My name is Kish Robinson, I’m 24 and was born in Orlando, Florida. I make music (under the name Kilo Kish), make art and do some design stuff. Five years ago I was at Pratt and took a year off because my financial aid didn’t go through… I was such an academic kid, I never imagined my life without school in it so I was devastated. I never really worked for myself or had to provide, my financial aid paid for my dorm, so I was like what am I going to do?! I got a touch of freedom and couldn’t go back to Florida, I was dating J. Scott at the time and I moved into the extra room in his house in Ridgewood. The rent was $443 a month… it was so far from everything! I never really worked for myself, had to provide, didn't even have a resume! I walked into this salon in SoHo called Georgia and I went in like can I work here? And they asked me if I wanted to be an intern and I said no (laughs). And they’re like OK! You can work here, for $7.50 an hour. So I worked there for like 40 hours a week and I made the $443 a month to live in New York… that’s what I did for the whole year!
I never went back to Pratt, I did an internship with this brand called Salvore and it sold to Barney’s, it was scarves and just patterns… cool screen-printing stuff and I was kind of into tactile arts, I wanted to see where that went, I knew I didn’t want to be a fashion designer but I am into patterns and working with my hands.
I didn't have any formal education in music; when I was little I played the violin for three years but I don’t remember anything. And I was in chorus in elementary school, I knew how to read music when I was a kid, but I forgot everything because I just didn’t care or keep up with it. So my music started around that same time when I was living in the house with J and Smash. Smash had a little home studio set up and we would just make weird stuff and Mel would make beats for us (laughs). Mel was so into it, it was just fun… typing out bars to people on AIM, I just saw it as a funny thing to do for a couple years. Then when I was 21 I started getting comfortable playing my music for people and taking it more serious, I played it for Ty and all those guys at Supreme, then they would play it in there.
The moment that everyone found out that I was making music was when I had that Village Voice cover and if you were in New York it was everywhere and just so easy to see, so everyone was like wait when were you even doing this? That was great because I didn’t have to explain it or make it a thing.
FF- How do all of your interests relate to each other?
KR- When I was a kid I had every magazine sent to my house. Magazine subscriptions were my favorite thing when I was like 14, 15, I had all the Vogues on my wall. When I was in high school I started a fashion club and I won best dressed in my senior polls and stuff (laughs). But I liked thrift shopping then and cutting up clothes and sewing stuff. I had a shirt brand that I started when I was a kid, I sold them to nerds in my class. And I had a bracelet brand when I was sixteen… they were the shittiest! Phil (Annand) when he was in high school made an actual, legitimate brand that made money…
FF- Yeah he said the stuff he made was shitty back then too (laughs)
KR- He made a legitimate brand that was really good… mine was not that!
I’ve always wanted to have a store,
to have a space that exists where all the different parts of my creativity can live.
I think that’s my actual dream creative project, this cool space where I can sell and keep all of the fun, different things that I make and collect. I love making music but I also love crafts and weird stuff like that, stupid little figurines, children’s books, audio books, clothing, games, things that I just make up.
I liked music for the same reason, when I first started and because you could just be complete; if I have an idea I can make a complete thing that’s finished by the end of the day. Whereas with drawing and painting was something I always had to go back to, spend so much time and fixing. It takes a lot of precision, where as with music you can be freer.
Now, of course, it just became every other art outlet for me where I have to dissect it and painting and drawing is a little more freeing. The relationship among them is that
they switch back and forth between the one that’s the main focus and the one that’s the hobby. When all of your outlets are commodified, when do you make your personal art? And where does that fit?
If you’re doing a Capsule collection and your design aesthetic is being commodified, if you’re doing music and your sound is being commodified, if all of these things are consumed, then where does the art for you come in? They shift and you just find that balance… that’s how they’re related.
FF- Three people that are in a similar lane that you can recommend FF to chat to?
KR- Brandee Brown, Laura Harrier and young Kitty Cash!
FF- Do you feel like you are a freshman, sophomore or senior in your field?
KR- Sophomore… I feel like you kind of have to kick around and go through certain things to get a handle on what you’re doing and now I’m definitely in a different head space about it. I was a freshman was up until maybe last year, because I didn’t really take it that seriously and I feel like I hadn’t done anything yet. But I wish I would have trusted myself a little bit more, in my own capabilities. I wish I was able to see what other people saw in me, earlier on. But now that
I see music as an outlet for my art, just like I can make painting my art, just like I can make a collection my art. That gave it a different level of seriousness for me.
So that’s where I am now, it’s also just getting older… you have a little more pride in the things you do and they’re more calculated and you’re less aloof with your work method. So I just want to make the best things that I can make and try to learn and get better at what I do. I just want to make stuff until I’m old. Hopefully, by the time I’m sixty I’ll just be able to chill, money-wise and be able to paint and draw and make books and eat fruit in the morning and just be old, you know?