Kito is a whole vibe, and it shines through in her music. Here to put on for all the aspiring female producers, songwriters, DJs in the world, the Australian-bred, London-raised, Los Angeles-based recording artist sees her music as an intimate party everyone is invited to, touching the masses on an international scale. From her romantic lyrics to her uptempo production to her catchy hooks, Kito knows a thing or two about hit records.
Last year, Kito received her first Gold record for her song “Bitter” with FLETCHER, which currently hails over 200 million streams and counting. And let’s not forget about her all-star catalog of remixes for the likes of Beyonce to Saweetie & Doja Cat, creating her own lane of futuristic pop.
Fast forward to 2021, Kito unveils her highly-anticipated new EP titled Blossom, reminiscent of a bouquet of flowers and how her mixture of sounds, tones, and emotions are intentionally picked and arranged. Coming into fruition during the COVID-19 lockdown, the 7-track project hails guest appearances from Bea Miller, VanJess, Channel Tres, ZHU, Jeremih and more.
Flaunt caught up with Kito via Zoom, who was posted in Echo Park with her friend’s kitten in her lap. Read below as we discuss her background, being self-taught, being influenced by her friends, the turning point in her music career, the meaning behind Blossom, how she got her features, favorite songs, studio essentials, playing Art Basel, and more!
What was it like being from Australia and growing up in London?
I grew up in a really small town south of Perth in West Australia, really isolated. I got into music through online forums and through friends. I found that community of electronic music when I was pretty young. I also loved collecting records. I then learned to produce, kind of self-taught. It was finding a lot of friends online, sending stuff back and forth and learning in that way.
How did you teach yourself how to produce?
A lot of tutorials. A lot of people, myself included, try to copy something that you hear that you like. At that stage, you’re not very good at being able to mimic something so you end up doing your own thing through good mistakes and trying to copy whatever it is that you’re into. The style of music or even songs, trying to figure out how people made something.
Biggest influences coming up?
I love looking at artists that do many different things creatively. I don’t really have a specific person I aspire to be like, often, I draw influences from my friends/peers that make music as well.
At what point did you realize this music thing was forreal?
I started off DJing and getting paid for that before I made any money from producing music. That was the main source of income for me for most of my music career. I had a song sampled by Trinidad James, then it was used in a Victoria’s Secret commercial. I’d never really thought about my music being used in a different, more commercial space, reaching so many more people. Producing has always been my main focus, but it’s a long road to get to a place where you’re financially stable. [laughs] I think that’s any creative, self-employed path for everyone.
Blossom EP out now, how are you feeling?
I feel great! I feel really happy to tie a bow at the top of that project. That project was mostly done during the pandemic and a lot of time spent on my own at home, so it reflects that musically a little bit. It’s not necessarily club music, but it’s been really fun.
Where did you get the inspiration for the Blossom EP?
I didn’t start the EP like “I’m going to make an EP,” it wasn’t a conceptual idea. It was more so piecing it together from the work I’d already done, then finishing all the songs that tied it together and fit within that project. Also, this EP came from a place of more feminine energy than the past music I’ve made – there are many female collaborations on the EP.
You have amazing features from Bea Miller, VanJess, Channel Tres, ZHU, and Jeremih. Talk about hand-picking these artists.
Each collaboration has a different story. The Jeremih and ZHU record came about in lockdown, which felt like I was going back to the way I used to make music before I was living in LA and collaborating with people in person. Sort of like being a bedroom producer: collaborating with another producer online, starting with an acapella, and then sending ideas back and forth. That’s how most bedroom producers start, so it was fun to work on records in that way again.
Some of the other ones, like the collaboration with BROODS, stemmed from friendships. BROODS are one of my closest friends which made it so much fun to work on a new song together. “Steal My Clothes” with Bea Miller, came from a writing camp in Mammoth at the beginning of the year. It was the first time working with these people in person, getting tested and isolating. We were all in this cabin in the snow and wrote so much music in a week.
Favorite songs on the project & why?
“Tongue Tied” is one of my favorites, probably because I’ve had that song for such a long time. It was the oldest song on the EP. It was one of those songs that my friends would ask me to play every time I’d be with them. I just never got sick of it, I love that song. “Recap” is one of my favorites too. There’s nothing I don’t like about that song and I love that collaboration with VanJess and Channel Tres as well.
You say the project helps soothe your anxiety. How often are you in front of the computer screen?
I’m in front of the computer way too much. It is important to get outside – it’s as simple as going for a walk, getting coffee, seeing friends… just taking a break so you’re not staring at your screen all day. I’ve learned to find a bit more balance than I used to, especially since during the lockdown we communicated with people on our devices so much more than we were doing before. It’s nice to give my eyes a break from the screens.
What is it you want fans to get from your story?
That it doesn’t have to be the most straightforward success story. Everyone’s story is unique and you’re picking up so much along the way. My story speaks to people that maybe come from a place where they were only able to teach themselves, because I’m so self-taught. I didn’t study or come from a background of being classically-trained. One of the great things about being a producer is there are not really any rules. Software is more available to anyone. There’s a lot of plugins within each DAW that are great and don’t cost anything. There’s also every tutorial that you can think of online, on YouTube. Anything you want to learn, you can Google it. I’m proof of that.
3 things you need in the studio?
I don’t need much. I need my laptop, a pair of headphones, and a coffee… well, and my MIDI keyboard!
How was Art Basel w/ A-Trak?
It was so much fun, so good to be playing parties again. Also a bit of a reunion because there were so many people I hadn’t seen in such a long time.
What’s your favorite song to drop in a set?
Fish Go Deep and Tracey K’s “The Cure & The Cause (Dennis Ferrer Remix).” I have definitely been really taking the opportunity to dig into old songs, old tracks that I haven’t played in a really long time too.
What is your favorite song at the moment?
Logic1000’s “What You Like” featuring Yunè Pinku.
What’re you most excited for next?
I’m working on a bunch of new music for next year. I’m also doing an NFT project in January that I’m really excited about!