "Eating Cherries" from the album A Whole Fucking Lifetime of This, released on February 16, 2018.[90]

On March 14, 2018, Kitty released the track "Recccord" for the Adult Swim Singles Program.[91] It is her fourth contribution to the program, following "Barbie Jeep", "Drink Tickets", and "Asari Love Song". The track is a new version of the 2016 demo "I'm Like a Broken Record Aren't I".

Kitty shared a new track, titled "Watch Me", via YouTube and SoundCloud on April 20, 2018. It was produced by Kitty and Sam Ray, credited as 56colors.[92][93]

On July 7, 2018, Kitty revealed that her second album would be titled Rose Gold, and was scheduled for release in autumn 2018.[94] Kitty stated that it would feature "Recccord" and "Watch Me", as well as the final version of "Look Demure"—a demo of which was shared in 2016.[95][71] She also stated that the demo versions of "Recccord" ("I'm Like a Broken Record Aren't I") and "Look Demure" would appear on the album.[96]

During an online Q&A with fans in July 2018, Kitty revealed that she and Sam Ray would be releasing a new EDM project in September.[97] On September 7, the pair, under new band name The Pom-Poms, released the track "I Got That Boom".[98] The accompanying music video was filmed by Kitty and Ray, and edited by Kitty. Upon the track's release, it was announced that a self-titled EP was scheduled for later in the month.[14] On September 24, they shared another song from the upcoming release, titled "Mary Poppins".[99] The Pom-Poms released their debut self-titled EP on September 28, 2018.[15]

On September 30, 2018, Kitty released a single titled "Counting All the Starfish". The B-side, "Kit's Song", is performed by Sam Ray (as Ricky Eat Acid), and was written by Ray in dedication to Kitty.[100][101] In February 2019, the couple collaborated on a cover of "Head over Heels" by Tears for Fears, which was released via Kitty's Bandcamp.[102][103]

On February 26, 2019, Kitty shared a new track titled "Disconnect", along with its music video. The track was shared to promote Kitty's then-upcoming second album Rose Gold. Upon the release of the video, Kitty revealed that the album—which was initially slated for a 2018 release—would be released in April 2019.[104][105] Rose Gold was made available to pre-order on March 22, 2019.[106] On March 31, Kitty shared an unofficial video for the album track "B.O.M.B. (Peter)".[107] The album was released on April 5, 2019, along with visuals via YouTube for each track.[16][108] Rose Gold is the first album that Kitty has produced entirely herself.[109] Its album artwork was drawn by Kitty's mother-in-law, Josephine Ray.[110][16]

Personal life[edit]

Kitty chooses not to label her sexuality, but she is attracted to members of any gender.[111] In 2017, Kitty tweeted that "sexuality is stupid. I stopped calling myself 'bisexual' & now I just consider myself 'down'".[112]

In 2013, Kitty dated music producer Nick Koenig, known by his stage name Hot Sugar.[113][114] In 2014, she had a relationship with Nathan "Nate" Ritholz, a member of electronic band Infinity Shred.[115] Later that year, she began dating music producer Jasper Patterson, known as Groundislava.[116] The pair were together until 2016.[117][118] On May 25, 2016, Kitty married musician Sam Ray.[119][120]

Kitty has struggled with mental illness, including body dysmorphia, anorexia, bulimia, and generalized anxiety disorder.[121][122]

Discography[edit]

Filmography[edit]

Title Year Role Director(s) Notes
Ego Death[123][124] 2013 Young girl Sebastian Sommer Short film; credited as Kitty Beckwith
Babysitter[125] 2015 Sadie Castellano Morgan Krantz Credited as Kitty Patterson[126]
Baked in Brooklyn[127] 2016 Eliza Rory Rooney

References[edit]

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