Ahead of us hosting room 2 at XOYO on the 27th of this month (check the Facebook event HERE), we sat down with the man heading up the main event - the king of the bassline, Kissy Sell Out. Whilst reading through the answers for this interview, I had a huge grin on my face the entire time. Kissy knows how to keep everyone smiling whether it's a scruffy little tit of a blogger-come-interviewer (me) or the thousands of fans he keeps dancing on the regular. Check the interview after the jump.
Hello Kissy, let's start off by congratulating you for having hosted one of the most consistently brilliant electro radio show to come out of the BBC. You really got the kids bouncing over the past five years. How did it feel having the power to get a nation dancing?
Wow thank you! The number one thing I loved about doing the show was that the people who tuned in really cared about what we were doing so statements like that mean a great deal to me!
A general rule of thumb other radio presenters can ignore at their peril is that a “cool” record ain’t cool if nobody actually wants to dance to it. So instead of looking for trendy records I always went for tunes that knocked the f*ck out of me when I first heard them and were sure fire undiscovered dancefloor gems no matter how weird they were – it’s quite a risky strategy for a radio show to do that so it felt wonderful when it worked! It’s also a great way to stumble across unsigned talent and I’m so proud of the music careers that got kick-started by the Kissy Klub.
I'm sure you've been asked this one plenty of times before but would you be so kind as to break down the meaning behind the name Kissy Sell Out for our readers?
A strange wizard once stopped me on the way to the big smoke and gave me 3 magic beans.....he said eat these and you will receive a magical fabulous name that will one day host a party at XOYO in East London!!!! It’ll be proper Boom-Shaka-laka goodness.....and here we are today to tell the tale!!
We like to dig up some dirt over here at GETDOWNORDIE, so if it's not too debaucherous, out of all of the parties you've played and places you've been during the past few years, which one comes to mind when we say 'this is too wild for me'?
Haha good question! Here’s a good story.... I got booked about 4 years ago to DJ at “Let’s Go Crazy” an underage night in South London. Now, bearing in mind that was a gig for under-18s, the first thing I see when I pull up in my Kissy-wagon 206 is 3 RIOT VANs, 2 AMBULANCEs, 2 normal police cars and waves of angry-looking boys in hoodies shouting “pussy-ole pussy-ole, wer the fuk u at blad, don gimme no shit blad innit!” .....and it was only 10pm?!?! ...the event had only started half an hour before!?
Now I’m a grown man who’s done quite a few press-ups these days but I still have no shame in saying that I phoned up the promoter from my car (parked around the corner) and said “I know this sounds ridiculous, but I’m actually too scared to come in to the club!!?”
Luckily for my man-card, the promoters actually agreed that they were pretty freaked out too – but inside it was actually a harmless rave up. I’ve come to know now that underage events are often like that outside as the kids are trying to act a bit tougher than they really are BUT I still have no idea why they needed 3 riot vans!!?!
Name and shame the individual you've come across in your travels who parties the hardest (and maybe a bit too hard at times) and why they deserve the title.
Hmmm....well there’s several different genres of mash-up nutcases. There’s the fun ones who share the adventure with you like Atlanta’s “Overthrow” promoters who accidentally took me to a fetish swingers party in a car park (believe it or not they were genuinely as shocked as I was – we thought it was just a warehouse rave!!) for example, where I salute their party-hard skills.
Then there’s the type who make their problems your problem. I had girlfriend (for a relatively short time, it’s far to say) who would get absolutely spannered on drugs as soon as she got to a party which was bloody awful! I don’t even know where she got them from? I’ve never been into drugs although I’m a professional Essex boy so I’ve been known to hit the pina coladas hard from time-to-time (!). Thing is, I learnt from the long list of embarrassing incidents I had as a teenager and know when I look like a div, so I never cross that line!
Hence forth, the genre of mash-up merchant I much prefer would be someone like my best mate and tour DJ Twiggy Garcia. We make quite a crazy pair on a night out but we’re usually the right side of funny rather than stupid!!
As a label manager, you probably get sent tons of promo from up and coming artists every day. Are there any newbie producers we should be keeping our eye on?
You’re in luck there – that’s the third time I’ve been asked that this week so I’ve got a banging list of names for you which I didn’t tell the others!
2Deep (the US guys not the 90’s dubplate makers (although I like both!))
Stuff Ya Disco
Mak & Pasteman
...and Danny Westcott!
After your first three albums (would you consider 'Introducing Kissy Sell Out' to be an album?), are there any plans for another LP anytime soon?
“Introducing...” was more like Nirvana’s “Incesticide” album really in that it was bits and pieces I had left over and needed the world to hear.”Wild Romance” is like a Dolph Lundgren-esque Greek titan in comparison and is the 2nd album proper!
With the extra time my radio show-free life has I desperately want to release a slew of banging singles to get my tracks swinging through the night clubs again as it’s been tough to fit in my own tracks between travelling and DJing and staying alive. I have about 6 new projects which will come out as singles on San City High across the world as soon as I finish tweakin’ em! They include collaborations with DJ Taku, Queen Of Hearts, Saint Saviour, TAI and more (don’t wana give too much away!!)
Do you concentrate on your DJ sets more than your live show nowadays? We haven't seen you handling your keytar recently.
Crikey, I still wake up in a cold sweat thinking I’m on stage with that keytar even now haha! The band stuff was only linked to my first album stuff as it was essentially a live album.
We had a successful tour with the band and made that album a success in the end but I really don’t miss being in a band! The power-cuts, the broken instruments, the missing sound guys, the forgotten lyrics, the miserable sound checks, the motorway food etc, all provided many fond memories but rather than be an average live band I think I’m much better as a kick-ass bassline DJ! BOOM!
Any chance of a compilation of Kissy Klub Versions anytime soon?
Now, you’re the forty-something-th person to ask me that this week haha! I think there’s a plan emerging here! Well, the story so far is that the BBC tried to license a Kissy Klub CD but got put off by the huge task of clearing all the exclusive remixes of such high profile artists which was a real shame.
Having said that, now the Kissy Klub is an independent brand, I’d love to give it another go at some point! I’m sitting on around a thousand unreleased remixes which were created during my radio show days and have never been given out to other DJs so it would be an awesome thing to put together. Send good thoughts over as you’re reading this and hopefully it’ll happen!
We're looking forward to your show at XOYO on the 27th, can we expect anything special on the night?
Proper east London electro/bassline/garage/rodeo surf 4x4 mash-up session with a banging list of other DJs to boot – I can’t wait!!!!!!
And finally, after almost five years of ruling the Thursday night airwaves, what's next for you and San City High? Would you ever sign up with another broadcaster and continue to bless lovers of all things danceable with the Kissy magic?
I had a wonderful time doing the Kissy Klub radio show but I’m so pleased that I’m now able to release the Kissy Klub into the wilderness and tour in far-off lands without having to worry about being back home at the same time each week! From now on I’ll be uploading a regular podcast style DJ mix plus a huge collection of Kissy Klub Versions which you can download and keep forever (!!!) on my Soundcloud page from this moment forth (there’s already some fine appetizers on there to get you going!) and continuing to do so where ever I am in the world, along my travels.
To all the Kissy Klub supporters THANK YOU SO MUCH for all the support!! Let’s celebrate at XOYO on the 27th!!!!!!!!!!!!! X x x x
It was a pleasure talking to you sir.