Kristine Meredith Flaherty (born June 30, 1985), known professionally as K.Flay, is an American singer and songwriter from Wilmette, Illinois. Her album Life as a Dog, released in 2014, peaked on the Billboard Heatseekers Albums chart at number two, and on Billboard's Rap Albums chart at number 14. In 2016, she signed with Interscope Records as the first artist signed to Dan Reynolds' Night Street Records imprint. K.Flay was nominated for two awards at the 60th Annual Grammy Awards: Best Engineered Album, Non-Classical (for Every Where Is Some Where), and Best Rock Song (for "Blood in the Cut").
Flaherty was raised in Wilmette, Illinois, a suburb north of Chicago. She attended New Trier Township High School.
When she was seven, Flaherty's parents divorced. Soon after, her mother remarried, bringing in an extended stepfamily. She has described herself as a tomboy during childhood, preferring baggier clothing and rejecting "all things girly."
When she was 14 years old, Flaherty's father, a guitarist who loved all musical genres, died. Many of her songs are a tribute to him.
In 2003, she entered Stanford University in California, pursuing a double major in psychology and sociology. According to Flaherty, many people she met during her time at Stanford influenced her musical style.
K.Flay began her music career in 2003, believing that most hip hop hits on the radio were "simplistic, misogynistic and formulaic". After bragging to a friend that she could write similar songs, she wrote "Blingity Blang Blang", which she described as a "low budget rap parody that contained far too many obscenities". After writing and performing the song, Flaherty realized that she enjoyed writing and recording music.
Flaherty continued to experiment with music by writing songs and performing and recording them on her computer. She released a mixtape, Suburban Rap Queen, in 2005, which she produced on her laptop and began performing in the local music scene.
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