SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX 5) — More than 50 years ago, James Brown recorded “It’s a Man’s, Man’s, Man’s World.” A new study found when it comes to the music industry, not much has changed – more than 90% of Grammy nominees since 2013 are men. But among the 10% is an artist with deep Bay Area ties.
We met her at the Fillmore in San Francisco. The show was packed and sold out. The moment she came out and started to sing, it was clear why.
Kristine Flaherty strikes an amazing figure and possesses a unique voice. She is known professionally as K.Flay. Playing at the Fillmore was a real treat for her, as both her parents used to go to shows here when they were younger.
“I went to school in the Bay – and I lived in San Francisco and seen countless shows here at the Fillmore and this is like – yeah it’s a total dream come true,” she said. “This is one of my favorites. Probably my favorite venue in the whole world.”
Flaherty graduated with a double major from Stanford University. The experience in the Bay Area changed her life and influenced her music.
“I was immediately confronted with so much culture that was unknown to me previously, and so many ideas unknown to me previously and I think that inundation was liberating, exciting for me,” she said.
K.Flay is nominated for two Grammy Awards. One is for “Best Engineered Album, non-classical album” for “Every Where Is Some Where.”
K.Flay contributed her engineering skills along with her fellow engineers Brent Arrowood, Miles Comaskey, Daly, Tommy English, Adam Hawkins, Chad Howat, Tony Maserati, and Joe LaPorta.
Her second nomination is for “Best Rock Song” for “Blood in the Cut.” She is up against Metallica and Foo Fighters among others.
Truth be told, K.Flay is the only female nominated in any of the rock categories.
We got reaction from some of her fans.
“Whoa,” proclaimed Neena Mathis-Berger. Neena is 10 years old and was brought to the concert by her dad. “I think she’s a really talented song artist, and I hope that she wins the Grammy,” she said.
Roxie Howard also came to the concert with her dad and sister in tow and rolled her eyes at the fact that K.Flay was the only female in the rock categories.
“She’s obviously a very talented rock artist, and you don’t have to be a dude to be nominated for a Grammy,” said the high school senior.
“No different than the guys,” said Donna Rice, senior home care worker who came with her girlfriends to celebrate her birthday.
Rice has followed K.Flay for years. “I was like never heard anything like it before, and five years later, I was watching her musically evolve. It was amazing,” commented Rice.
As for being the only female Grammy nominee in all the rock categories, K.Flay was sincere. “For me it’s just about representing my experience authentically,” she said.
“It’s exciting and I think there are a lot of women doing cool stuff especially in like the alternative rock space,” she said. “I’m just excited to see more, more of us come and get a bit more shine.”
“Blood in the Cut” is a true-to-life song about a painful breakup. K.Flay wrote it in the basement of her parents’ Bay Area home during the holidays.
“When I wrote it originally I was feeling very pathetic and like sad. I was very sad at that time, and then when I recorded it time had passed, I was in a good place so I think there was this cook juxtaposition between the lyric and the spirit of the song ” she explained.
K.Flay’s second nomination for best engineered album may be even sweeter. She learned how to do everything on the fly. “How to record myself, how to engineer a record, how to play instruments,” said the singer, rattling off her newly-acquired talents.
K.Flay is seeing more opportunities for women behind the scenes as well. “So hopefully we’re at the cusp of that change.”