January 24, 2013

Two years ago, Lakisha Robinson (aka Kilo Kish) was enjoying a falafel in New York City when “some random dude” crossed the street and strode up to her with a look in his eye. “You are going to make something of yourself and it’s going to be awesome,” he told her. “You’re going to be a star.” Robinson quips, “He was probably high on meth,” but whatever he took had psychic side effects. Since then, the Orlando native—who came to New York after accepting a partial scholarship from the Pratt Institute—stumbled into a music career after goofing around in the home studio of her then-roommate, hip-hop producer Smash Simmons. “The whole thing started as a joke,” Robinson says of her musical beginnings.

Her first mixtape caught the attention of Odd Future producers the Internet, who invited Robinson to Los Angeles for a tequila-soaked recording session. The result was her self-released Homeschool EP, a structurally loose scrapbook of abstract melodies and conversational lyrics about the push-pull between past, present, and future lovers. Robinson, who earned a degree from the Fashion Institute of Technology last May while balancing part-time gigs as a model and a server, has vague plans for a proper full-length, and is only now getting used to the idea of an actual recording career. “It’s really funny how things happen,” she says. “Even when you’re not really trying.”

Photography by James Orlando

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