Kevin Abstract's Conversation with Spike Jonze Is Stupidly Creative

The two artists were introduced through VICELAND and connected again for this hourlong chat on the Launch Left podcast.
Daisy Jones
London, GB

There's something really cool about two separately talented artistic figures being in the same room, exchanging words. It's like hiding under a table and listening in on the dinner party of your dreams. It's a meeting of minds. It's chemistry in action. We've had Courtney Love and Lana Del Ray. Chance the Rapper and Beyoncé. RuPaul and Dolly Parton. And now, there is multidisciplinary artist Spike Jonze and rapper/director/all-round maker of things Kevin Abstract, who had a deep and meaningful about all the shit that interests them. Which is especially cool, because Kevin has already spoken about how much Spike has influenced his aesthetic and style over the years, and Spike is a big fan.


The two initially met during our very own VICELAND show American Boyband, but reconnected for this third episode of the Launch Left podcast, hosted by Rain Joan of Arc Phoenix and Moon Unit Zappa.

The whole thing is an hour long, so if you have time then you should definitely plug yourself in and listen to the embed above. But if, like me, you can't focus on anything for longer than ten minutes because you are a giant human baby, here's a bunch of stuff we learned:

Kevin explained the difference between his Brockhampton and Kevin Abstract projects, saying: "Brockhampton represents friendship to me. The Kevin Abstract project kind of represents being socially awkward in high school, which I'm lowkey kind of tired of. I don't want to be that artist whose doing the 'teenage angst' thing and draw it out my whole career. So I'm thinking that Kevin Abstract would ust be this project that represents my time in high school, then I'd move on and do something completely different."

Spike said he first became obsessed with music at the age of 13 after watching a movie: "When I worked at the BMX shop when I was 13 my friend Jeff, he was a rider and we went riding one day and that night we went to this girl's house that was a friend of Jeff's and we watched Rock n Roll High School with the Ramones and that was the first time I'd heard the Ramones… then we started going to shows."

Kevin explained how he first got into Spike Jonze through the work of Kanye West: "I had seen his work before knowing it was Spike, so I got into the Kanye West and then I got into Spike Jonze… the first time I met him I told him that 'Flashing Lights' is my favourite video ever. It's just the mood of it. It feels so right."

Kevin also explained how he always lets go of his art once it's made: "Once a song or a video is out, it's no longer mine. Some kid in middle America is listening to it and it means something to him or her… it's really however that person takes it, or however they choose to use it in their life."

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