With her current self-produced single, “I Got a Boyfriend” gaining rotation on Top 40 radio stations throughout the country, Christina K is bringing fun back into Hip Hop, along with an equally charming sense of style. This beauty not only has skills behind the mike, she also works her magic producing catchy beats. Likened to a female Kanye West, by her artistic and production abilities, Christina K.’s unique sound is both reminiscent and a breath of fresh air in today’s rap game.
Clutch: Christina, your sound is so unique. How would you describe your music?
The funny thing is that, I never knew I was so unique until everyone told me. It comes effortlessly. My music is both pop and hip-hop at the same time. I don’t try to create a “type” of song; I speak from my heart and am in the moment whenever I write. There is even a message in “I Got a Boyfriend” most people take it as a whimsical song, but in our culture where so many young people are promiscuous without a second thought. I remember when we used to be excited to have a boyfriend, or someone who cared about us . . . as opposed to just no strings attached sex.
Clutch: Who are some of your musical influences?
Salt and Peppa was my original influence when I was a child. When I first heard “Salt with a Deadly Peppa” I played it over and over again, until I fell asleep. Timbaland inspired me as a producer, when I heard his production I was so intrigued by the sounds that he used that I had to learn how he did it. Lastly, Kanye West, his personality, and honest sound with his music have always reminded me of myself. After working with G.O.O.D. Music and helping plan some of his birthday, VMA, and GRAMMY events . . . I knew that my dreams were possible.
Clutch: Life is a constant inspiration to artists: love, birth, loss, heartbreak. How has your life inspired your music?
I have been writing songs since I was five years old. Music has always been a way for me to express myself and deal with my various experiences. In the beginning, the music that I made was filled with lots of pain, because I had a lot inside that I needed to let out. More recently I have been having lots of fun in my life and it is reflected in my music. I’m all about balance, when I do speak about my past or less than perfect things, I do it to inspire and let listeners know that I come from “the hood” and have been through struggle, but by staying positive and determined, I was able to change my life.
Clutch: You’re not only an artist an songwriter, but you also work behind the scenes producing. There are few female producers that I know of, Missy Elliot being one. How difficult is it being a female in such a male dominated industry?
When I sold my first track to a signed artist at a major label, my then manager and I tried to pretend that I was the producer’s assistant and not the actual producer. I was trying to hide my excitement, tracking the beat with the engineers in the studio. When the artist came in, he saw me supposedly filling in for the “real” producer. As the artist was writing, he was like “ I know you produced the track, but it’s hott and your hott.” My manager didn’t want to scare the artist or have him feel that the track was “soft” since a female made it. I was relieved to know that music speaks louder than gender. I never tried to sell the fact that I was a female producer; I let the music speak for itself. Being a female producer can be cute for marketing, but I know that I make good music, and I want to be respected for that. I actually put my hands on the MPC, and hit the pads; I’m not just a producer in theory.
Clutch: If you had the opportunity to work with any musical artist, who would it be?
Kanye or Alicia, that’s tough.
Clutch: Your single, “I Got a Boyfriend” is increasingly getting airplay. When can we expect your debut album?
Lookout for my debut album to be released in 2nd or 3rd Quarter of 08, we are currently negotiating my label home.
Clutch: From a female perspective, where do you hope to see the future of Hip Hop in the next 5-10 years?
I hope to see a balance in hip-hop. I’d like to see more artists that are really themselves, and touch on a variety of topics. I’d like to see artists continuing to give back, and inspiring the youth. Hopefully artists can find ways to express all aspects of themselves with necessarily encouraging or promoting things that they wouldn’t want their children doing. I’d like to see hip-hop fun again.
Clutch: Describe your fashion style?
I describe my fashion style as “Punk B-girl Chic.” I wears Chucks a lot, Members Only jackets, with skinny jeans . . . even when I dress sexy, it always has an edgy feel to it. Sometimes I make shirts, and add patches or words to them. I have my own unique style, and I consider myself sort of a trendsetter.
Clutch: Who are some of your favorite designers?
The key to true style is knowing how to hook up a mix of things, it’s so much more than a label. I wear Luxurie, T-Bags of Los Angeles, new T-Shirt lines like Jim Jim, and Old Baby Doll . . . I also support original handmade designers like Aja Imani, and Digital. My favorite Jewelry designer is Corrupt Design. When I was into labels I was heavy into D&G, now I like to mix together all sorts of things.
Clutch: You’re currently living in New York . . . what are some of your favorite boutiques and stores that you frequent? And what item did you last splurge on?
When I do get a chance to shop, I’m all over the place, I like Pieces in Harlem, Montgomery in Harlem, they have the cutest dresses there, the D&G store in Soho, and Scoop NYC. I also support the street vendors in Soho and Harlem. The last item that I splurged on was my RSW watch.
Clutch: What beauty product can’t you do without?
I can’t do without shea butter, preferably from 125th street . . . Keeps me soft and glowing. Secondly, would be my Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant.
Clutch: Your hair is so beautiful! What products do you use to keep it looking healthy?
On what day? lol . . . I use Aveda Be Curly, Carol’s Daughter Hair Mayonnaise, and Paul Mitchell Pomade. Sometimes I have to break out the Just For Me detangler . . . lol The list goes on and on.
Clutch: For young women aspiring to be in the rap game, what advice can you give them?
For young women who want to be in the rap game, I would advise that you are 100% sure that this is want you want to do with your life. Being a musician isn’t always glamorous, and it takes a lot of hard work. I would urge you to be yourself, and not try to replicate anyone else. Honesty and integrity in the music are important, especially for a female in these times. Get a good team behind you, and don’t fall for everything that some of the “industry guys” will promise you. Lastly, really hone your craft until you are confident, and have quality music before releasing it, because the haters will be lined up and ready.
To learn more about Christina K. please log-on to www.myspace.com/christinakmusic or www.myspace.com/ckoutlaw