Elle King grew up in southern Ohio but was made for Gulf Shores -- and the Hangout festival. The singer-songwriter whose full-length album debut Love Stuff was released in February, now lives in New York, likes to party, frolic in the ocean and speak without a net.
"I'm a water baby to no end," she said during a quick hangout interview hours after her performance on the BMI stage on May 16. "I've been in the ocean since the second I walked offstage till like 5 seconds before I came over here. It's beautiful. The water is amazing, incredible."
Her man-hating song "Good to be a Man," recorded for an earlier EP, was a hit during her early afternoon Hangout set, but she also gave equal time to haters of the opposite sex, saying women can be just as bad.
But King, who took three planes to get to Gulf Shores from Los Angeles, where she wound up a tour with James Bay, proved to be a bundle of fun onstage and during this Snapshot interview, the second in a series featuring up-and-coming artists who were performing at the Hangout from May 15-17. The selfie she took was with a couple of band members.
Claim to fame: What got you here?
EK: Probably my man-hating song. (laughs) No, I think I write funny songs that make people kind of like stop what they're doing and be like, "What did you say?" And then it makes them laugh a little bit. And then they realize that my band is pretty talented and they enjoy the show so people just kept coming. And then I put out a full album of talking shit and now I'm living the dream.
You're on the clock to make an Unabashedly Shameless Plug for 10 seconds: Go!
EK: My name is Elle King and I've got nice tits and I can drink you under the table.
Secret you're finally well-adjusted enough to share?
EK: My first name is a boy's name. It's Tanner. I've always gone by my middle name but, yeah, my first name is Tanner. And King is my mom's last name. I took my mom's last name since I was 18.
Where do you go from here (literally or figuratively)?
EK: To the top! No, just kidding. I go home for a few days. I get to play with my dogs (Blue and Arrow), make out with this cute boy, see my mommy and then I go to Hong Kong.
Beach essential: Shades, swimsuit or volleyball?
EK: None. Beer. C'mon, why is beer not a choice? Add it to the list.
Shore thing in Gulf Shores (what's on top of your to-do list)?
EK: See Major Lazer. Huge fan. Amazing. Just so wild, so crazy. I'm gonna be naked. Come find me, I'll be that naked chick on the beach.
What did you want to be growing up?
EK: This. Just a cool person. (laughs) No, I wanted to be a musician. I just wanted to be onstage. It's the first thing I can remember.
What's your biggest fear about the water?
EK: The stuff you can't see. It'll get you. I've been pinched by a crab, I've gotten crabs. No, I'm just kidding. (laughs) I heard they put up the purple flags (Friday). And I was like, "Gross!"
Flip-flops, sneakers or Crocs?
EK: I'm actually a barefoot girl. But my suitcase got lost so I only had my boots and it was hot when I was walking around, so I bought flip-flops. But I have to say I'm barefoot at any time.
Surf, paddleboard, para-sail, deep-sea fishing or snorkeling?
EK: Ooh, snorkel. So I can see the fish.
Your greatest athletic feat?
EK: None. I can chug. I can chug better than any man. It's fucked up.
What do you have that Skrillex and Diplo don't?
If you could go to dinner and a movie with another Hangout performer this weekend, who would it be, what would you see and why?
EK: Diplo. I'd see ... ooh, that's tough. Uh, Roger Rabbit. But we'd get stoned first, you know.
Along with Elle King, Day 2 of Hangout featured performances by the Mowgli's, Drive-By Truckers and one of the best of the fest by San Fermin, a Brooklyn-based eight-piece outfit that I will feature at a later date. Here's a snapshot look at Day 2:
The Mowgli's Katie Earl
Drive-By Truckers' Mike Cooley
San Fermin's Charlene Kaye
Fans at the Surf stage for the Mowgli's
Concert photos by Michael Bialas. See more photos from Day 2 of the Hangout Festival.