Polari Magazine spoke to exciting newcomer Kiddy Smile about his break-up track ‘Get Myself Alone’.
Photograph © Benjamin Marius (Click Image to enlarge)
Dance music really is in vogue at the moment, so it’s fitting that so much of the material that is currently moving from the underground to the mainstream sounds like it was made to be part of the ’90s gay house movement. Kiddy Smile is the newest artist in this movement to make his vocal mark on a ’90s beat, and his break-up track ‘Get Myself Alone’ is one of the best dance tracks I’ve heard this year. He was the perfect person to ask about dance musics constant appeal.
When asked his opinion on the subject, Kiddy Smile says, “It’s the expression of pure fun. It’s about letting go of everything bothering you at the moment, just during one track, and for 5 minutes it’s all about escape. Everybody knows music is like fashion. Trends come, die and come back to life again – and I don’t think I’m a part of that trend section.”
And he’s right. There’s an authenticity about Kiddy that can’t be found in the genre hopping chart fodder of people like Disclosure and Chase And Status. Mostly because he’s as DIY an artist as you can get. Co-producing and writing all his own material, choreographing his live shows, Kiddy is an underground artist doing what he wants.
Who inspired you to make music of your own?
Sam Sparro definitely! First time I heard Black & Gold I was blown away. I went to my friends and made them nuts ’cause I was kind of obsessed with his music. And Arman Van Helden kinda got in the way too. I bumped into some of his tracks where he mixed hip-hop and house. I was like child in a toy store.
How do your songs come together? Do you write with other writers and producers?
I usually get a beat from Christophe (member of electronic act Glass Figure) then I find a melody line or a hook, then I use the word that comes naturally with it and work around a subject . For this particularly track, ‘Get Myself Alone’, the chorus was actually from a friend MAZAO and he gave it to me I made it my own. I’m now working on songwriting with two amazing artists. Rouge Mary (who is currently touring With Hercules & Love Affair) and Shaun J. Wright from Chicago (ex-front man for Hercules & the Love Affair).
The ’90s inspired video for ‘Get Myself Alone’ perfectly captures the songs feel. Where did you get the dancers from for the video?
Only 3 of them are dancers. The Breakdancer, Wacky Dré & Marie NINJA! The other guests are NYC’s Top Creatures; LadyFag, NYC’s Biggest Party Monster, Sophia Lamar, and Zana Bayne, the Fashion Designer. They are most of them friends of mine, or friends with the director Char Alfonzo.
There’s a lot of gay rap around at the moment, not only with mainstream artists like Frank Ocean, but also more indie artists like Le1f, Zebra Katz and Mykki Blanco. Do you think there has been a shift with rap music that has made it more open/accepting of queer people?
I don’t think so. Do you really think anyone who’d have been so nice to Frank Ocean if he wasn’t Jay Z’s protégé? As for Mykki, who is a friend, don’t get me wrong – I think he’s put on a show for “straight people”. That works like magic but in the end is he really accepted? Do people get out from his shows being a little more educated about queer people or just being comforted in their own stereotypes?
Would you say fashion is important to you as an artist?
It depends on how you wanna communicate. Personally I would say the look is important ’cause often before people get to hear your work, what they see is your image; and now with internet it is really quick to get many visuals on artists – so I would say what is important is either you choose on good or intentionally bad looks.
You’ll be touring the UK in December. What can people expect from one of your shows?
A lot of dancing, fun, hip house and lots of electronic gear! I will spare you the crowd diving.
Do you have any goals in mind that you like to achieve in your career?
I just wanna do what I do and keep doing it. It would be nice to get to play all over the world, and if a lot of people would sing along with me when I play.
Have you got an album on the way? If so, can you tell us more about it?
I’m currently working with Glass Figure on a LP which will feature some of my favorite house music guests, keep looking out at my soundcloud I will probably leak some of these tracks.
The brilliant ‘Get Myself Alone’ is currently out on Chambre404.