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Upfront: Kodie Shane

On board with the first lady of The Sailing Team

Words by Kish Lal

The first lady of the Sailing Team, Kodie Shane is unequivocally the hottest rapper to watch in 2017. Her viral hit ‘Sad’, which saw her team up with Lil Yachty, got everyone in their feelings and unsurprisingly, that was her plan all along. She wants to make music that makes you feel something, and she cites Drake as her inspiration but don’t call her a ‘sad girl’ because that isn’t her style. In fact, her excitement is infectious and as we spoke over the phone she laughed amply, telling me how she’s excited for what’s to come in her career. She has an obsession with the future and it’s written all over her music – ‘2060’, ‘Zero Gravity’ and most recently ‘Big Trouble Little Jupiter’, all references to her fascination. After playing with concepts of time comes space but when I told her Australia was a day ahead of New York when we spoke, she was in awe – “that’s so lit!”

Maybe it isn’t just a fixation with the future but an intuition for what lays ahead. Kodie says she knew she was always meant to be a superstar; her sister was in TLC’s girl group Blaque and they had signed a record deal before Kodie was able to talk. Her life began surrounded by the madness of record executives, gruelling tours, and studio sessions, and she had no doubt she was going to be a “fire” entertainer, on whatever platform she’d find herself.

Kodie Shane is a busy girl but she is enjoying every step of the way towards the top and I don’t doubt for a second she’s going to make it there very soon.

Congrats on your new mixtape Big Trouble Little Jupiter. I’ve listened to it a few times over now and I really like it. It feels like the next step, you’re incorporating more R&B and there are varying flows on songs. Tell me a bit about it?

I really just wanted to put out a whole bunch of new music. My first motive was to release something strictly for my fans – that’s a G Herbo thing, a Lil Herb quote. I wanted to give my fans a lot of new music. Secondly, I was watching this really cool movie, Big Trouble In Little China, that my producer put me on and then I was thinking, it would be cool to put a spin on that, with my whole future thing that I got going on. At first I was like Big Trouble… Venus or Mars and then Jupiter just kind of felt right.

That’s cool, I like that process.

It keeps the vibe alive.

I’m going to pick a few songs off the tape I want to know a little more about and get you to tell me more about them – that isn’t too awkward is it?

Okay let’s do it.

First let’s do ‘Like A Rockstar’ first.

Basically just tryna show I’m a new age rockstar and get that across to people the best way I could.

My favourite track is actually ‘Your Side’.

That’s your favourite? Why?

I think I just love how you’ve teamed up an old school beat with a new wave flow and together it’s perfect.

That’s my artist Saucy Longwe that’s on there, that’s my boy, he’s super lit. Actually Ryan (Saucy) Longwe came up with a really great idea for the song and the direction and I followed suit and we put it together. It’s a great song really and I like the fact that what you like about it is that it’s got an old school build about it but with words you’re not used to.

And the last song I want to know about is ‘So Throwed’, it’s a really weird track but I find myself going back to it

[Laughs] It’s like early Weeknd, you know.

So Matty P produced all of the mixtape along with D Clax. You’ve been working with Matty P since you were 14. How has that relationship grown over time?

We just get along with each other really well, you know I can tell him how I feel or something that I want to do and he can make it right. We can feel each other out.

I read in an interview once that if you could be like any rapper it would be Drake, especially how he evokes certain emotions from you when you listen to his music. I kind of like to think that Matty P is your 40 you know? Ride together from start to the end.

[Laughs] Yeah he’s pretty much my 40, he’s my Metro Boomin to my Future. It’s fire. Everybody needs someone like that; every artist needs a producer like that.

You met Matty because he knew your mum yeah? Does that mean he worked with your sister while she was part of that girl group Blaque?

Yeah that’s how we met, but he didn’t work with my sister until later on.

So with Blaque, which was TLC’s girl group, you were no stranger to touring and that crazy life. Did that make it always feel like you would blow up and sign a record deal? It feels like you never doubted that you’d make it.

Yeah I think I was born a little bit after [she was signed]. No, I had no doubt in my mind, I’m not going to lie. I pretty much knew I would be doing something, I didn’t know exactly what it was. I didn’t know exactly what I really wanted to do but I knew it was going to be lit – I knew I’d be fire at something [laughs].

You’ve spoken about how you met Coach K a few times already, and how he introduced you to Yachty at one of his shows. It’s how you got his verse on ‘Sad’.

Yeah he’s my guy, I met him before the Yachty show but that’s when I met Yachty.

What I’m super curious about is how it felt to have someone like Coach K interested in you? Were you intimidated because he’s a big deal?

Well when I first, first met him I knew who he was but I didn’t know what he did, so I’d be like “Oh hey” but I wouldn’t be like “oh my god”. And then my best friend was like “Yo! That’s Coach K”. Then that was cool and I soaked it up and now he’s my guy. Now I call him and text him, we’re cool.

I’ve lurked you for a minute and I see you wearing a lot of cool stuff. I see you rocking everything from Bape to Burberry and I’ve even heard you’ve got a pair of Toy Story Vans.

Ha, I do! I’ve only worn them once and I tried to give them to my little brother but he didn’t take them home [laughs]. I wanted a different pair but when I saw them I knew I had to get them Toy Story Vans.

Lots of people talk about being themselves and you know, with you it feels genuine. You love cheesy rom-coms and your taste in music has such wide scope. I’m so into how you love Ellie Goulding and Zedd. Lots of rappers work with EDM and pop artists these days, who would you like to work with if the situation arose?

I would love to work with The Chainsmokers, that’d be crazy. They’re so fye. Skrillex is always fire, Diplo and Zedd – do you know Zedd?

I’m a huge Zedd fan [laughs].

That’s super, yeah all of them are lit.

I watched your entire web series, DonBaby Days.

That’s wild, did you like it?

Yeah I thought it was cool to get a behind the scenes look at your life. Is Kevin still filming it with you?

Actually we took a break from each other [laughs] but I think he’s back and we’re going to get back to it. We’re looking to do episode 10 actually.

Oh really? I thought episode 9 was going to be the last one.

Yeah I’m so excited for everyone to see that. I’m so… sorry for the wait. I didn’t want to put it out if it wasn’t right.

What made you decide to do a web series?

There was just a lot going on and I was working with a few photographers. I had a few episodes that I made but I just didn’t want to put them out if they weren’t good. Every episode I put out just got better than the last. I wanted the progression to keep going. I wanted to get it right and now we’re getting it right I’m excited.

You do some pretty cool things in the series. You performed at proms and spoke at so many schools. Now that you’ve blown up are you able to do that kind of thing still?

I love going to schools. I don’t do all that stuff as much but I don’t think that’s why. I mean it has been a little harder to do that kind of thing because I have less… freedom.

In one of the episodes you gave out food to homeless people on Valentine’s Day.

Oh yeah, that was last Valentine’s Day but I actually hated that we videoed that [laughs].

You’re about to head off on your Zero Gravity Tour, are you excited?

It’s going to be super! It’s going to be so lit. I can’t wait to build my own show and I’m really excited for that.

Any plans in the works to come to Australia? You know we’re thirsty for the Sailing Team to swim over.

No but we’re actually putting together some overseas stuff which is exciting.

But you know if you get down here it’ll kinda be like being in the future, so you probably should come down soon.

[Laughs] So bomb!

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Kish Lal is a contributor for ACCLAIM. She’s a lady on the streets and lacks impulse control in the tweets. Don’t @ her – @futuristickish

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