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Kitty Ca$h’s New Go-To Songs Are Her Own

You’re going to sweat, dance, and not look at your phone to the DJ's first EP, Handle With Care.

Kitty Ca$h’s New Go-To Songs Are Her Own
Hannah Sider
Von Ford
Larry TraeVon
Andres Copeland
Photo Assistant:
Khalilah Pianta

A DJ and producer with a penchant for dance music, Kitty Ca$h has spent most of her career spinning other artists’ music. This month, though, she officially released her first EP, Handle With Care—and now, she's on tour to share the tracks she's been working on for a year. Reaching career milestones that were once mere goals, Ca$h is playing at some of her favorite venues (Public Records in Brooklyn is a staple, after all) and collaborating with artists like Rico Nasty and Kilo Kish.

Below, the DJ—who's previously been tapped by artists including Rihanna, Thundercat, A$AP Rocky, and Migos—tells us about her dream of Alaïa dressing her on tour (making her feel like “the ultimate lady, but also just fab") and the excitement of finally playing her own music.

Here, photographer Hannah Sider portrays Ca$h as ethereal and otherworldly, creating a cinematic narrative with her subject in the starring role. Dressed in Gucci, LaQuan Smith, and Puppets and Puppets, Ca$h kicks back in Los Angeles and invites us into her technicolor universe (you can guess what's on the soundtrack).

Dress: LaQuan Smith; Shoes: Acne

Coveteur: You recently shared your 2024 tour dates as we await the release of 'Handle With Care'–how long did you work on this EP and what are you most proud of on it?

Kitty Ca$h: “I've been working on this project for about a year, and since then, it has gone through so many sonic transformations. I still can’t believe it's only 20 minutes long. Ultimately this ep represents such a beautiful transition in my life. I’m proud that it serves as a capsule of transformation and growth from DJ to producer and artist. It really feels like a new beginning, and I have a deeper understanding of myself as an artist. While making 'Handle With Care,' I was able to truly commit to my vision, not settle in any direction in terms of the artwork, features, or even the amount of time that it took to make it happen. Most importantly, I was able to trust in myself enough to share what I created with the world. I think that has been the most beautiful part of the whole thing.”

Was there anyone you turned to for advice?

KC: “I would say my friendship circle was a strong support system for me during this time. There are so many unexpected moments and delays that you have no control over, and you have to be malleable and shapeshift swiftly without it breaking you down. One of the best pieces of advice I received was to fall in love with the process because, when it's out, it's out. The best part will be creating.”

What goes into the venue selecting process?

KC: “For this tour, I specifically wanted venues that were community-based or rooted in electronic music. I also picked venues that I frequent, like Public Records in Brooklyn and Floyd in Miami. These venues are places that I actually enjoy, and their audience has a deep love for music. The key factor was finding places where people could dance the night away, celebrate, and honor themselves through the music.”

Full Look: Gucci

Look: JW Anderson; Shoes: Kendal Miles

What are you most excited about for this tour? What feeling/experience do you want the audience to leave with?

KC: “This is my first Kitty Ca$h tour where I'm playing all of my music; be it unreleased songs, edits, as well as the songs from the EP. I got to tease a lot of songs on my previous tour opening for Thundercat, but this is my tour. You feel the growth in moments like this. Maybe it’s the Capricorn in me, but I love to check a box off of my list…like, ‘Oh, I did the thing that I talked about X months ago or last year.’ I'm just so excited to play my own music and see people's reactions and see how it's received. It's always fun to see how [my music] lives in the actual spaces that I DJ.

"At the end of the day, it's always making sure [the audience] remembers that a Kitty Ca$h set is that set you need to be at. You're going to sweat, you're going to dance, you're not going to look at your phone, and you're just going to have time.”

What’s your go-to snack on tour? Any habits you’ve developed on the tour that you would never bring into your everyday life?

KC: “What's funny, actually, I think it's the exact opposite. I’ve learned to bring my better habits on tour so that I'm more balanced because I've toured so much. In the past, I felt like when I’d get home, my body would be in shambles. I would be questioning, ‘Why am I breaking out? Why am I so exhausted? I feel crazy.’

"But now I have found ways to have a much better balance on the road. I usually bring some books to read, and I travel with my favorite candle—things that allow me to feel a bit more centered. At this point, being on the road is second nature and should actually be another safe space because I'm doing what I love here.

"And okay, wait, my favorite snack–I have a lot of snacks. Oh my God, I'm about to sound so healthy. Dried Mango. But when I need that chocolate, fix Reese's pieces.”

Tell me about the hot air balloon in your latest single/video with Thundercat and James Fauntleroy––what was it like being on it while filming, and what was the symbolism behind the visuals?

KC: “Filming was scary as hell. Every time I moved, I felt the entire balloon moving with me and I heard the director yelling, ‘Make sure you're moving. Bigger movements’. We woke up at the crack of dawn, around 5:30 a.m. I had four coffees, and I was committed. ‘We're going to get the shot, and we're going to do this.’

"While creating the visual aspect of this project, I kept the works of Kishin Shinoyama very close to me. I was really inspired by the way he combined elements of surrealism and the natural world. Juxtaposing the human body in vast landscapes and having hidden meanings within these environments.

"Each of the visualizers speaks to an element of healing. Using the elements of water, fire, earth, and air, I traveled with my ‘emotional baggage’ personified through the boxes as a way to cleanse, release, and heal from past traumas and transform into my divine feminine. Many of the locations came from personal experiences where I felt I was not handled with care. I used those experiences as inspiration to transmute the pain into art. With this visualizer specifically, we used the element of air and it's alchemy as a tool for healing.”

Full Look: LaQuan Smith; Shoes: Kendall Miles

In an interview with Flaunt a few years ago, you said that a “primetime R&B plot twist song” is your favorite type of song to drop in a set — what about that experience do you like? Since then, have you discovered other favorite genres or unexpected go-to songs for your sets?

KC: “My palette has continued to grow since then. I wouldn’t say that it has to be R&B, it could be anything, honestly. I just have to genuinely love the song that I am playing for this “plot twist.” It is such a rewarding feeling when someone says, ‘I discovered this artist because of you, and now they are one of my favorite artists.’

"What I love about a ‘plot twist’ song is that it speaks to crowd control. It speaks to you taking the audience on a journey and them being fully immersed within the music that they have surrendered!

"I think it's always fun to challenge yourself and experiment with music in that way. It’s about exploration, experimentation, and it being a spiritual journey.

"Now my new go-to songs are my songs.”

How has your experience as a DJ impacted/influenced your own music?

KC: “My experiences have allowed me to create from a space where I would perform a song. Am I playing this song at an art gallery, at a festival, at a fashion show? How do I want to feel in these moments? That has allowed me to have somewhat of a home for each song, no matter how different they may feel.

"I was also able to play my demos out in all of these spaces in real-time. Being able to actually go out and get real life feedback definitely allowed me to make certain tweaks on songs that you wouldn’t be able to gauge in the studio. You get to have your own case studies in real-time.”

If you could have any designer dress you for your entire tour, who would it be and why?

KC: “To be honest, my dream wardrobe would be full Attico. I feel like their pieces are bold, fun, and sexy. It’s for a very specific woman who is confident with who she is and doesn’t care what the occasion is, she is the moment. That feels fitting for me…ahahaha."

Rapid-Fire Questions

What's the most ridiculous thing you've ever splurged on, and do you regret it?

KC: “Most ridiculous thing would be this huge Sailor Moon-esque bow I have by Kimhekim. I never regret a splurge! They are always the best pieces.”

What's the most unusual item in your closet?

KC: “All my fucking cat hats. I have so many.”

What was your “it’s not a phase mom” moment?

KC: “Oh, DJing actually.”

If you could collaborate with anyone (dead or alive), who would it be?

KC: “I would collaborate with Nai Palm & Donna Summer.”

Art Director: Smiley Stevens / Managing Editor: Hilary George-Parkin / Casting Director: Yasmin Coutinho / Executive Producer: Marc Duron

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