By Tobias Micah Krause | Photos By Circe Baumgartner
Denver’s music scene is about as close to a volcano ready to erupt as any mid to major city can get. The constantly evolving community pulls just about every sound and genre one could think of.
There's been a strong, vibrant badass movement of local musicians venturing out on their own and real kicking some fucking ass as of late.. Kitty Crimes, the charismatic electro-clash meets electro pop princess is just that. Maria Kohler, aka Kitty Crimes is her own genre in itsel…er, herself and one hell of a fucking force to be reckoned with.
Not many people, or women these days (I should be more specific) are spitting out electro hip-hop beats fueled by passionate and powerful lyrics that paint such a vast musical landscape..
On a sunny Friday afternoon I jumped on my bike and hustled through the bustling city to South Broadway for a sit down with the one and only, Kitty Crimes.. I arrived several minutes after our allotted time to find Ms. Kohler deeply rooted in her computer screen. She was intently tinkering away and putting together some fresh new beats for her soon-to-be-released EP, Crimes of The Kitty Volume 1 while sipping on a fresh cup of joe. Her strikingly beautiful blue eyes caught my dark and desolate brown eyes and after a brief intro she invited me to sit down. So I ordered my vanilla latte and grabbed a seat.
Almost immediately, Kohler strapped a pair of headphones on me and went outside to rip a heater. I get my shit together and formulate some sort of a strategy to talk to this beacon of musical talent.
She comes back in the café and asks if I liked what she’s been working on. My eyes beam like a beacon light and we get down to the thick of things. Talking about what’s fresh around Denver, what inspires her to be Kitty Crimes and honestly, how the fuck she landed on the name “Kitty Crimes.”
“The name just felt right. The connotation of felines and criminal activity had a great rhyme to it. Sort of like, an idea of pushing boundaries to their limits and not being part of the status quo.”
After a series of name contemplations influenced from various sandwich boards from around town that rang to the tune of Chutney LaRouche or Duck Ruben, the name Kitty Crimes stuck with her.
Music has been her lifelong journey, which really began to take off after she dropped her first music video for the song “Find a Penny.” Her deep seated passion for making music started at an early age. Kohler kept to herself as a little kitten, she felt alienated from her friends then eventually discovered a voice deep down inside of her body that was screaming to make music, Her first album was called Country Clubbin.”
She grew up in a messy time of shitty plastic pop music thanks to MTV and people like Christina Aguilera, Limp Bizkit and all those terrible boy bands of the late ‘90s. Eventually Kitty was hit with a lightning bolt of discovery when she began listening to some colossal music giants like Radiohead and Queens of the Stone Age.
That little kitten eventually grew into a full grown Kitty by exploring and genre hoping through various phases of listening to folk, rap, electronic and stoner rock — all of which she brings to her vast palette of musical knowledge.
As she’s grown, Kohler tries to focus her constantly evolving musical path with its changing identity. “It kinda started off as this vougey-esque hip-hop meets electro hip-hop sound that’s now evolving into more a witch house feeling with more intense hip-hop beats.”
Kohler makes the music she wants to hear these days, adding themes of sex, humor and feminism, all of which formulate a relevant theme of counter culture to all of her peers, and she loves every minute of it. “I think Kitty Crimes fills a sort of ‘void’ in Denver. I wanted to see more of it, so I made what I thought should be happening.”
I asked what influenced her to become the lesbian powerhouse that makes up Kitty Crimes, and her eyes lit up. “It’s a matter of being fed. Some people live to get married or start a business, maybe because they are craving some sort of financial stability or emotional stability but there’s always a reason deeper than that. That excuse of stability, is what feeds me, I don’t really know anything other than what I’m doing. “
She is very much a part of this growing musical community, “Denver is rad, I’m stoked to be a part of the constantly evolving music scene that makes this such a fuckin’ great city.”
The vibe thrown out at a Kitty Crimes show creates a visceral experience for everyone in attendance. “I really just wanted an excuse to walk around like I had a dick. And to make beats.”
The rumblings of the local music scene are a series of diverse and supportive musicians come together to create something special. Her stage presence is as if somebody pissed off the wrong person at the right time. People emit so much love and give off an incredible amount of energy when Kitty Crimes is performing and that’s a beautiful thing. She draws the crowd inward and delivers a ferocious bang.
The New Year looks promising for Kitty Crimes.