Hotcakes meets… Kissy Sell Out

In hot anticipation of his new album release, I caught up with the nation’s favourite wonky dance DJ and producer, Kissy Sell Out, to see what he had to say for himself.

Hi, thanks for coming to say hi! Talk us through your new album, are you still the Mad Hatter of dance music or has your style changed for your second LP?

I feel like the Mad Hatter Mk 2.0 now I think! A bit wiser, a bit more confident and a bit more mischievous! Wild Romance feels like the album I was put on this earth to make.

I’ve got the advantage of four years experience in the game this time around and hosting the craziest radio show in dance music has acted like the practice sessions for this new LP. It means that amongst the far-out ideas and huge basslines on this album there’s a strong sense of identity that I think my previous music hasn’t achieved before.

Kissy Sell Out – Wild in the Wareshouse [snippets]

I saw you DJ a couple years back when you were supporting Simian Mobile Disco on their Temporary Pleasures tour and I don’t think I’ve seen a DJ go through so many records in one set! Is your rapid-mixing style something you’ve intentionally cultivated?

Like most things about me it’s the result of several factors. One is how nervous I’ve always got before my gigs – a way of dealing with the pressure of being booked to entertain huge crowds has simply been to mix faster. As I have got more experienced and had the opportunity to hear live recordings of myself DJing, the technical aspect has been something I’ve worked a lot harder on.

I’m very proud to have made it to this point in my career where I am still that DJ who plays wonky speed garage records with classical music, so as the crowds at my shows have become bigger and expectations have risen, I’ve put all my effort into making my DJ set very technically solid on my four decks. It’s still super fast so that it’s a great show to watch as well as hear in quite a raw and old school context.

The last few years has seen you go from being a St Martin’s student to founding your own label, being on the cover of Mixmag, hosting your own show on Radio One, playing in front of a crowd of 10,000 at Glastonbury… and that’s just off the top of my head! How does it feel to have come so far in such a relatively short amount of time?

Well it’s been a truly extraordinary journey which has seen many of my childhood dreams come true, but I guess no experience is worth much if you have no-one to share it with – it’s why I’ve put so much time into things like my label which focuses on helping other people in any way I can.

I love things like Facebook because, whereas my early career involved sitting in hotel rooms by myself, I now sit in hotel rooms talking to people or hanging at clubs after my DJ sets and sharing a drink with people. It’s one of my favourite parts of my job.

I’m very proud to be one of the DJs who has made their way from the ground up. I’m always very flattered when someone at a gig thanks me for playing at their event because, if they didn’t turn up with their friends to my DJ sets I wouldn’t be doing this much longer, so I’m far more grateful just to be there with so many wonderful people.

You started San City High about a year ago now and since then you’ve had releases from the likes of Hot Pink Delorean, Zeds Dead and The Squatters. What have been some of your personal highlights and happy memories?

Well I think it’s still too near the start of the San City High story to sit and recite fond memories, as it’s important to keep my feet on the ground, but I have been amazed and very humbled by the fantastic things that have happened during the last year from the spirit of like-minded artists being brought together.

Touring with my crew on a tour bus during October/November last year was the best few months of my life. For the first time I have a family of people working with me now who all see things the same way as me and I count my blessings for those ladies and gentlemen everyday!

Now that you are running as well as DJing and producing, have you found that you’ve changed at all? Learned any valuable lessons?

The San City High tour in particular changed me as a person. I think I’m definitely a man now! I know my physical appearance has changed quite a bit and I think that’s had a lot to do with my responsibilities to other people in the SCH family. Although I can talk for England about things I’m passionate about and I love meeting and chatting to new people, I have always been a naturally timid person who’s struggles with self-confidence. I used to think it was so ironic that journalists started describing the showmanship of my DJ style because it was purely the result of innocent excitement and paralysing nervousness.

I realised with my San City High artists that I couldn’t do that anymore – I was the leader of a team and they deserved a strong figure to look out for them – so I guess that’s when I started doing press-ups!

Back stage I have always paced silently and intensely back-and-forth for the 30 minutes leading up to a DJ gig and, being with my boys on the road was the first time, I did that pacing around on the stage in front of the audience. I noticed the crowd vibing from it as though I was a boxer. Something just clicked at that point inside me and I embraced the showmanship element of my DJ style with the hope that the crowd get a better performance for their ticket price which is the most important thing.

What’s next for Kissy and San City High?

Well I’ve been quite open about admitting that there is no point in signing any other records for single releases until my Wild Romance campaign is over. I wouldn’t be able to devote enough time out of my touring schedule you see, but it’s been wonderful getting so many new names to look out for on the remix packages for my album. I’m a big fan of people like Botnek, Ado, Union and Dillon Francis right now, so it’s been lovely getting them on board for remixes so near the start of their careers.

Quick fire:
What was the last album you bought?
Err… I need to look up the spelling….. Ernst Reijseger’s Requiem for a Dying Planet was the last album. I’ve been watching a few Werner Herzog documentaries recently and that guy worked with him on a few of the soundtracks.

Where’s your favourite place to DJ?
Sankeys is still my favourite club in the UK I think. Snowbombing was the best European gig I’ve had this year.

What’s you’re sort code and account number?
I don’t have a bank account, I simply exchange homemade custard cream biscuits with Leeroy down the road who swaps them for magic jelly beans and Bacardi Breezers.

Thanks Kissy!
THANK YOU!!! x x x x

Having listened to Wild Romance I can safely say Kissy has delivered the goods once again. Anyone who’s fan of wonky electro and likes a splash of fun with their beats needs this in their life.

1. Something Extraordinary
2. Turn It On feat. MC Cobra
3. Little Angel
4. Homesick feat. Oh Snap!
5. Twiggy
6. Wild In The Warehouse
– buy it here: iTunes
7. Alison
8. Redrinkulous
9. Eternal
10. Wild Romance
11. Family
12. Alone On The Roof Top

Wild Romance is out 6 May on San City High


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