Saturday night sees the return of Bender, the night that does what it says on the tin as the best bender for benders in all of Dalston. This extra special edition sees not only the return of Trade legend Malcolm Duffy but also features a Live PA from French rapper/producer/DJ Kiddy Smile! Ahead of the party we caught up with Kiddy to find out more about this rising superstar!
You have a great sense of style and put together some pretty fabulous outfits! What's your current fave outfit and what are you planning to wear to Bender?
I have been a KTZ whore for a VERY long time, so I guess since it’s a London based clothing line, I will have to drop by the store to get something fabulous to wear to Bender! I really like how Kokon To Zai captures the urban vibe and mixes it with edgy patterns and prints.
Who are your style icons and fashion inspirations?
I have an obsession with Walter Van Beirendonck, he’s my hero: the man manages to capture a the rough sensibility of men and yet make it very powerful using colors and shapes.
When it comes to my inspiration, style-wise it is more of mix between urban and chic, with a sexy twist and a retro sense.
You recently played in Berlin alongside the likes of Mike Q, Vjuan Allure etc. Would you say musically they're your contemporaries? If not, then who?
To be honest, I was subbing in for Le1f I think, and I was pretty shocked and honoured to be headlining with them! I don’t think I belong to the Ballroom scene because my music is really more classic house, but we share a common culture for sure and my background as a dancer makes me relate to them even more.
I feel like what I do is influenced by Mr Fingers, Inner City , Technotronic and Adonis, so I feel like that would make my contemporaries people like Kim Ann Foxman and Azari & III.
What's the scene in Paris like? You previously recommended us Les Souffleurs and Raidd bar…
Except for two parties in Paris, the scene is really boring, sorry to say!! I Like Flash Cocotte a lot 'cause they are the only ones to bring out DJs from different kinds of music; it’s young, fresh and full of energy.
In your opinion, what room is there these days for queer people of colour in dance music?
I don’t think music has colour, but if I look around I would say there is a lot of room for us right now. People like Azealia Banks and Azari & III have opened a wider window for the breakthrough artists like me.
But let’s thanks people like Hercules & Love Affair for reclaiming dance music for queer people, mixing gender and racial limits.
Paris aside, are there any cities that you think of as a spiritual home of sorts?
I really feel that Los Angeles is really comfy to live in! I lived there for three months for a summer session at UCLA, and I fell in love with the city, the laziness of it. The sun makes me happy, but also very productive. I go back at least once every year, I know I will end up there soon.
What's one record that was an early influence on your vocal style?
Jungle Brothers and TH Crew had a real take on how I sound . I loved so much how Jungle Brothers got their vocals together rapping, but on the edge of singing but not really. As for TH Crew, I fell in love with the churchy vocals they had on I Can’t Do It Alone. That is at that moment that I knew I will work my vocals to tend on gospel influences.
If you had a time machine and could go back to any dance floor anywhen/anywhere, where would we be setting the dials back to?
I would go back to the mid '70s as I’m a big disco music fan!! Being able to be a man and wear wigs all the time, sequinned garments, to see Sylvester sing live and have unprotected sex (Everybody!!! Unprotected sex is wrong, use condoms!!)
Can you tell us about your amazing video for Worthy Of Your Love? Who directed it, who styled it, where did the inspiration for it come from…?
Worthy Of Your Love is a song I released last year on Because Music. It is about someone I loved really strongly, but the feeling wasn’t mutual, and I felt it was because something was wrong with me and maybe I wasn’t good enough. The music video was directed by Romain Cieutat, who has worked with Ed Banger and So Me, and he came up with the whole concept for the music video: a tribute to the nineties with a VHS twist, and I did All Of The Styling.
And finally, what does 2014 have in store for Kiddy Smile?
I’m working on a track for Zimmer and going to release another EP very soon, so, more tour dates. If you see my name around, come on and say hi.
Join Kiddy Smile at Bender on Saturday 23rd November at Dalston Superstore from 9pm - 3am.
Photo credit: Everbokeh