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After 11 years in the music game, Kissy Sell Out continues to be one of the most unique
players in the British dance music scene. Having made his name by mixing records
for Gwen Stefani, Calvin Harris, Mark Ronson, Sugababes, Groove Armada,
Human League and Chromeo when he was only 21 years old and still studying his
first degree at London’s prestigious Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design,
his name exploded across the global festival circuit with his frantic and electrifying DJ
style, leading him onto hosting one of the most popular specialist shows in BBC Radio
1 history, the “Kissy Klub”.
Kissy has released 5 albums to date – Youth, Wild Romance, Introducing Kissy Sell Out,
and San City High All Stars Volumes 1 & 2 – each garnering respect from critics and fans
alike, influencing the direction of evolving electronic music and introducing innovative
signature styles with every turn.
Kissy has been on the cover of Mixmag, DJ Magazine, iDJ Magazine, and a host of
other publications over the last decade. He has also written full page articles for The
Independent, and been the subject of articles by a variety of journalists in other major
broadsheet newspapers such as The Times and The Guardian. He is also the patron
of several charities, in particular supporting the British Association of Adoption and
Fostering, Changing Faces and CALM for the majority of his career.
Away from the decks Kissy is a part-time astrophysicist and regularly stages his own
sub-atomic particle physics experiments from month-to-month, testing the theories
of quantum mechanics and submitting assignment papers in his spare time as he
approaches the completion of his second degree, a BSc in Natural Sciences. In addition
to his formal studies, he has written many articles for science and lifestyle magazines,
and holds his own column in Sick Chirpse explaining complex theories in astrophysics
alongside humorous anecdotes from his life as a touring musician.
As of 2017, Kissy heads up the new house and bassline garage label Stepper Man.
The launch of the label exceeded all expectations early on when the second release
received over 3 million plays on Facebook after Kissy uploaded his self-made promo
video utilising his pre-music background as a graphic designer. With this label Kissy
continues to release music under his own name, as well as using the moniker KSO to
write more experimental techno tracks.
music style and influence...
The epitome of a D.I.Y. artist, Kissy has recorded, engineered, mixed and mastered every single
entry in his extensive discography himself, and works from his own sound-proofed studio in
Shoreditch, east London. This has enabled him to maintain complete creative control of his
musical output, down to the finest of details in editing and sound-mixing, and goes some way
in explaining how he has achieved so much sonic variety in his productions.
He has mentored a huge list of breakthrough musical artists at the early stages of their
careers (Dillon Francis, Jack Beats, Foamo (Gorgon City), Eats Everything, Huxley,
Hybrid Theory, Zeds Dead and Art Vs Science to name a few) by throwing them remix
opportunities, putting his money behind their first record releases on his label San City
High, and introducing new audiences to the very freshest sounds with his vibrant and
eclectic radio shows and podcasts.
As a live performer, both as a DJ and in his early “Kissy Sell Out Live” band, Kissy has toured
the globe extensively, performing in all the world’s continents apart from Antarctica,
touring the USA seven times, and Australia nine times.
He was the official tour DJ for The Prodigy on the UK arena tour of their fifth studio
album, and has supported Fatboy Slim on many occasions at home and abroad. At the
time of his BBC Radio 1 show, Kissy began hosting a bi-monthly night at Manchester’s
famous Sankey’s club. These “Kissy Klub” events have since been hosted regularly at
The Plug in Sheffield, Stylus in Leeds, and XOYO in London.
Kissy’s early records became famed for incredibly complex improvised keyboard solos.
The speed at which he would demonstrate the ability to pen so many diverse melodies
(played himself on a wide range of analog and digital instruments), has often baffled
many of his peers. This signature style made him stand-out from the UK fidget house
and electro scenes emerging at the time, of which he became a notable figure alongside
Switch, Hervé, Sinden, Duke Dumont, Erol Alkan, Fake Blood, Justice and the Ed
Banger Records crew – all of whom he regularly performed with in the early days.
Feeling the impulse to constantly experiment with new sounds and textures, Kissy’s
second album “Wild Romance” was recorded almost exclusively on classical instruments.
This attracted the attention of mainstream media when Cambridge University invited
him to formally debate the relevance of classical music to the youth of today against
Stephen Fry. The two unlikely comrades discussed the concepts of their arguments
on BBC Radio 4’s “Today Show”, and also live from Cambridge Union on the BBC News.
Following that, Kissy’s versatile approach to incorporating the stylings of classical music
in his original tracks and BBC Radio 1 show led him onto composing the score for BBC
Radio 4’s Remembrance Day special, narrated by the late John Hurt, in 2011. Later that
year Kissy was given the great honour of composing official music for the London 2012
Olympics ceremonies. This included walk-on music for the Mayor of London and the
Prime Minister at Trafalgar Square, and a 3 minute piece called “Heartbeats Of London”
which was used as the soundtrack for the “Athletes Parade” outside Buckingham Palace.
Kissy has worked with a wide range of brands as an ambassador over the years, from
design collaborations and bespoke national tours with major sports brands such as
Addidas, Puma, Gio Goi, Reebok, and Converse, in addition to long-running product
development roles for Pioneer DJ (notably flying out to Japan to consult engineers on.