We caught up with singer-songwriter, KINGH, to discuss her debut single ‘Another Round‘. The song is a dark, sultry and intricate storytelling of young love and its complexities. KINGH aka Emily J O’Donnell grew up between London and Milan, with both of these cities shaping the artist and creative that she is today. She started off as a creative and is currently modelling too, making her an all-round talent. With her signature look and fresh sound, you’ll be sure to ask for another round of the upcoming star.
Meet The Team
- Photographer – Kimberly Hawmmond
- Creative Director & Stylist – Kojo Hammond
- MUA – Kareem Jarchee
- Nail Tech – Kimberley Nguyen
- Interview by Tomi Otekunrin
Tomi: ‘Another Round’ is your debut single, what made it the perfect choice?
KINGH: With my first single I really wanted to set the mood, like the song is so much about the mood. We were discussing and there’s so many cool tracks that are about to come out but this is one that kinda sets my tone in the best way. I wanted to make an impact and I feel like this song is an impactful song so that’s why we chose it.
T: What was your favourite part of the creative process in putting out this song?
K: Honestly the making of it. We started from scratch with this song, myself alongside my producers, it’s not like they sent me a beat and I did my thing. We really wanted to start from scratch and have all the elements constructively combined and create a unique piece of work, so it was really amazing. This song really went through a lot, I mean I started writing it like three years ago and we finished last year; we made so many adjustments to the song. When it was finally finished, we all knew that this is done now.
T: You’ve worked at Nike, Burberry and Louis Vuitton as a creative, how has this shaped you as an artist?
K: Oh honestly I feel like my background in fashion and all the previous projects that I’ve worked on, have been crucial for my development as an artist overall, not just with music. I also direct videos and I feel like the more experience you gain, no matter what field it is, as long it’s creative, it will help you in your vision.
T: Putting out music during this time must feel surreal, how do you think the music industry is going to change in the next few years?
K: Honestly I feel like music has been the only thing that’s kept me sane during this time and you know, we were debating whether to drop the single or whether to wait but we ended up dropping it. I think it’s…you know people are home and listening to music so I think music-wise it’s been a good time. Moving forward, you know people have gotten much more creative and smart, we had to adapt to the circumstances but it’s quite exciting to see. I feel like a lot of artists have just been indoors writing music and this kinda thing, so hopefully there’s a lot of work and a lot of good music in the pipeline.
T: What does the name KINGH represent?
K: So it actually started as a joke, you know how people say ‘YASSS Queen’ and we were like fuck being a Queen, I can be a King. That kinda stuck and the ‘h’ at the end is to make it a bit more unique and original.
T: You grew up between Milan and London, what do you love most about both these cities?
K: Firstly, I started doing art when I was 13 in Italy and the city is beautiful, the country is beautiful but it’s not the best for young emerging artists. When I moved to London, it was amazing seeing all these young people and there’s a lot of space for emerging artists and creatives, no matter whether you do art, fashion or music. Since I’ve been here I’ve actually developed a love again for Milan which I think I lost a bit but now I’m learning to appreciate it more now. They both definitely helped shape me as a creative and have been crucial for my artistic growth and development.
T: Your look! I’m loving the shaved head. Was there a particular reason or do you feel like you needed a change?
K: When I first moved to London, I started seeing all these girls shaving their head and they were just stunning. My hair is quite thick and I had a lot of hair, and I was quite obsessed with Amber Rose, I was like ‘yo I just want to do it’ [shave my head]. I had a bob and I started modelling and once I cut my hair, I got signed and I started working more, it ended up being a good step for my career. It’s definitely now my signature look, like I’m not thinking about growing my hair [laughs].
T: What has the year 2020 helped you discover about yourself?
K: Damn! That is a question. I mean I’ve done a lot of self reflection and made a list of stuff I wanted to do, like I wanted to read books, learn new skills and all of these things. I ended up not doing that much and I was like, do you know what it’s okay. I’ve come to terms with what I want to be doing and making lists for the future. It’s definitely been a good experience, it hasn’t been so drastic for me because I kinda like being in my space and being at home working but I’m also kinda over it now [laughs].
T: As you transitioned into being an artist, what was the hardest part and what was something that was unexpected?
K: Hmmm…A lot of people would message me and be like ‘When I heard you were doing music, I thought your song was going to be quack but it’s actually sick’. People know me in the fashion industry so for sure it’s…not difficult but you have to be careful of stepping into a new field. It’s something I’ve wanted to do since I was young and there was no doubt in my mind on whether I should do it or not and now it just feels right. A lot of people have a lot of expectations, there’s a lot of models that have transitioned into music and honestly a lot of people thought I was going to be a flop but told me they think I’m sick.
T: When you get a moment to PAUSE, what do you like to do for self-care?
K: I really like to strip it back. I meditate a lot, I’m all about my candles, my jazz music. I really just like being at home and having a good dinner with my friends.
T: Oh can you cook?
K: Oh yeah. I’m Italian, of course I can cook [laughs]!