kitty cash makes your new favorite mixtapes
With the recent release of her 29-track 'Love the Free II', DJ Kitty Cash has elevated the mixtape game to a level our 13-year-old cassette-recording selves could only dream of. Featuring original compositions and collaborations from Dev Hynes, Willow...
Photography Brayden Olson
How did you start DJing?
My best friend, Kilo Kish, is a singer and a rapper. She needed to find a DJ before she went on her first tour, so we searched our favourite restaurants and bars trying to find one, without any luck. One day we downtown drinking margaritas and she was like, "Why don't you be my DJ?" and I was like, "Hell no! I can barely plug in my own TV!" And then she said, "Well you get to come on tour with me." And I was like, "Actually…I can make this work!" It just picked up from there.
Could you speak a little more to the idea of a mixtape and your decision to release the Love the Frees as mixtapes as opposed to LP's? Growing up, how did you discover new music?
I'm from Brooklyn, so mixtapes are what I grew up on. You'd get your Hip Hop, R&B, or Reggae mixes made by people like DJ Drama or Funk Flex from someone on the street or at your local hair spot. It was what was new from rappers that wasn't being put out on the radio or people you needed to look out for, and that's how you got your music. There are certain things in my mind that I just have to do. I have to play that Biggie freestyle when I'm DJing because I'm from Brooklyn, and because I'm a DJ, I've got to make a mixtape!
How did you approach collaboration with so many different sounds? Is there a common theme running through the tape?
If you play both tapes back to back, it's the same sound, and that's very important to me. This is the sound, in my eyes, that's progressive to R&B and alternative Hip Hop. I have hood dudes that may not listen to this type of music playing my stuff in their car, and that's important to me. How can I get different types of people to chime in to this alternative sector of music? I want to create a platform where these amazing, creative people can do their thing and really be themselves. Some of these artists are now signed and don't have as much flexibility with their labels. I want my tapes to be a place where they can be creative, be a little different, and try something new. Love the Free is a space where you won't be judged or confined.
You double as a fashion publicist? How do music and fashion collide for you?
I try to incorporate my fashion background with Love the Free. I always premiere the tapes on a fashion platform because a lot of the artists I work with tell me that they want to get into that world but they don't always know how. I use my network to premiere these artists on fashion sites so a whole new range of people who might not have heard their music otherwise now get to experience it. These artists have so much creativity to inject into the fashion and visual arts worlds, and I feel those worlds would be equally receptive to these artists. So if I'm the one to bridge the gap, I'm glad!
Describe your style using only emojis.
The fire sign, the firecracker sign, the eyes, and then the woman in the red dress!
What does it mean to you to be young, creative, and a woman in New York today?
In New York, everything moves so fast. I'm the oldest of five and I'm always telling my younger brothers and sisters, "You're young. You have the freedom to do whatever you want. You have all these social media platforms that help you be creative in your own way and you don't need a big company to express yourself. But at the same time, don't forget that you're 15. Enjoy being 15!" Being young is about enjoying your youth, not rushing to be grown. And the women in New York are killing it right now on so many levels! It's about sticking together and building together with other women--taking it to the next level and not being intimidated. Women shouldn't be afraid or feel like we have to use our bodies to get where we want to be. We're intellectual, strong as hell, mothers, sisters, CEOs, everything! It's about female empowerment all together. We do it best anyway!
Text Emily Manning
Photography Brayden Olson