Kissy Sell Out is a name that's been synonymous with British dance music and club culture for a long time now. Ever since the mid-2000s, he has been producing and spinning all manner of club sounds, more often than not with an emphasis on heavy bass lines. Now that he has his own Stepper Man label to look after (keep an eye out for a jam-packed release schedule), he's switched up the moniker slightly to become KSO. With that switch up comes a new, darker, even bassier sound, and "Nasty" (due Sept. 1) is the latest cut from the new alias.
As KSO told us in the brief chat we had below, the new sound is both a progression and a nod to the classics. Touches of grime (he samples Skepta's "Nasty" vocal), 4x4 bassline, and classic D&B a la Aphrodite can all be heard bubbling up in the brooding but snappy percussion. Don't expect him to get too moody, mind; his knack for snappy percussion and catchy melodies hasn't softened one bit. Take a listen below and then read our quick chat with the Stepper Man himself at the bottom.
How does your KSO output differ from your Kissy Sell Out productions?
Making tunes under the KSO alias gives me the freedom to try out deeper ideas and soundscapes that kick and pop in a club setting, but go in new directions from my recent Kissy Sell Out output. My new track, "Nasty", is a bassline slammer inspired by the hip-hop/funky/drum & bass styles of Aphrodite and Mickey Finn within a modern 4x4 percussion arrangement.
What inspired you to start releasing under the new moniker?
Starting the Stepper Man label has really re-invigorated my enthusiasm and passion for production in the studio; I immediately felt like I had a new environment to play around in and experiment with. I had assembled around 10 KSO experimental tracks by around December, all following different paths, but I didn't feel like I'd nailed it yet. Then I came up with "Dream Chaser" and I suddenly felt like I had it. Next I made "Toke On Life" with a singer called Lifford, who made "Please Don't Turn Me On" with Artful Dodger back in the day, and the rest took on a life of its own. The name KSO seemed just different enough. Some people knew it was me straight away, whilst other DJs came at my new music with a fresh head-space and began supporting me for the first time in a while, so it's a nice journey of discovery.
What else can we expect from your Stepper Man label?
I've been trying to get two releases out a month, minimum. I'm fully aware that launching a new brand like this will take a while to take flight, so I'm just focusing on putting out the best music possible—and lots of it! The fun thing about Stepper Man is that I know exactly the types of sounds I want on there. The A&R process has now become similar to picking tunes for my DJ sets, so getting producers like Wittyboy, PVC, Official Nancie, Ryuken, Sirmo, Underheadz et al. on the release schedule has got me super pumped for the future of the label.
What else can we expect from Kissy Sell Out and KSO in the future?
I've just signed a new KSO track called "Super Tough" to Hervé's Illegal Bass label, to be released in early November, which'll be heavy. I'm also hyped for my recent collab with Sirmo, "Badman V.I.P.", and another Kissy Sell Out special called "Sweet Toy V.I.P." which is out in a couple of weeks.