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Interview: Lollapalooza Performer Kid Sister

By Keidra Chaney in Miscellaneous on Aug 2, 2007 2:46PM

kid_sister.jpgThis Sunday night will be quite the homecoming for Kid Sister (born in south suburban Markham as Melisa Young). Now based on the northwest side, the cheeky MC is riding high on nearly a year-and-a-half of burgeoning it-girl buzz, including landing the cover of URB Magazine back in March along with her kid brother (!) Josh, one half for the DJ duo Flosstradamus, not to mention having Kanye West guest on her track “Pro Nails.” This weekend, Kid Sister plays to what may arguably be her broadest audience yet – at the MOTO Mindfield stage at Lollapalooza at 7 p.m. – in fact, her set closes the show right before the festival’s headliners, Pearl Jam. Not a bad way to end the summer. Chicagoist had a chance to chat with Kid Sister in anticipation of her Lolla debut.

Chicagoist: So is this your biggest show in Chicago so far?

Kid Sister:
This is definitely the biggest show I've done. I'm super excited. My cousins, my friends are going to be there, random friends from college, friends who have never seen me perform before.

C: So it's kind of like a family reunion. Are you nervous?

KS: No, not really. I guess if I thought about it a little bit more. My music is not that scandalous, compared to what else is out there, you know? But when you're talking about my 74-year-old auntie out there in all that sun, in front of those huge speakers (laughs) then I get a little worried.

C:You and your brother are playing back-to-back shows (Flosstradamus takes the Mindfield stage at 6 p.m.), any plans to drop in on each other's sets?

KS: Probably, our shows always end up meshing together anyway, but you know, whenever you have a show this size, with all the gold carts, and the walkie-talkies and what not, it's always a bit more [complicated.] When you've got guys with walkie-talkies walking around all, "Kid Sister's got a piece of paper attached to her shoe!" It's always more nerve-wracking. You can't quite do the same things [as a smaller show.]

C: I know you've done your share of these festival shows, is there anyone you plan to stick around and see?

KS: Hmmm. I don't know. Honestly, I don't even know who's playing really. I haven't really looked at the [line-up]. I don't know maybe [Lupe Fiasco], Amy Winehouse...

C: Oh wait hold up, you're playing late on Sunday, right before Pearl Jam.

KS: Oh, really? You know what ... I was never really into Pearl Jam, so yeah... I had some friends back then who were into them, but I dunno, I always like Nirvana a little more...

C: That's alright, I hear ya. Of all the grunge bands, Pearl Jam was like my least favorite. But that's not a bad place to be right there, right before the headliners …

KS: I know! I am really quite pleased! [laughs] Especially since with a show like this, the new artists end up going on Friday. But yeah, I won't even be in town until Sunday, I'm doing a show in Columbus, Ohio on Saturday.

C: Any plans for after the show?

KS: Probably, we got invited to a few parties, probably across the street over at Hard Rock Hotel I got a tip that there was some thing going on with getting free clothes and the south suburbs in me came out right there! "Free Clothes!?"

C: Seriously? I'd be all up on that.

KS: What people don't seem to realize is that I'm still not signed. I still work at a children's store, I babysit. I still have two jobs, so when people are all "Hey Melisa, can you get me tickets to so-and-so?" The answer is a definitive 'no!'

C: I didn't realize that you were still looking for a label. So with that in mind then, when do you think the CD is gonna come out. Are you done recording it?

KS: The CD is almost done, I have a couple more tracks left, I have been working on a few mixtape collaborations for some friends, but I have a lot to try to juggle. So yeah, I finished the demo, and I'm just in the process of looking for a label. But when the CD comes out depends on two things: who I'm eventually signed to, and strategically when they think the climate is right to release it. Probably not too late in the year, because you've got the Beyonce's and the Jay Z's putting their stuff out for the big Christmas push and I am not trying to come out at the same time as Jay Z. If you made me pick a date, I would say maybe February or March.

C: So with that in mind do you feel a lot of pressure to get signed to a major label?

KS: The industry is in a shambles right now, sales are down and people are very cautious about who they want to sign... [Major label] industry people, they don't know Flosstradamus –they don't know what we do. it doesn't really concern me too much. I'm working with Fool's Gold, which is my boyfriend's (DJ A-Trak) indie label, if I don't get signed, I figure we can put the CD out there. It's nice to have options, though ... so keep your fingers crossed for me.