When singer-songwriter Kacy Hill was growing up in Phoenix, Arizona, she probably never imagined oboe and saxophone lessons would lead her to signing a major record deal with Kanye West’s G.O.O.D. Music imprint. The former American Apparel model was discovered during her tenure as a backup dancer for West’s year-long Yeezus tour, which began in 2013 and concluded in 2014. Her breakout single, “Experience,” first established her as a burgeoning talent to keep an eye on. Hill, who proves to be quite modest, doesn’t elaborate too much on how the single secured her a place in the G.O.O.D. family, but in previous interviews she has revealed that West signed her almost immediately after getting his hands on a copy.
Part of Hill’s appeal lies in just how relatable her lyrics feel. Often they tackle the nuances of human interactions, mapping a blueprint of the highs and lows of relationships in a way that can be as easily applied to intimate interludes as it can be to strained family ties or friendships grown distant. Ahead of the release of her forthcoming single, “Hard to Love,” Hill dropped by our office for a lighthearted chat where she answered 10 rapid fire questions we tossed her way.
What’s your strangest eating habit?
I have a full-blown addiction to Sqirl in L.A. – not the animal squirrel…It got really quiet. I just feel like I need to say I’ve never eaten an actual squirrel. It’s this restaurant in L.A. and it’s my favorite place in the whole world; it’s literally the one thing I could eat for the rest of my life. I eat it close to every day. They have this sorrel and pesto bowl that has preserved lemon, brown rice, a poached egg and pickled radishes. I get it with kale and it has sheep’s milk feta and it’s the best thing I’ve ever had. Oh, and there’s this cauliflower hash that’s like delicious potatoes and cauliflower and piri piri sauce with a fried egg. There’s also this ricotta toast on brioche that’s, like, fucked up because it’s so good.
Who is your style icon?
Probably Cher. I think Cher is the ultimate risk-taker, the ultimate hair icon; I think Cher more than anyone else is in a league of her own – basically every one of her looks is iconic. There is no such thing as low-key Cher. Cher might as well just not be human. I think when she walks into a room everything probably just starts radiating light or something…Rihanna probably does something similar.
Name one of your musical idols…
I grew up really, really liking alternative rock. I really love The Cranberries, Third Eye Blind, Tonic, Semisonic and all of that. Now every day when I’m in my house all I want to listen to is Sade. That’s literally all I do. I had a folk-y period too where all I listened to was like Laura Marling and stuff.
Change the title of one iconic album…
No idea. This one is really tough because I can’t even think of any albums right now. I feel like I’ve never listened to an album before. I mean obviously I have, I just can’t think of one.
What’s your guilty TV pleasure?
It’s so bad! When I’m having a really bad day I binge watch Teen Mom. I even cried recently because on one of the episodes one of them got married after years and years. I was just on my couch bawling my eyes out. It was like happy and sad tears because I’m like, ‘I watched you grow up!’
What would you be doing if music hadn’t worked out?
I was just telling someone the other day that I wish I were a ballerina but I’ve never taken a dance class so that probably isn’t an option. I’d probably be, well it depends on the course of my life. If I had continued doing modeling for American Apparel and stuff before they closed and I lived in L.A. and times were rough I’d maybe just be like an Instagram butt model. If times were less rough and I had more options and I lived in Arizona still maybe I would be…I don’t know I’d probably just be like baking or something. Options are pretty limited honestly, I’m doing what I really wanted to do.
Do you cook?
I love cooking! I would say I’m a functional cook though, not someone you go out of your way to recommend to a friend for your dinner party. That being said, I can make a really good German pancake. I’ve been eating them since I was a kid – I think it was my grandmother’s recipe or something. I just called it a puff pancake growing up but then I learned it was actually a thing. You make it in a cast iron skill or a pan and it’s a really puffy kind of custard-y pancake thing. It’s lightly sweet and it’s the actual greatest thing in the world. I can also make a nice chicken too, but my puff pancake is the best.
What are you favorite fashion brands?
I always go back to Gucci just because I think it’s the pinnacle of reinvention and innovation. I also love Alyx because it’s the coolest thing in the world and they’ve made something that feels very industrial but also really wearable. A lot of the time when people do something that is very industrial it gets kind of clunky but Alyx smashed it. It’s so sleek.
Where have you always wanted to travel?
I really want to go to Cuba. I’ve never been and I’d love to go.
Did you have a favorite musician growing up?
My entire life I’ve always had a really hard time picking favorites of anything. It’s just really difficult because there are so many things to pick and my favorites change all the time…There must have been someone though…I don’t know. I was obsessed with the Moby album Play. I was also really, really into Sheryl Crow. I also really liked The Cure.
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- Photographer: Nico Amarca/Highsnobiety