A rapper, producer, animator and cover artist — Kid Flvsh is the definition of a multifaceted artist. His early inspirations can be traced back to the fun days of early morning cartoons and comic books, but these days, well known-artists (Sleepy Hallow, Sheff G, Lil Tjay, Yekim), and major labels have leaned on his creative intuition to cultivate their images.
After years of grafting away behind-the-scenes, Kid Flvsh is eyeing the spotlight for himself. And why shouldn’t he? He can do it all.
GRUNGECAKE talked to the animator and aspiring rapper about his artful journey, his upcoming EP, and of course, Black Lives Matter.
GRUNGECAKE: So, how did you kick off your morning?
Kid Flvsh: I got up this morning around 6:00 AM, and I did a little workout, drank a protein shake, and got started my day; animating my music video.
GRUNGECAKE: Awesome. Is that still a typical day now that Coronavirus has changed everything?
Kid Flvsh: Yeah, that was my natural routine daily. I always wake up around 5:00 to 6:00 AM, depending on the day. I usually make that my normal morning routine. After I do my workout and drink my protein shake, I get started creating.
GRUNGECAKE: Awesome. So, you are a multifaceted artist. You make music. You do cover art and animation. Which came first?
Kid Flvsh: So, the artwork came first, more so just regular artwork. Then, it made a shift into the cover art world fairly recently, actually, around 2017 is when I first started doing cover arts, but art definitely came first. Then, animation. Then, music.
GRUNGECAKE: What was the catalyst for picking up a pen or a pencil and doing your first sketch?
Kid Flvsh: I’ve been drawing since I was in the fifth grade. And I just never put the pencil down. One of my old middle school buddies came to school with the drawing pad and some pencils. And as kids, you see one friend doing something… you automatically want to do it, too. So, that was just the main inspiration for me. And then as we got older, he put the pencil down. I kept it going, and it’s been bringing me a lot of success and a lot of joy and fun throughout my life as I’ve been drawing and just keeping it going.
GRUNGECAKE: How did you make that shift from just regular artwork to motion, animation?
Kid Flvsh: I’ve always had a passion for animation. I’ve been wanting to make cartoons since I was a child, just waking up on Saturday mornings, watching all the cartoons that would come on, like Cartoon Network.
GRUNGECAKE: What were your favorite Saturday morning cartoons?
Kid Flvsh laughs: My favorite cartoons were Courage the Cowardly Dog, Ed, Edd, n Eddy, Ren & Stimpy. I used to love Hey, Arnold. That was one of my favorites. Fairly Odd Parents, just all of them. I used to watch them all, just to name a few. But yeah, just getting up, watching those classic cartoons inspired me to just make some of my own. And it also helped inspired me to get more into it. So, with that on my mind, I have just been… My mindset has just been focused and stuck on that.
So, I took the initiative and went on YouTube and watched a bunch of tutorials and stuff like that. And I applied it to myself, and I’ve been animating for about two years now, and I’ve gotten so good at it. And the progression is honestly mind-blowing to me, because I’m like, wow, I don’t even have a degree in this. I went to college, trying to go for it, but it was a whole situation that happened. So, I didn’t end up getting my degree in that, but I didn’t let that stop me. I kept that passion and that fire burning. So, I went on my own to teach myself, and it happened.
GRUNGECAKE: What are some of your long-term goals when it comes to your art?
Kid Flvsh: So, with the animation side of it, I would love to have my own show—have an animated series. I’m actually working on a few right now, just working on the story—the detailed plots, and stuff like that. I have a few little animated skits and shows out with a few choice names as of now, but my long-term goal for myself is to personally have my own. I have a character named Ben that I want to start a comic book and a show, an animated show for later on down the line. So, that’s really my ultimate goal with this whole animation stuff. And hopefully, to get picked up by a network like Netflix or some other streaming service.
GRUNGECAKE: And then, how did you move from that to you rapping? You make music. What drew you to that?
Kid Flvsh: Since I was drawn into the music game at a pretty early age, music has always been a big interest for me since I started drawing. So, I’ve been making beats and stuff like that as long as I can remember. Whether it was just regular tapping on the desk, or just having an app on my phone that made little mini loops and stuff, the music has always been a part of me. I would say as long as I’ve been drawing as well, I’ve been doing music. But I haven’t taken it seriously until recently. And then, me being into the game and getting so much knowledge from some of these artists that I work with and the labels that I’ve done work for, it just told me a lot about how the game is, and how to move and make certain movements within the industry. So, I took those notes down, and I applied it to myself and made my first track in 2018 and just kept it going.
GRUNGECAKE: What’s the best part thing involved in the music industry?
Kid Flvsh: The best part, I would have to say is, getting to hear a bunch of unreleased music from some of my favorite artists. I have to say that it is the best part that comes with it.
GRUNGECAKE: And are there any downsides?
Kid Flvsh: The only downside that I could honestly think of would happen if I do a project with somebody, and they’re so indecisive, so they have me do a whole bunch of changes. Now I’m all for it, and you know I’m here to work, but when it’s certain changes or little subtle things that won’t really matter, but the artist is very picky and stuff like that, that’s probably the only downside. But I try not to let it overwhelm me or just get me in any type of mood or anything. I just roll with the punches and just get it done till it’s a hundred percent complete, and both parties like the outcome.
GRUNGECAKE: Right. When you are doing a piece of artwork for an artist, about how long does the process take. And can you talk me through that process?
Kid Flvsh: Okay, so when an artist needs cover art, so how it works is when they hit me up, and they explain exactly what it is they’re looking for, the majority of the time, they actually give me creative control. They just tell me either the song name or they send me the actual song. And then, from there, I come up with the idea. I bounce ideas off of them too, just to make sure that they’re a hundred percent okay with it because I don’t want to do something, and then like I said, I have to go back and change it if they don’t like something. I like to get some of their input. But the majority of the time, they love what they get all the time. So once I get the song, it normally takes me about a day or two to knock out the cover and make little subtle changes if there is any, but no longer than a week, I would say to get the full project done and out to the public and seen by everyone.
GRUNGECAKE: Would you say now you’re more recognized for your music or your visual art?
Kid Flvsh: I’d say I’m more recognized for my visual art more than anything. Those have been circulated for the years compared to my music, which is now starting to slowly take off. But my visual arts are definitely seen and heard of prior to anything that I’ve ever put out musically.
GRUNGECAKE: Having been involved heavily in both for a long time, do you think that there will come a point that you want to be more recognized for your music? Do you have a favorite?
Kid Flvsh: Do I have a favorite? My favorite thing to do would be the animation. I love love love animation. There’s no question about it. I would more so want to be remembered for that than anything. However, I want people to hear my music and want people to hear the other stuff and see the other stuff that I have to bring to the table because I also produce my own beats. So the song that I just released, ‘Walk’, I produced that beat, and I wrote the song as well. And I’m actually working on the visuals for it right now. So, I just want to show people that I’m a… like you said, multifaceted all-around artists. I can handle everything, every aspect of the whole creative process.
GRUNGECAKE: That’s a powerful statement.
Kid Flvsh: Thank you. To answer the actual question, I definitely would love to be remembered for my animation more than anything. The cartoons that I bring to life. The energy and the comedy and the relatable stuff that I bring through the animations. I definitely want people to take that from me and say, “Hey Kid Flash is, this animator, he’s an animator”.
GRUNGECAKE: Who are some of your top influences just across the field?
Kid Flvsh: Okay, there’s a lot of animators that I actually look up to. Some of them are traditional animators. Others are actual IG animators and stuff like that. But I’ve been reading this book by Richard Williams. He’s the animator of ‘Who Framed Roger Rabbit’, if you’ve ever seen that movie. He’s one of my top favorite animators because ‘Who Framed Roger Rabbit’ was one of my favorite movies growing up and just watching how he incorporated the actual Looney Tunes animation with real life, people that were such a game-changer for me. And it just made me realize, wow, I can incorporate animation in literally anything that I want. So, he was a real big inspiration for me at that point for animation.
Musically, one of my biggest influences is Flip the Narrow, because me and him built a very strong relationship in a close amount of time. And he showed me so much, and he definitely got me in tune with what I needed to take my music to the next level. And he just one of the biggest things for me musically when it comes to like stuff like that.
GRUNGECAKE: And what is next for you, musically?
Kid Flvsh: So next, I’m actually working on an EP right now. It’s called ‘Animated’. And basically, it’s going to be a five-song EP, and each song will have a corresponding animated video that tells the story. It’s not necessarily going to be a story from my life. It isn’t going to be one or two stories out of the songs that’s going to be about me. But the rest of them are actual characters that I portray in the EP itself. It’s going to be like a Marvel movie, where you have to watch one movie to get to the next one. There’s going to be something like that, a storytelling chain of events if you will.
GRUNGECAKE: Any features we should know about?
Kid Flvsh: Not as of yet, but time will definitely tell. Time will definitely tell.
GRUNGECAKE: How has the Black Lives Matter movement changed you? Has it changed the way that you’ve worked? Has it led to an increase in commissions for you?
Kid Flvsh: Yes, it has. It honestly opened my eyes more to the situations that we’re going through. It honestly helped me realize that what I’m doing for my culture and my people has a meaning, has worth, has value. It also brought a lot of awareness to me as a person to make me want to spread it more. I’ve always been very proactive with the Black Lives Matter movement. I love to see that everyone is coming together now and fully trying to push this narrative. But it also made me express it through my art. I wanted more people to see this and feel what we were going through for these hundreds of years through my art. It also helped me revitalize the way I think about certain things and the way I move with certain projects and other artists and things like that. It just helped me solidify who I am as a Black man, as a Black creator, in this very messed up world that we live in right now.
It also helped me redefine how I look at the world, as it is. It’s it made me paint this picture for the world I’ve been growing up in, that my family and my other younger siblings and stuff like that are growing up. It helped me understand how to maneuver with them through this world and just teach them the proper values that we need to learn to maintain in this society as well.
GRUNGECAKE: Touching on what you said about your siblings, how do you explain it to them, what’s going on right now?
Kid Flvsh: So, I give them the generalized rundown of it. I don’t try to sugarcoat anything. I just let them know what it is because there’s no point in lying to them. I mean, they’re old enough to comprehend what I’m saying. And they’re not too young to the point where I have to sugarcoat it to let them know, “Hey, this is this”, really like hiding it from them. I don’t want to hide any information from them. I want them to know exactly what is going on and show them the proper way to handle certain situations if they ever encounter them. I want to make sure that they know to handle them properly, very efficiently, and comply with whatever’s going on to not escalate things to a point where it causes tragedy or any kind of violent behavior.
So, I make sure that they know, listen, this is how it’s going to happen. I need you to do it this way or that way, so that way, you can end up coming back home here to us alive and well because, with the way things are going now, it’s just so hard to come back home sometimes. Coming home is such an underrated blessing, and it’s something that we need to teach the youth, this is what’s happening in the country with Black people or growing up Black. This is what you need to know. So, I just try to keep them informed as much as possible. I don’t try to scare them or anything, but just let them have enough information so they could be aware. So, if they see it happening or something, they could act accordingly.
Visit this link to listen to Kid Flvsh’s single, ‘Walk’.