Aidin Vaziri | K. Flay makes for an unlikely rap star. Born Kristine Flaherty, she’s a 26-year-old Stanford graduate with dual degrees in psychology and sociology who recorded her early material on a laptop at the San Francisco apartment she shared with a gaggle of roommates. But after her recent mix tape, “I Stopped Caring in ’96,” caused ripples of excitement in the hip-hop world, she relocated to Brooklyn last year and hooked up with the Prodigy’s Liam Howlett and Beyoncé producer Dave McCracken to make her latest EP, “Eyes Shut.” It’s available for purchase or free download on her website.
Q: You chose a hard road for yourself, being a white female rapper from the Bay Area.
A: It is. When I started making music, I was really serious about school for a long time and music was just a weird outlet for me. I started doing it without any knowledge of what I was doing or should be doing. But now it’s become such an important part of my life I never want to let it go. I’m really happy with the fact that I’m doing this totally bizarre thing.
Q: I guess the worst thing that could happen is getting compared to KeSha.
A: I see where that comes from. If I read a description of myself, I would be skeptical too. But I like the idea of playing for a cynical crowd and winning them over. At my last San Francisco show, I was opening for Theophilus London, and afterward this couple came up to me and said, “We were so ready to hate you, and you totally won us over.” That was the best feedback I could get.