Earlier this week we were blessed with the opportunity to sit down and chop it up with the bubbly and fun KidCrayola, a Montreal-based DJ and playlist curator, before shooting her for our June cover. She refers to herself as the Vibe Bender as well as the Waistline Whisperer (among other things) and does so with good reason. KidCrayola always stays strapped with music that just makes you want to move, enjoy yourself and have a good time. The summer is finally here and you can count on her to come through with solid vibes that will be a welcomed addition to your music library. Tap in below to get to know a bit more about KidCrayola’s first set, where the stage name originated from, and more!
Where does the name KidCrayola come from?
My high school best friend gave me the name Crayola because I used to have color in my hair before it was “in” for black girls to wear it in their hair. And I used to dress really colorful after I came back from Cali for the summer, this was like around the jerking era. But people weren’t jerking in Montreal yet. So I was kinda like the weird skater emo girl wearing a lot of colors. So they gave me the name Crayola. Kid refers to my personality. Super childish, mature, but childish.
How would you describe your sound?
Anything black. Basically, anything black that gives you that boom boom pow. I’m a sound selector so when I go into the world wide web I just dive into music. It could go from afro to Amapiano then to drill followed Dancehall and Soca. Just anything that’s appealing to the ear and made by black people, I will play. So like an Afro-fusion.
I also like to mix a bit of my culture cause I’m Haitian, so I’ll play a little Raboday, with some Konpa and Zouk. I like to call myself the Waistline Whisperer. My favorite thing is the slow whine, that’s my cup of tea. I think the girls like me a lot for that. But anything that is dope and black I will play.
Who are you betting on in a fight between Michiko and Huey Freeman?
Oh, Huey. Yeahhh definitely. He’s militant. He’s a real soldier. He’s like a mix between a samurai and a black panther. He will definitely win. I mean Michiko… Nah, Huey will win.
What’s the most memorable trip you’ve taken?
I went to New York with my best friend. I was coming out of a breakup, depression, and was like we just need to get out. So I bought the tickets for us and then we took the plane, it was his first time taking a plane. We got drunk on the plane, got off, and had the time of our lives.
You know when you go to a city and you can just be your natural self cause nobody knows you? It kind of unleashed, I would say, the badass person that I knew I was. But had kept hidden those past months due to depression. It was really memorable because there were so many people from different cultures and people with dope styles. When I came back that’s when I knew that I was really gonna do this DJ thing.
What genres of music are your favorite?
Right now? I’d say Amapiano is really good, also Afro-house and Soca. These styles are really making me happy right now. But I listen to too many types of music to just pick a few.
Do you feel like you’re being limited in the MTL nightlife scene? If yes. why?
I can’t say yes or no. Only because I feel as if I should get a bit more educated about the scene and what’s offered to us as DJs. Corona also makes things more complicated, a lot of events now have to be for a cause. I know the market is a little saturated and they don’t necessarily give a lot of opportunities to females. I’d like to change that narrative. I’ve had great opportunities. I’ve mixed for Moonshine and done a few gigs for Mural. So I’d like to think they’re giving us space but I feel as though I’d like there to be a platform for us. Have all the female DJs from Montreal gather together, there’s so many of us doing so many styles. We don’t have as much of a platform as men but I do feel as though the narrative is changing as women continue to own their power and get more educated.
I’m getting to know more people that can help me work on my projects. I was working on a project pre covid. I was doing an event called VIBE which stands for Visionary Individual Behind Energy. Because I feel like that’s what DJs are, they’re just like people that direct energy in the scene. It got canceled because of everything but I’d like it to happen. It’s basically a safe space for everybody including the lgbtq+ community. It’s really a place you’re supposed to come to dance, not stand on the wall. You’re supposed to catch a vibe for sure. It’s meant to empower people into being their truth and just expressing themselves through dance or music.
Tell us a body of work that you think was impactful in your life.
Honestly, I can think of a person, well actually two people, who were really influential in my life. Missy Elliot and Teyana Taylor really shaped me into the woman that I am. They basically told me that I can be extremely sexy and feminine as well as super tomboy-ish and that doesn’t define me as an individual. Like I can just be me.
When I first heard Missy I was like omg she is everything but when I saw Teyana I could really cause she was such a tomboy and a girly girl. Plus she’s multi-talented, she does everything. You know everybody wants to be like Rihanna? I’d want to be a mix of Rihanna and Teyana, like a philanthropist but then an artist as well. That’s the goal.
Do you have any desire to break into other areas of music like producing or sound engineering?
Yes actually God willing I’m going to learn how to do a bit of production once I get a hang of my programs. I want to go to Haiti for like two months to dive into my culture fully and just try to create the new Haitian sound. Or maybe try to have my own Haitian artists. That’s the goal for now. It’s really a selfish thing to do, I’m not trying to go international. It’s really for the culture and just to say that I can do it.
After that, once I come back I want to create after-school programs working with different people I know in the industry that would be willing to give classes to young artists.
Where was your first ever DJ set played? What was it like?
My first set was at Bluedog, my friend worked there. It was honestly the funniest thing, I had hit up my friend and was like yo I got my computer and my DJ controller I’m gonna do this DJ thing. He was like forreal? I was like yeah. He said ok you have a gig next week. I was like ok… But I don’t know how to DJ yet. So he’s was like ok, so you have a gig in two weeks. I was like that but I don’t know how to DJ. Then he was like the amount of times you’ve gone to the club and the DJ was wack, can you do worse than that? I said I don’t think I could. So he said to figure it out.
I did my gig with another female DJ and it was fun. All my friends were there and the energy was right. Honestly, when I first did it I knew it was what I wanted to do. When I was mixing my big brother and my sister came to surprise so I lowkey almost cried because it was like oh my god I’m getting some support. From then it hit me, I want to DJ, I think it’s fun.
I like to call myself the Vibe Bender. I have so many akas, I’m like the Waistline Whisperer, the Vibe Bender, the Sound Selector, your girlfriend’s favorite DJ. That’s all the names that I gave myself. But yeah, It was nice to direct the vibe of the place, be like a master puppeteer and just control the energy.
Do you have any rituals you go through before performing a set?
Yes. The week before I listen to the songs that I have and create a folder with the songs I must play throughout the night. Then I go on the net to dive in and look for new songs, new remixes. I like to play with nostalgia, so finding mixes to songs that people know. I get ready and go. If I really wanna be in a turn up mode then I take 3 shots of tequila, a rum, and coke, and I’m ready to go. If you wanna offer me a shot don’t give me no vodka, because that’s for people with no soul and I’m trynna be closer to god. So yeah that’s what I do!
Also, don’t forget to tune in with her on Mondays to catch good vibes and discover some brand new music. No, but seriously though, you won’t regret it.
We’d also like to send a big shoutout to the photographer Mathieu (@pxpifrl) for an amazing shoot.