Early life and education
Kulash was born in Washington D.C. on October 7, 1975. Kulash graduated from St. Albans School in 1994. He trained as a youth at the Interlochen Arts Camp. The family name was originally "Kulas" when Kulash's great-grandparents lived in Poland. In a podcast, Kulash states that one of his grandfathers invented the modern day fish stick, and the other found a species of beetle.
While in college at Brown, Kulash played in at least three bands – A La Playa, Calixto Chinchile, and Square. He released three CDs in his senior year: an album of experimental Elvis covers (for his senior project), an eponymously titled five-song EP from his electronic pop band Square, and Appendices, a collection of more than a dozen miscellaneous recordings from his time in college, including solo songs, collaborations with friends, class projects, studio experiments, and recordings from previous bands. Included on the Appendices record are the original recordings of "Bye Bye Baby", which was later re-recorded for OK Go's debut record, and four songs from a never-finished EP for his punk band A La Playa.
In May 1998, Kulash won Brown University's Weston Prize in music composition. Kulash graduated from Brown University in 1998, with a concentration in Art-Semiotics.