Upon asking them if they’ve noticed patterns amongst their fans and earliest supporters, BLACKSTARKIDS tell me, “They’re always really cool every time. There must be a correlation [laughs].” The band, that oozes early 2000s nostalgia, kick out a brand of jams that Alternative Press characterized as a “sunny version of surf rap.”
Monday night BLACKSTARKIDS kick off a 26-date tour at 9:30 Club in Washington DC that will have them alongside Christian Leave, supporting Dirty Hit labelmate and bedroom pop princess beabadoobee. And this coming Tuesday, November 2nd, they will be playing our very own Union Transfer (where beabadoobee was supporting Clairo just two years ago.) “We’ve been looking forward to this one for a while. She’s a labelmate, so we’ve been listening to her for a while,” they tell me during a Zoom chat, before clarifying that the audiences at these shows will have just as much fun as the performers.
“It’s gonna be a crazy show. It’s us and Christian Leave also, so there’s gonna be a lot of variety of music. Us, personally, we’re just super energetic and loud and stuff… It’s just fun, based off of each show we’ve done, the people that we’ve talked to after the shows just have fun… Expect us to look super fly onstage, too.”
BLACKSTARKIDS are comprised of Ty, Deoindre, and The Babe Gabe, three friends who met in high school outside of Kansas City… from which they graduated not so long ago… 2019 and 2020 saw them release their “black coming of age trilogy” of EPs and October 15th they dropped their debut full-length, Puppies Forever. Their sound is an amalgam of party-friendly pop punk, hip hop, and alt. rock that you would totally believe were soundtrack singles from basically any late ‘90s or early 2000s teen movie.
During our chat I asked them about some of their favorite albums, and they tell me the list would have to include Midnight Marauders by A Tribe Called Quest, Negro Swan by Dev Haynes, Oracular Spectacular by MGMT, The Velvet Rope by Janet Jackson, Discovery by Daft Punk, Weezer’s Blue Album, Nevermind and In Utero by Nirvana, Ill Communication by Beastie Boys, and Raekwon’s Only Built 4 Cuban Linx…, in addition to Kanye West’s first five albums and the discographies of N.E.R.D and Tyler, the Creator. And as much as their favorite music seems to collaboratively influence them, they tell me that they work together just as collaboratively as a unit.
“We all do it together. We all have specific roles, but none of us really care about telling people that like, ‘I do this, I do that.’ Everybody is definitely on equal footing, as far as song for song. It’s very much a team effort… It’s all just like shared ideas and feelings… It’s the three of us just bonding.”
Although BLACKSTARKIDS tell me that they’re super excited about this upcoming tour, in addition to next year’s SXSW and getting back into the studio, they’ve already had some super noteworthy experience (despite any obstacles provided by the pandemic), including, “Signing to the label [we] wanted to sign to in the first place,” “Blood Orange telling us to have a good show at Riot Fest,” and “Charli XCX mentioning us in an interview.”