Kissy Sell Out, born Thomas Bisdee on 18 June 1984 in Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire, England, is a British/Canadian DJ, producer, graphic designer, label manager of San City High Records, part-time astrophysicist and science columnist for Sick Chirpse. Kissy Sell Out gained notability in 2006 for his eccentric electro productions and energetic DJ style. In 2009 Mixmag described him as "one of the most exciting, charismatic and entertaining DJs of the decade".
In addition to his DJ work and he has released four albums - Youth, the critically acclaimed follow-up Wild Romance,Introducing Kissy Sell Out and San City High All Stars - and composed official music for the 2012 Olympics ceremonies held in London.
From 2007-2012 he hosted a very successful BBC Radio 1 show called the Kissy Klub. The show blended classical music, and computer-voiced fictional characters with an exclusive selection of remixes created specifically for the show called "Kissy Klub Versions".
With this radio show Kissy became an influential force in the developing electro scene not just as a producer but as a taste-maker too. Notable artists such as Diplo, Felix Da Housecat, Hervé, Uffie & Erol Alkan made regular appearances alongside exclusive tracks Kissy supported which kick-started careers for a long list of breakthrough producers and DJs across the globe.
As Kissy grew more experienced, his live DJ shows began to focus on his ability to mix records of all genres together on four Pioneer CD decks. A signature trick he developed on his radio show and live tours was to put electro beats over classical pieces of music. This is something which began to attract media attention when was invited to speak at a formal debate at the Cambridge Union against Stephen Fry about the relevance of classical music to the youth of today in May 2011.
When not working on his own music, much of his time as a music producer is spent mentoring fresh names in dance music through his label San City High and also by judging DJ competitions such as the Red Bull Thre3style UK tour.
Kissy has often been described by the press as being a staple of the east London electro scene, and most of his records are produced at San City High Studios in the Shoreditch/Brick Lane area.
Kissy spent his teenage years growing up in Colchester, Essex. It was during his adolescent years growing up there that he became obsessed with records by Nirvana, Aphrodite, Swans, Felix Da Housecat and John Martyn, while dividing the rest of his time between school, DJing at teenage house parties and meeting girls at the local roller-skating rink. His particular interest is in melodically complex post-modern dance tracks around 128 BPM in tempo.
Until 2009 the majority of his musical output as a producer was in remixes for other artists such as Mark Ronson, Calvin Harris, The Human League, Sugababes, Groove Armada and All Saints. It was this early production work that caught the attention of executives at BBC Radio 1.
In July 2007 Kissy Sell Out was signed by BBC Radio 1 to present a monthly instalment of a specialist dance music show called In New DJs We Trust. In October 2008 he permanently took over Eddie Halliwell's Thursday night slot to host his own weekly show called the Kissy Klub. His radio show covered a selection of musical styles and genres with the tracks often seamlessly mixed together. A feature of his radio shows was the Kissy Klub Versions, which were unofficial remixes created for the show. His last Radio 1 show was in 2012.
Inspired by early recordings of underground drum'n'bass events in the UK, Kissy used to use an air horn during his DJ sets and in June 2007 was pictured on the front cover of DJ Magazine blasting one into the air.
During his final year studying Graphic Design at Central Saint Martins College of Art And Design in London, Kissy worked full-time as a design assistant at a high-fashion magazine called POP Magazine.
Kissy Klub Versions:
Kissy Klub Versions were unofficial remixes of songs by artists which are played exclusively on Kissy Sell Out's BBC Radio 1 Show. The idea to remix songs for a radio show is down to the BBC's rules on conflict of interest which restrict the amount of air time producers such as Kissy can fill with their own material. Since Kissy's own re-edits of tracks have been a widely talked about feature of his DJ sets since 2006, Kissy felt it was important to continue this feature in his radio show and thus the Kissy Klub Version concept was started.
During the show's life-span, very few other DJs ever obtained copies of the near 1000 long list of exclusive remixes. Efforts were made to release a BBC Kissy Klub Versions CD but failed due to the incredibley complex licensing paperwork it would have involved to clear permissions for a large amount of highly established artists who were unfamiliar with the unusual concept.
After the Kissy Klub radio show finished, Kissy himself announced that fans of the show should keep an eye on his Soundcloud page as it would be the new home for his studio DJ mixes and Kissy Klub Versions new and old.
Kissy's debut album Youth took over a year to make and is inspired by his childhood memories of growing up in Essex, UK. It contains 11 tracks, three of which are instrumental, as well as covering cheerfully remembered anecdotes of Kissy's "teenage relationships, drinking & social misbehaviour," the content of the songs on the album are said to also reflect the hard times Kissy and Danimal Kingdom experienced while writing the album. In a cover feature for iDJ magazine, Kissy talked about the post-adolescent alienation he felt during the recording process and the relationship problems he and Danimal Kingdom encountered which resulted during the making of the album in a song called "Bethnal Green Café" being penned.
May 2011 saw the release of Kissy's sophomore LP "Wild Romance" on his label San City High. The 12-track album is influenced by the theatrical showmanship of his live four-deck DJ performances and weekly show on BBC Radio 1.
Whilst including the post-modern motifs of Kissy's high energy arrangements (many of which are played on classical instruments such as cellos, oboes and plucked violas), all the tracks revolve around the more familiar dance music conventions of breakdowns and bassline drops which reference genres such as UK speed garage, electro and drum'n'bass. Online press tipped the twelve-track album as "...retaining the extroverted sound he has become synonymous with, but is overall more confident."
Text from this biography licensed under creative commons license