Photo credits – Alex Webster
First off, for the sake of our readers, would you like to introduce yourself.
Hi my name is Kile J I use they/them pronouns. I’m very passionate about art and culture and I’m originally from Houston, Texas.
Nice thanks for the intro. So, you have a new single ‘Honey’ coming out. Do you want to tell us a bit more about that? Where did you come up with the idea?
I was dealing with a lot of shame that people tried to place on me, especially as I was becoming more and more comfortable being gender non conforming, and accepting my queerness. ‘Honey’ is a therapeutic song about my process of challenging the shame people placed on me and finding my own source of liberation.
Wow, it sounds like a very personal song and what a great way to channel that energy into something creative! You have a music video for the track – how did you come up with the visual concept?
It actually came from a conversation about my experiences with my identity with the creative team @ Luxon Films. It was completely collaborative and they helped bring my vision of telling my story about how I experienced liberation to life.
We love a collaborative process, it sounds like it was a lot of fun. I love the lyrics “Why you hating when you really want a taste?” so catchy. How do you come up with lyrics, is it bit-by-bit, do you have a tune in mind first then put words to it?
I actually took quotes from journal entries and text messages to find lyrics to melodies that I create in my head. It depends on the day. Sometimes lyrics come first, sometimes melodies come first and I come up with lyrics later. It happens quite organically.
The theme of your project is to tell black queer love stories authentically; not only ones about loving others, but ones about loving yourself as well. Which we’re 100% here for. How have you been able to do this?
The best way I possibly can, by authentically sharing my honest experiences and my truth.
It’s amazing the work you’re making. And you’ve caught the attention of some big names too, including Vogue Teen, that’s mega! How’s that experience been for you?
It’s been cool, but I get more excited by connecting with members of my community who can relate to the experiences that I’m sharing. When people are able to relate to and understand what I’ve been through, that’s the best feeling to me.
I think it’s so beautiful the way you’re able to tell and share your own experiences through your music, do you have any advice for fellow queer artists looking to kickstart their careers?
You have to be steadfast in what you want to do and 100%go for it. A lot of people will try to tell you your dreams aren’t possible and will try to stop you before you can even get your foot through the door, but listen to your heart and don’t let them.
Now we wouldn’t be able to do an issue interview without bringing up the theme of our issue. This issue of UNICORN is themed around PUNK. What does punk mean to you?
I think being able to authentically express who you are in a world of make believe is the most punk thing you can do.
Would you say there are any punk-like people who inspire you and your music/art?
One of my favourite artists is an artist named Chav, I got to work with them in New York on their video for their song “Patient Zero” and I love how they incorporate hyper pop and punk into their music.
And who would you say your musical influences are?
I’m inspired by quiet storm R&B as that’s what I grew up listening to. I love vocalists like Sade, Smokey Robinson, D’angelo, Janet Jackson. Recently, I’ve been spired by African House music
Thank you so much for taking the time to chat with us.