Getting Illicit with Natalia Kills

There’s something deliciously illicit about Natalia Kills. Even if the English singer’s name didn’t evoke a villainess from some outtake of The Avengers, one gets the impression the lass would be just as comfortable running a con or plotting a heist, as she is pulling a Machiavelli on the pop world. Then there’s that whole murderous girl thing she’s got goin’ on; an explicit lethality which can be found in both the sound of her single “My Boyfriend,” and the visions of her Love Kills xx video series, in addition to the very name itself. On the terrace of South Beach’s Catalina Hotel on Thursday night, just hours before Kills took her stand at Mansion, it was all I could do to not ask her if she’d like to go knock off a bank.

But Kills is far too single-mindedly determined to be sidetracked by something that could keep her outta circulation for even a couple moments, let alone a few years. See, that might foil her plans for world domination. And make no mistake, this unequivocal young lady is definitely going global—or else.

While where Kills is going may be clear, it’s a lot harder to pinpoint where she’s come from. Born to a Jamaican father and a Uruguayan mother, and raised primarily in the Gunshine State (Miami and Jacksonville), she’s spent the last couple of years lighting fires around LA. Her “wish,” though, is to move to the Big Bad Apple, and soon. “There isn’t anything wrong with Los Angeles,” she says. “It’s just time for New York.” Perhaps she simply needs a bigger city to core?

When prompted, Kills calls herself “English.” Noting her heritage, however, she may just as well claim citizenry of the wild world she seems so keen to conquer. Like many a bright mind, Kills is the kinda Benetton kid Tibor Kalman undoubtedly had in his head when he created the incomparable Colors. A cross-pollination of creed and culture as compelling as it is adroit. Otherwise known as: our future.

In other words, Kills has got it goin’ on, even if her Wiki page has it all wrong. She does NOT share a name with her mother, nor has she been in a succession of British soap operas. Kills isn’t from Persia either, though she “has great respect” for the people and the place.

The last time Kills hit South Beach, she opened for Robyn at The Fillmore. This time, as mentoined, she soloed at Mansion, one of the most renowned dance emporiums on The Strip. Prior to that, there was a mad two nights in New York, where she pulled off appearances at both the Standard and Bowery hotels, as well as an exclusive on the 48th floor of the Atlas. By the time you read this, Kills will be in arenas opening for Katy Perry before she crosses back over the pond to retake the continent.

Face to face, Kills is forthright, forthcoming and utterly assured. Yes, “My Boyfriend” is about a real someone. No, she didn’t kill him. She is “grateful” though that their six-year relationship turned out so badly. Otherwise, her album “would be all rainbows, and who the hell wants to hear that?” Kills is also extremely grateful to French director Guillaume Doubet, the Love Kills accomplice who taught her the tricks of the the cinematic trade and gave her the opportunity to be on both sides of the camera. “I learned so much shooting that series,” she says. “Mostly, I learned that I could direct too. I just had to do it.”

Forget for a minute Nike’s now-overexposed slogan, because before there was such a thing as kicks campaigns, there were people for whom “just do it” was simply who and what they were. Count Natalia Kills among that worthy roster. Or else.

Photo by Jeffrey Delannoy.

Miami Openings: Epic Hotel, Riviera South Beach

imageMiami is sprouting hotels faster silicone implants and fake tans. Next up on the roster: Epic Hotel and the Riviera South Beach. From the same folks as the Catalina comes the all-suite Riviera, opening on December 1. Perks include free wifi, iPod docks, and free booze from 7 to 8 p.m. On December 15, the Kimpton group is opening the Epic Hotel. Like all Kimptons, the Epic will be pet-friendly and feature a wine-tasting hour in the evenings. This Kimpton, however, has a few more perks than its San Francisco brethren — like two swimming pools and an Exhale Spa (opening in 2009). The opening rates for these two hotels are hovering between $200-$300 per night.