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Kid Hastings, USC’s Indie Pop Innovator, Finds Fluidity in His Artistry (Original Interview)

Indie pop artist Kid Hastings has returned from a year-long hiatus to release “Call Me Up”, a fresh new single paired with a haunting music video. The release gives listeners a peek into his forthcoming EP, releasing via creative studio Ourros. Born in Hastings, England (hence the name), Kid Hastings was raised in New Jersey and now attends USC in Los Angeles.

Jake McEvoy’s video for “Call Me Up” is here to prove that identity is nothing but a myth; a social construct that’s but a ball-and-chain that’ll weigh you down if you let it. Jake thrives off his penchant for fluidity in his artistry, his ability to seamlessly connect all aspects of who he is.

McEvoy’s bleached hair and bold mustache define his look, and there’s no better way to top those off than with long lashes, blue eyeshadow, and a string of pearls. The “Call Me Up” music video evokes a blissful freedom that we all wish we had during these isolated times. McEvoy’s embrace of self-expression and artistic movement conjures up the solipsistic depths of existence; holding that knowledge of anything outside one’s own mind is unsure and the external world might not exist. With his direct middle-finger to conformity, gender and otherwise, “Call Me Up” draws inspiration from love, loss, and drag. Hastings, with the help of fellow “reformed theater kid” Ava Doorey, devised a music video that truly embodies the complexity of Kid Hastings’ persona.

THE BREAKDOWN

What is the inspiration behind Call Me Up?

Immediately after my first serious relationship I ended up in a super intense rebound. I felt like I had fallen in love harder than I ever had, but then, just like that, they left my life as abruptly as they had entered. “Call Me Up” is a plea to return to that momentary flicker of happiness I found in that short-lived romance but also a testament to my confusion at the time. Sonically, its switches back and forth between very jarring and ethereal sounds to illustrate that.

What is your process of writing songs and how does that differ from conceiving music videos?

Every song I write is conceived so differently – on this song I started with a synth jazz chord progression which I wrote words to later. Other songs I write come strictly from an acoustic guitar and voice memos. Sometimes they take months, sometimes they take hours, I am wildly inconsistent when it comes to songwriting. With conceiving music videos theres even less of a blueprint.  To me, the only requirement for a music video is to capture the feeling that inspired the song – after that, free rein. 

You thought up the video with friend Ava Doorey. Do you often collaborate with friends on creative projects?

On videos, I’ve only worked with friends. Its way more fun and free to have someone you can just mess around with and make something weird. 

You’ve been in LA attending USC for a few years now. How would describe the LA music/creative scene?

It’s something. It moves really fast so its a great inspiration to keep creating and pushing your own boundaries. Unfortunately its also full of toxicity in some places, but its all about surrounding yourself with the people you love and make you feel loved. Something I’ve also realized more and more living here is that literally everyone has something interesting to share/contribute to the scene – I think it’s important to strive to be the person who fosters that in other people. 

What is it like being a young creative in this wild time for media and life in general? What does “youth culture” mean to you? 

It’s definitely very fun once you decide to stop taking yourself seriously. Obviously theres a time and place for everything and creatives have a duty to use their platform for good, but I think theres way to pretty effectively do both. To me, youth culture means idealism and progressivism. However that is manifested, theres nothing more closely linked to being young than wanting to right the wrongs in the world.

What do you hope to see more of in 2021?

I hope to see my friends and family healthy, an invention to reverse climate change, and for the end of the national coin shortage (its been months, I can’t even pay for laundry).

What can we expect next from you?

Another single next month and an endless stream of Tik Tok thats will prevent me from having any sort of professional career.

Be on the lookout for Kid Hastings’ upcoming EP! You can keep up with him on Instagram and Tik Tok.

If you enjoyed this article, be sure to check out our interview with Hojean, the New Don of Bedroom Pop

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