Read the full interview on Flaunt.com!
Kastilla is an entire vibe, and she’s here to become one of the greats in the music industry. Hailing from Brampton, Ontario, the rising star is here to swoon the hearts of audiences all around the world, with her smooth, sultry voice, contagious energy, and undeniable beauty from inside and out.
Drawing inspiration from the legendary Janet Jackson, Kastilla got her start modeling before discovering her love and talents in music. Growing up in a household with her father and 3 older brothers, Kastilla has been on her own since the age of 15, grinding and working her ass off in order to turn her dreams into a reality.
In describing herself, Kastilla even compares herself to the “female Drake.” She states “I’m just a bomb ass unique individual. [laughs] I care about good health, good energy. I’m really good at setting good vibes and good work ethic, going after what you love to do and not being afraid of it.”
Most recently, the rapper/singer, songwriter, model, and entrepreneur unleashed the official music video for her new single “Diamonds Deluxe,” bringing to life the record in true Kastilla fashion. The track itself embodies confidence, self-love, and knowing your worth—which even caught the attention of Snoop Dogg who posted her on his story.
Additionally, she has her own brand called Baddee Boutique where she sells her own clothes. Flaunt caught up with Kastilla in downtown Los Angeles, who had woken up really early that morning to meditate. Read below as we discuss her sound, roots in Canada, biggest influences, wanting to be the female Drake, new song and visual “Diamonds Deluxe,” the independent grind, studio essentials, getting a shout out from Snoop Dogg, creating her own brand, and more!
How would you describe your sound?
My sound is one of its own. It’s different. It’s more high, because my talking voice is pretty high.
It’s different from most rap tones. I think it’s unique.
What was a young Kastilla like growing up in Brampton, Ontario?
We were doing whatever we could do to get by: going to the thrift store, making things DIY. Because it’s nothing to do there, literally nothing to do. We have a car to go to the gas station. [laughs] You need a car sis? Growing up, we had to play outside, make things. Learn things, watch Youtube.
When did music come into play for you?
Growing up, I went to church. That’s when I started singing. I didn’t think I was going to do music, I thought I was going to do modeling. Then I met some friends who said, “Come to the studio, you have a dope voice!” I started taking it seriously. I said “Okay, I could do this.” I started getting my confidence up, it was up from there.
Biggest influences coming up?
I love Lauryn Hill. I love older stuff. I love Drake. I love Janet Jackson. I grew up with R&B roots, but I went from singing R&B to doing hip-hop. Obviously I love Lil Kim, Mary J. Blige.
I heard you want to be the female Drake?
Oh for sure! I like how he does his business, and how he can play with the sound. People fell in love with the R&B, but they fall in love with the edgier side as well. I’m a sweet savage. That’s what I call myself because I’m sweet, but I have my little spicy side. When the singing comes in, I’m sweet, then the savage comes in with the rap. I talk my shit. [laughs]
When did you realize you could do music for a living?
When people actually said, “Yo, I want to invest in this. Let’s get this poppin’, I want to be a part of this.” I thought “Okay, I really got something bigger than music.” Honestly it’s a brand, so that’s really what it was for me. When I started seeing other people really get excited about it, this shit’s real!
What is it about the Kastilla brand?
It’s authenticity. At the end of the day, I’m comfortable with myself. I’m always expressing empowerment and confidence. That’s what people usually get when they’re around me, they feed it off me. It rubs off on them, it’s an energy.
Is Kastilla your real name?
My real name is Kastille. I added an “A” because I thought it sounded a little bit more cool. [laughs] My mom and dad weren’t happy about that. They said, “Why’d you change your name? Your name’s so unique. I don’t like Kastilla…” I’m like okay. [laughs] They don’t call me it, so it doesn’t matter.
“Diamonds Deluxe” out now, how are you feeling?
I love it. It was a little bit of a messy rollout because I had some issues back home with some people trying to take my song, this and that. But we got it out there, and I’m happy it’s out in the world. Again, just always talking about empowering energy for my friends. Bitches to bop to, n-ggas to bop to. It’s a good vibe. The visual’s out too, check it out on all platforms.
Did you record it back home?
I did record it back home, the energy was a vibe. I was drinking wine, I was having hookah. We were making melodies and said “Ooh, this is fire,” and went from there. We cut the track that same day. Made the whole song in that same day.
Do you write?
Mmhmm, of course. All the time. I write in my phone. I’m a phone writer. I like to have my phone while I’m recording.
What was your creative vision with the video?
I wanted people to see women doing what they do best: owning it. That’s what it was. In the beginning, we’re going to get this guy who owes me money. Pulling up to get my money, and me and my girls are gonna go spend it. [laughs]
Best memory from shooting?
Having the whole gang around, and everyone being a part of it. I loved the team efforts from everyone, and celebrating after because we all felt good. That’s the best part.
How big is your team?
It’s still growing obviously, but I got a dope creative team. I got a dope PR. I’m self-managing right now until the right manager comes around.
Have you always self-managed?
Since I’ve been doing music, yeah. I’m learning the business aspect of it.
How is the independent grind?
As a woman, female, Black, it’s definitely hard but I see through it. I maneuver it, and I play the game back.
Talk about being mixed: you’re Black, white and Asian?
Yeah, my mom is Japanese-French. My dad’s British-Jamaican, but I’m Canadian. I’m born and raised in Toronto. Everybody there is mixed. [laughs]
Now more than ever, the Toronto scene is buzzing. How does it feel to come out of there?
I feel like we’re right at the very edge of the whole world knowing. Especially with Drake coming out of there, definitely, and there’s so much talent too. Always representing the city.
I ran into Preme recently. You were in his music video?
Oh sick, yeah so many years ago. After, he started mentoring me a little bit. He gave me advice on doing music. Definitely look at him as someone that’s dope.
What advice did he give you?
Just to keep at it, I definitely got something going. As much as I stick to it, I’ll definitely get to where I’m trying to get to. The lane is open especially in Toronto, so why step back?
Are you still living in Toronto?
Yeah, I’m still there. I’m traveling the States right now because before they shut everything down crazy, but I’m still there. I’m based there. We definitely stand out.
How would you describe your fashion sense?
I’m edgy, sexy. I want people to feel comfortable in my skin, wear whatever the hell makes you feel good. I like to wear sexy stuff, but I like to mix it up. I like to wear track pants and tracksuits sometimes. I might want to wear bodysuits only and have my boobs out, whatever I feel like.
Favorite look from the video?
I love the gold, obviously that inspiration came from the Kelis “Bossy” video. Yup, that’s the vibe. That was my favorite look.
You say “time is money.” How valuable is time for you?
Time you can never get back. It’s everything, it’s more important than money.
What is it that you want fans to get from your story?
I’m definitely someone that came up not having a lot, not really knowing how to get out of those surroundings, but somehow through being open-minded found my way out of there. Maneuvered to being in a place where I’m able to do music now at this point.
What can we expect from you music-wise?
A bunch of fire music. I’m definitely dropping some more singles, then I already have a project ready to go.
What can we expect from the project?
A bunch of vibes. Definitely rapping, singing. Some love songs, some savage songs. Confidence, energy.
Is there anyone that you want to collab with?
I want to collab with Yung Bleu, I think he’s super dope. I’ve been listening to him a lot lately. He’s a vibe, I really like his stuff. And he’s new, he’s still relatively new. I like him.
3 things you need in the studio?
Good energy, my weed, and a bomb engineer. Because the engineer sometimes be fucking up my shit. [laughs]
How was it opening for Justine Skye and Trevor Jackson back home?
That was my first show ever so I was scared, but I put on a whole production. I had dancers, I acted like I already did shows before. I went out there and I killed it. I felt so good. I can’t believe I even had the opportunity to open for signed artists.
Were you nervous?
Of course, but I had so much love there too. You just can’t go back. What’s the worst that’s going to happen? They boo me? Okay, I’ll still hold my head high. Practice makes perfect, right?
Can we expect more shows from you?
Most definitely, I need to find me a booking agent out here. I’m ready to go! I love performing, I’m a big performing artist. I’m very creative, I make my own outfits. I do my own wigs, makeup. I make my friends come on stage, dancers. I’m always exchanging energy, that’s always what I want to be.
How’d it feel getting the Snoop Dogg co-sign?
Geeez! That was so random. My TikTok was doing well, I guess he saw a TikTok video. He said “fuck you’re beautiful, but yo you do music? Whoa, I gotta tap in with you. When you come to LA, let’s go.” I have a meeting with him this week in LA. That’d be a great story to tell. [laughs]
What TikTok was it?
It was me dancing and being myself, doing a cartwheel or something. Something so random, super random. That’s good energy coming back! See what I mean?
Talk about your own brand, Baddee Boutique.
Growing up, I never had money to buy clothes. Straight out, I’ma be super honest. I never had money to buy clothes in high school, look how I wanted to look. I had to mix it up. We were doing bad stuff back then, we had to do what we had to do. I wanted to make a brand where people can feel sexy and confident for under $50, that’s the whole jist of it. Right now it’s only women, but I definitely want to branch out into men. It’s things I would wear, like this is my brand. [points to body suit] Essentials, cute little tubey sets.
How does it feel to be this entrepreneur?
It feels great, I want to be a global brand. It’s me building piece by piece, that empire.
Favorite items of the line?
Definitely my one-pieces, because they’re essential. I have some in every shape and every color.
Goals yourself as an artist at this point of your career?
Definitely to make my name known worldwide, my music. Just keep working, connect with people like you.
Anything else you want to let the people now?
Never give up on yourself. All the people that slept on you, they’ll see one day.