Kidz at Play thrives after founders graduate


Smyth Knight poses on set of KaP’s new movie, “Highway 47.”

Kidz at Play, the self-described creative collective founded by former Cavaliers, continues to grow in popularity, content and members throughout Greater Richmond a year after leaving the Hill.

Kidz at Play, or  KaP, is a Richmond-born group of musicians, fashion designers, and filmmakers that collaborate with each other to produce, promote and grow as artists. The collective was created three years ago by class of 2020’s Dylan Smith and Darius Pegram, who both now produce music and sing in Kidz at Play under the pseudonyms Smyth Knight and Marquis Flower. 

“We were all sophomores when Kidz at Play started up and began to grow,” Pegram said. “Dylan and I were in the same class. We reference that in our music a little bit.”

Class of 2020’s Willem Valcin, the Kidz at Play producer who goes by DJ Erthtone on stage, was also a Clover Hill sophomore at the time and wanted in.

“I started really getting back into music my sophomore year,” Valcin said. “After seeing Smyth and them, I knew that’s what I wanted to do.”

Smith recounts how Kidz at Play got the name that it spreads around Richmond today when remembering the collective’s beginnings.

“It kinda reflects how we were taken by everyone else,” Smith said. “Everyone said to focus more on school. We were. We just had another focus on music too. It represents the underdog idea that we had as we grew.”

Smith pointed out the effects of Clover Hill on his art in lieu of his first album, titled “North Chesterfield”.

“Where you grow up gives a lot of influence on your creativity,” Smith said. “Mrs. Evans and Ms. Snyder specifically were big influences from when some of us were in show choir.”

Smith also thanks his experience with film, both in class and at the All American High School Film Festival in New York City.

“I had a great time up there,” Smith said. “That’s also where I met Noah Hudson-Peralta, who’s now coming from Detroit to help Kidz at Play shoot photos and videos.”

Last year, while the COVID-19 pandemic prematurely closed schools and kept people indoors, Kidz at Play focused on using it to their advantage, with Smyth Knight and another Kidz at Play artist, SVNSET, releasing “Live From the Pantry,” a series of video performances created in a kitchen.

“We were only really affected by how we produced,“ Pegram said. “We had to adapt like everyone else, and that’s how we grew.”

“When school [was] canceled last March as we were graduating, everyone else didn’t really know what to do with themselves,” Smith said. “We just kept moving because we had already had a mission. We did miss live performances though.”

Kidz at Play is growing in notoriety in the greater Richmond community, thanks to local promotions, productions and collaborations with other creators, such as the Kidz at Play X Chililay clothing merchandise promotion. According to the group, they have no plans of slowing down. 

Smyth Knight’s debut album, “North Chesterfield,” Marquis Flower’s debut single, “Crash,” and other Kidz at Play productions are out now on Spotify, Apple Music and more.

“We plan to release a lot of music, a lot of clothing, and a lot of other things,” Valcin said. “Stay tuned.”