Interview

Deep Dive with KILLBOY [Q&A]

Audrey Brandes

We can’t see each other as we sit down, but singer-songwriter KILLBOY assures me she looks presentable. “I thought this was a video interview so I look great.” I laugh. One thing I can’t help but notice about KILLBOY right off the bat is her authenticity. Unfiltered, boisterous, yet humble – she is 100% herself. Right down to her name. Dive in below and meet, KILLBOY.

So who is KILLBOY? Is the name just a persona separate from yourself? Or integral to who you are?

“KILLBOY" is literally just me. I gave myself this name. My government name didn’t feel like me at all. Just plain and boring. And then I came up with KILLBOY and I was like yeah... this sounds good.

How did you settle on that name?

Nothing super deep. I just put these two words together, thought "damn, this sounds good" and that was it.

It does sound super cool, there’s no denying that.

Well thank you.

And your sound is super unique as well. You have this amazing versatility, a talent of genre-bending. Some of your tracks are more upbeat and poppy, and some tread along the lines of darker alternative. What do you chalk this experimentation up to?

Honestly, I’ve always liked every kind of music. I grew up listening to everything. I’m really not trying to do anything stylistically – I just get an idea for something I want to write about and... I don’t know dude. It just happens on it’s own. Just shit that I like. Making everything sound the same is just so boring to me. Of course I want it to be cohesive. But I would probably have to die if I made the same kind of music all the time. (Laughing)

(Laughs) No, totally. And it still feels like you have such a strong sense for your visuals and your lyrics. I don’t think all your tracks need to be perfectly cohesive at all. I think that’s what’s so amazing about them.

I’m just not a cohesive person! I’ll literally say something today and think the opposite tomorrow.

Of course. But, you seem very true to who you are – confident in your vision. Have you always been that way, or has that acceptance been a journey for you? To get comfortable with yourself or your sound?

Yeah, I mean when I grew up I wasn’t allowed to be “me” at all. I grew up in a super Christian, conservative family. It just wasn’t me. And I was really scared for a long time to say the things that were really on my mind. What I really thought, how I really felt. I really feared being seen as trashy. I really feared people finding out I was bi. The mistakes I made. I lived in fear of people finding things out about me and using them against me.

Wow.

Yeah. And then I moved out to LA and I was completely by myself, no one telling me what to do, I didn’t care about anyone’s opinions. And I could just be me. And I started making this music. And I was like, shit, this is different than anything else I’ve ever done. I was just doing whatever the fuck what I wanted. Gave myself a new name. Just being myself.

And it definitely comes through in your music.

I mean, I spent my whole life being held down.

And your sound and videos reflects that – explosive, boisterous. A person who’s been repressed for so long and is able to blossom.

Thank you so much.

And I know your song "U+Me" is kind of about that and your acceptance of your bisexuality.

The song is really just a song I wrote for the girl I was seeing. I wasn’t really thinking too deep about it as a song about my sexuality. Actually, my mom saw it and was like “Wait... what?” She didn’t even know!

I mean, that’s one way of coming out.

(Laughs) Oh yeah, what a great way! She still doesn’t believe me... I feel like a lot of people don’t believe anything I say. (Laughing)

As long as you believe it.

I write songs about stealing boyfriends, too, and people are like “you’d never do that.” And I’m like "yeah, sure." (Laughing)

(Laughing) Yeah let them think what they want. I know a lot of your songs have stories behind them and your upcoming single “Fuck Yo Friends” has a very interesting storyline behind it.

I love just writing songs about the shit that I’m going through. My songs are literally just diary entries. Because a lot of the stuff that makes me sad, gives me anxiety, or just makes me feel like shit can be turned into something that makes me happy. That’s why I make these songs so personal.

I see.

“Fuck Yo Friends” is about this guy and you know, I really really liked him. But his friends just all made fun of me, didn’t like me. And I was like “Dude, you fuckin' like me when we’re together. But when you’re with your friends you act completely different. Like, I’m not trying to have feelings for your friends. I’m trying to have feelings for you. Why are you so worried about what your friends think? They’re not even fucking cool.

(Laughing) That’s awful!

I honestly just wrote it so I could send it to him.

Wait. Really?

Oh yeah! I write all my songs so I can send them to people and tell them how I feel.

No way... How did he react?

Oh, he never talked to me again. (Laughs)

Honestly, probably for the best.

Oh yeah. But that’s my way of talking to people. I’m better at writing songs than talking.

That sounds very therapeutic.

Oh yeah it’s great! Turning something shitty into something you love.

I’m very impressed with that. Is there anything stirring in your life right now that you’re planning on putting out?

I have a song called "LOVERBOY" and I’m thinking I’m gonna drop a mixtape or EP named after that track. The lyrics are “I know you think I’m just a loverboy, but I don’t really want no other boy, just you.” It’s really just about all these outside opinions and people seeing you a certain way because of how you portray yourself on the internet or with some people.

And how do you combat that?

I mean, I am myself in my music. I just want people to listen to my music and get to know the real me. You know, I’m wild and stuff, I can be loud and obnoxious. But I have feelings and stuff... (giggling)

Really? I would’ve never known. (Sarcastically) I think you’re just so authentic that it’s intimidating. And that’s what makes your music so captivating. You’re not afraid to say anything that you want. It’s almost jarring, but I love it.

Well, thank you. I just wanna drop a ton of songs. I have songs that I’ve played for my fans on Instagram live and I’m just so anxious to get them out, especially for the people that have been asking me for them.

Yeah you have a seriously loyal fan base. How did that develop?

I don’t know, dude. I just get messages from people saying “You make me laugh,” “You’re always being you,” and I’m glad it’s entertaining, but I’m always just being real! Sharing how I really feel. I feel like people feel like they know me. And I know I don’t know them but I feel like they’re my friends! I’ll be messaging a lot of people back and I’ll recognize people... It’s sweet. I like people who like me.

That’s so special. And you’ve grown so much this year but the way that you’re able to stay humble and keep in touch with everyone is amazing.

It’s just something I like to do, honestly. Makes me feel good, makes them feel good.

That’s really sweet. And speaking of your growth, what can we expect from you in 2021?

Well, I hope that I’ll be able to do live shows. But I hope to drop a big project in 2021. I’ve been writing a lot of these songs for a year and a half. I started off in a long term relationship and it just kind of evolved... Since then I’ve been through so many crushes and short relationships and bullshit. I want this project to reflect my growth. My relationship with love. It started out like “Aw I love love,” and then “Fuck this, I hate love,” but I wanted to show all the things I’ve learned in this time. And you can see the progression in each track. I don’t have to put thought into it, just put the songs in the order that I wrote them.

That’s so cool. I can imagine it’s gonna make for a really compelling story.

(Laughing) Well... I don’t know if it's compelling! But, it’s definitely a story!

We’ll go with dramatic?

Yeah. I always take the more dramatic approach because I’m like, "if this doesn’t work out then at least I can put it in a song." So I’m always doing the most.

You kind of have nothing to lose.

Yeah, and everything to gain.

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