Catching Up With Kacy Hill At Marc Jacobs

Catching Up With Kacy Hill At Marc Jacobs

IF YOU DON’T ALREADY KNOW KACY HILL, YOU SHOULD. KANYE WEST DECLARED THE 21 YEAR-OLD HIS PROTÉGÉ AFTER SIGNING HER TO HIS RECORD LABEL, AND HER DEBUT EP BLOO LANDED HER AT THE TOP OF NEARLY EVERY MUSIC MUST-WATCH LIST. LAST NIGHT, V CAUGHT UP WITH THE SINGER BEFORE SHE TOOK THE STAGE AT MARC JACOBS’ #MJSCREAMTEAM EVENT IN NYC

IF YOU DON’T ALREADY KNOW KACY HILL, YOU SHOULD. KANYE WEST DECLARED THE 21 YEAR-OLD HIS PROTÉGÉ AFTER SIGNING HER TO HIS RECORD LABEL, AND HER DEBUT EP BLOO LANDED HER AT THE TOP OF NEARLY EVERY MUSIC MUST-WATCH LIST. LAST NIGHT, V CAUGHT UP WITH THE SINGER BEFORE SHE TOOK THE STAGE AT MARC JACOBS’ #MJSCREAMTEAM EVENT IN NYC

Text: William Defebaugh

Let’s start at the beginning. You were working with Kanye West on his Yeezus tour as a dancer: how did that come about? 

Kacy Hill I used to model for American Apparel when I first moved to L.A., and Vanessa Beecroft does a lot of his creative direction—she’s incredible—and she wanted to use nine real dancers and three non-dancers. She liked the aesthetic of American Apparel models, so I ended up getting it that way. I’m not an actual dancer, just lucky!

So he heard your music—“Experience”—and what happened from there? 

KH Yeah. He heard it through someone that was with him, a friend. I left after the first leg to focus on my music, and I got a call a few weeks later from them being like, ‘Hi, Kanye wants to meet you.’ It was kind of insane, and everything kind of snowballed from there.

And then he signed you to G.O.O.D. How creatively involved has he been with your work?

KH Part of the appeal of being on a label like G.O.O.D. Music is that I get to have my own creative control. There’s not anyone on the label that does exactly what I do, so I feel like I’ve kind of been able to create my own rules and figure out what I want. I’ve taken a lot of time just to work on the music. I could have put out an album a year ago and launched everything then, but I want to feel really confident in everything that I’m making and be able to stand behind it. I think a lot of that comes from not having someone else telling me what I should do.

Tell me a little about the inspiration behind Bloo.

KH I was initially working on the full-length album, and then we decided to put something out that would lead into it. The EP is made up of three songs that stood out to me as needing their own home. They were important to my life at that time, and sonically it felt right to me.

And the full-length album is coming sometime in the fall?

KH That’s the plan. I’ll be putting out some new music before then, too.

What can we expect from the album? 

KH I’ve been expanding a lot on these anthemic pop songs with a cool mix of live drums. I just got off tour with Jack Garrett, and the thing that was really special to me about hearing my own music live was the drums and how everything really came to life. I want to make sure that I keep that sentiment in the album, so there’s a lot of live drums and powerful verses. The whole thing just felt really honest and I was writing from a place that felt authentic in my heart and captured my life at that moment.

I saw Jack at his first show in New York. That must have been a great tour. Your sounds really complement each other in that you both have such a wide range; you listen to something like “Arms Length” and it’s a total pop anthem, but then “Foreign Fields” has such a nice ballad quality. 

KH Jack actually produced “Foreign Fields,” that’s how we met about a year and a half ago. I totally look up to him; I think he’s just the most talented person ever.

Do you have a process for songwriting?

KH I write my best songs when they’re from my own experience, or the experience of someone that’s really close to me that I feel really attached to. It always starts out with a sonic foundation—chords or a sound. Then I journal words and feelings and ideas on my phone and I build melodies and lyrics around them.

You have great relationships with certain brands: Marc Jacobs, Gucci. How has fashion played a role in your rise to the spotlight? 

KH Marc Jacobs is killing it! My whole music process has been discovering myself via different outlets. Songwriting has been a major outlet of course, but my aesthetic has too. I’ve gotten a lot of inspiration from fashion, and realizing that I can have this identity that’s completely individual to me. I grew up being apathetically interested in the idea of fashion maybe because it wasn’t really relevant in Arizona so I got slowly exposed to it in L.A. It’s just become an extension of who I am as an artist and as a human.

It’s so critical for musicians now. You’re expected to have the full package. 

KH I think it just has to do with creative mediums meeting each other. I could only exist as a songwriter and as a singer, but I think you kind of need everything. Take this party for example: It’s not a shirt, but the atmosphere, everything together—it’s what the brand stands for.

Aside from the album, what other projects do you have in the works right now?

KH I have a few shows this summer. I’m playing a festival in Australia, but right now I’m really just trying to focus on the album. I can’t wait to hold it in my hands and give it to the world!

KACY HILL IN MARC JACOBS BACKSTAGE AT #MJSCREAMTEAM

Credits: Listen to Bloo now on iTunes and Spotify.

UP NEXT

Coachella People