Kid Sister (AKA Melisa Young) is really fun to talk to on the phone. For the first five minutes of our conversation she asked me questions about where I was from, having called me out on my Midwestern accent. Born and raised in suburban Illinois herself, Melisa credits the drought of suburban entertainment options for the creativity that grew from it. When there's nowhere to go but the yarn barn and the local Walmart, might as well start banging some pots and pans around and see if you've got a knack for music. Turns out, she's got a knack for music. Ultraviolet, Kid Sister's first full-length release, comes out on November 17th and it's pretty sick. Let's just jump to the interview part now. Here we go.
Can you pick a few songs off of your new album and tell me what sort of outfit they would be, if they were an outfit?
Right Hand Hi makes me think of wearing a completely super-fanned out Bears paraphernalia outfit. I Twittered my Mom, of course my Mom is on Twitter, and I was like, "I've never been to a football game, so maybe this year will be my first football game, but I don't want to go unless I have a #1 foam finger." So she tweeted back to me and she was like, "done and done." So she sent me a #1 foam finger that says, #1 Bears fan on it. I've been using it at my shows. So yeah, that's the outfit that Right Hand Hi reminds me of.
It seems like you, and other artists who come from Chicago like Hollywood Holt and Flosstradamus, have such a specific Chicago "scene" sound. How would you compare the Chicago music scene to that of New York?
Well the Chicago scene takes itself a lot less seriously I think. I think that we're just normal kids making music. We're not caught up with the glitz and glamour. We're not even really aware of the glitz and glamour. Beyond all that, I think there's just a camaraderie that exists in the Chicago scene. Maybe it's because we grew up in the same ways. In New York everyone is out for themselves and you've gotta just hustle your ass off, and it's cool because it makes you work harder, but it also makes you feel like you're kinda on your own.
Do you feel like growing up in the South suburbs forced you to be a lot more imaginative?
Yeah, totally. You go with what you know. And if what you know is like a ghetto pep rally, then you make songs that sound like a ghetto pep rally.
So now, do you ride a moped like a lot of those guys (Hollywood Holt, Flosstradamus) do?
No, I don't ride a moped. Because guess what, we live in Chicago and it's cold as hell.
Plus the drivers there don't care and will just mow you down.
Thank you. Operative word there. All "mow" and no "ped."
I read that you have a background in film from Columbia College Chicago and that made me curious about your song writing. When you're writing songs, do you see them as movies in your head?
I see it more like me and the audience having a conversation, and less like creating an experience for people to watch. It's more like, "if one of my friends or audience members were here right now, what would I say to them, and how would that conversation go?" It think it comes from working retail really, because it makes you able to talk to anybody. I'm like, "you know me, I used to work at Lincoln Mall."
So do you also communicate with people through your songs on the negative tip? Like if you have a grudge with someone and really want to let them know what for?
Yeah, totally. Like there was a guy for instance who was interested in me, but I thought he got me wrong. Like he thought that something was gonna go down that was really just never gonna go down. So I had to write a song about it. I was so pissed. I was like, "I have to put you on blast."
To check out more of Kid Sister blasting people and customer relating, go here: