We all know the feeling when young love turns into toxic obsession. Kingh aka Emily J O’Donnell sings about just that in her songs, plus mental vulnerability, empowerment and love relationships are addressed. The young artist is based in London and grew up between Milan and London. Besides her music career, she is also a successful model and has lent her face to brands such as Burberry, Nike and Louis Vuitton. TITLE talked to her about her sources of inspiration, the pandemic situation in the UK and her upcoming EP Yellow Diamonds.
At Title, we emphasize the importance of staying true to yourself, your art, and your identity. What would you say is your True Identity?
I have always tried to stay true to myself and give the best, realest version of myself through my art. My parents always taught me to love and build my identity, even where I don’t fit in. It’s important to find the right space for it. Mine is being creatively and emotionally free.
Has growing up between Milan and England impacted your music at all?
Definitely, I always listened to a very wide range of music, that is what to this day constantly influences my art. Milan and London are so culturally different but I have always tried to stay as connected to both as I can. But I believe moving to London really enabled me to start my own musical journey, there is more freedom when it comes to experimenting and finding your way.
What’s your songwriting process like?
Every song is different, sometimes I have very specific lyrics and a concept I want to create around. Other times it is just sounds, melodies. I try not to get too stuck in one particular way of doing and thinking, to not interrupt the process.
How important is it for you to be able to express your emotional hardships in your music?
My music very much tackles emotional hardships, it is the source of all my ideas. It is important for me to tell my stories but also show how every experience you go through is empowering. You always come out the other side, you just have to make a very conscious decision to go through it, never avoid it. Go through it and cry and feel like your life is ending, but then always remember to return to your hustle.
How has the current situation of the pandemic in the UK affected your everyday life?
It obviously has drastically affected me, but it has helped me find clarity. This forced slowed-down pace of life has really enlightened other aspects that I probably would have never noticed. I have a newfound respect for personal space and being alone in that space. I have also discovered that not everyone in your life is able to hold the same importance you attach to your personal space.
In what ways do you manage to stay creative on those days where you just feel uninspired? Has the pandemic increased the frequency of these kinds of days for you?
When I feel uninspired I don’t force it. I spent many months in my head waiting for great ideas, only to realize that the one thing I wasn’t doing was letting go and allowing the right space for those ideas. My creative process is very instinctive. I have all the tools I need to create in my own flat, so if I suddenly feel the urge to get an idea down I can write it, or record it, or paint it, or play it. My process and flow has a lot to do with comfort.
How did you find yourself creating music in multiple genres like Jazz, Hip Hop, modern Trap, and R&B?
I am very much influenced by a lot of music, I like to take elements from different genres and play with new sounds. I don’t concern myself with what genre I fall into, as long as it brings a vibe that is special and authentic to me. I make music because I love to make music, I don’t want to think about anything else at that moment.
What are you currently working on that we can look forward to in the near future?
My EP Yellow Diamonds is being released in the next few months, I am very excited, the project is a very personal and emotional but empowering journey. I am also working on another secret project that launches in September. I can’t say much about it.
Do you have any advice for newcomers trying to stand out in the overflowingly creative world of 2020?
Always be yourself, do not try and be somebody else, you. You don’t want to merge in with all the other people that don’t care to celebrate their authenticity. Being you is your selling point. Also, I would say to not think too much about where you fit in, just focus on developing and mastering your craft and everything will work itself out.