Kissy Sell Out

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Kissy Sell Out
Kissy live in Jersey
Background information
Birth name Thomas Bisdee[1]
Born (1984-06-18) 18 June 1984 (age 30)
Origin Colchester, Essex, England
Genres Electronica, breakbeat, speed garage
Occupation(s) DJ, producer, graphic designer
Labels San City High
Carrillo Music
Cheap Thrills Records
Lavolta Records
Asylum Records
Ministry of Sound Australia
BBC Radio 1 minisite

Kissy Sell Out, born Thomas Bisdee on 18 June 1984 in Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire, England, is a British/Canadian DJ,[2] producer, graphic designer, label manager of San City High Records, part-time astrophysicist[3] and science columnist for Sick Chirpse.[4] Kissy Sell Out gained notability in 2006 for his eccentric electro productions and energetic DJ style.[5] In 2009 Mixmag described him as "one of the most exciting, charismatic and entertaining DJs of the decade".[6]

In addition to his DJ work[7] and he has released four albums – Youth, the critically acclaimed follow-up Wild Romance,[8][9][10][11] Introducing Kissy Sell Out[12] and San City High All Stars[13] - and composed official music for the 2012 Olympics ceremonies held in London.[14][15][16]


From 2007–2012 he hosted a very successful BBC Radio 1 show called the Kissy Klub. The show was regularly referred to on air as the "craziest show in dance music" and turned heads every week with a weekly tracklist that 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[17][18][19] across the globe.[20]

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.[21] 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.[22]

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.[23]

Kissy has often been described by the press as being a staple of the east London electro scene,[24] 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,[25] while dividing the rest of his time between school, DJing at teenage house parties and meeting girls at the local roller-skating rink.[26] His particular interest is in melodically complex post-modern dance tracks around 128 BPM in tempo.[27]

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.[28] In October 2008 he permanently took over Eddie Halliwell's Thursday night slot[29] to host his own weekly show called the Kissy Klub.[30] 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[edit]

Kissy Klub Versions were unofficial remixes of songs by artists which are played exclusively on Kissy Sell Out's BBC Radio 1 Show.[31] 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,[32] 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.[33]


Kissy's debut album Youth took over a year to make and is inspired by his childhood memories of growing up in Essex, UK.[34] It contains 11 tracks, three of which are instrumental, as well as covering cheerfully remembered anecdotes of Kissy's "teenage relationships, drinking & social misbehaviour,"[35] 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[36] 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.[37]

Wild Romance[edit]

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.[38]

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 "...retain[ing] the extroverted sound he has become synonymous with, but is overall more confident."[39]



  • Youth (2009)
  • Introducing Kissy Sell Out (2010 – North American only release)
  • Wild Romance (2011)
  • San City High All Stars (2013)[40]



  • Mashed Four: Mixed By Kissy Sell Out and The Aston Shuffle (released 19 April 2008 on Ministry of Sound Australia)[52]
  • Kissy Sell Out's Xmas Blowout: Mixed By Kissy Sell Out (released 1 December 2009 on Mixmag)[53]

Charity work[edit]

In January 2008 Kissy released a four-track EP of bootleg tracks on limited edition CD and digital downloads so he could donate all proceeds to the British Association for Adoption and Fostering [8]. The EP contains a blog-house track called "Get Busy Tropicana" as well as "You're on Fire" which was championed by Zane Lowe on BBC Radio 1 [9].

Kissy also began supporting the Changing Faces charity in 2010 after meeting a severely facially disfigured young girl in a British airport whilst on his way to DJ in Ibiza. In an interview with Thomas H. Green published in Mixmag he talked of how the brief but poignant moment reduced him to tears and made him realise how lucky he was to be a successful DJ.[54]

Support for unsigned artists[edit]

Since Kissy himself claims to owe a lot of his early success to the support he received from DJs such as Simian Mobile Disco, Headman, DJ Touché, The Loose Cannons, Eddy Temple Morris and Tommie Sunshine, Kissy has insisted on championing unsigned artists and new independent producers as much as he can on his radio shows, festival appearances and press interviews.

Some of the fresh faces in music Kissy has shown support for include Ronnie Flex, Foamo, Jo Kira, Metal on Metal, Proxy, 16 Bit, Jack Beats, Last Japan, Norrit, AutoErotique, Cold Blank, Bear Cavalry, Kamikaze Cream Cake, Late of the Pier, MC Cobra, Linda's Nephew, Chew Fu and the Palms Out Sounds blog, Haydn Haydn, Cap'nHarry, Figure, Danny Westcott, Frankmusik, Thoko, Mr. Vega, Matt Sayers, Dynasty, Bro Safari, ETC!ETC!, Hoi!, Black Peter Group, Futuristic Retro Champions, and Andy George and Jaymo who were signed to BBC Radio 1 after Kissy picked them to support him on a BBC Introducing edition of Radio 1's Essential Mix.[55]

Kissy is curator of a music festival in the French Alps called Tignesfest.


  • IDJ Player of the Year 2007[56]


  1. ^ Kissy Sell Out discography at Discogs
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^ "Kissy Sell Out Biography". BBC. Retrieved 11 November 2008. 
  6. ^ [1]
  7. ^ "Kissy Sell Out – Upcoming Shows". Myspace. 
  8. ^ "Wild Romance's exuberance will raise a grin well beyond party environments". 
  9. ^ "Album Review: Kissy Sell Out / ‘Wild Romance’ (San City High Records)". 
  10. ^ "Wild Romance". 
  11. ^ "Kissy Sell Out – Wild Romance Album Review". 
  12. ^
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  14. ^
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  16. ^
  17. ^ [2]
  18. ^ [3]
  19. ^ [4]
  20. ^ [5]
  21. ^
  22. ^ "Radio 1 DJ Kissy Sell Out: 'Classical music is irrelevant to today's youth'". The Independent (London). 12 May 2011. 
  23. ^ "This October and November, Kissy Sell Out and A-Trak will be bringing the largest DJ competition in the world to the UK with Red Bull Thre3style – the DJ battle that takes the art of spinning to a new level.". 
  24. ^ Hutchinson, Kate (4 June 2007). "East End's top DJs". Time Out London. Time Out Group Ltd. Retrieved 11 November 2008. 
  25. ^ "Kissy Sell Out Artist Profile". Annie Mac Presents. Retrieved 11 November 2008. [dead link]
  26. ^ "Kissy Sell Out Biography". X-Ray Touring DJ's. Retrieved 11 November 2008. 
  27. ^ Lawrence, Eddy (11 July 2007). "Interview: Kissy Sell Out". Time Out London. Time Out Group Ltd. Retrieved 11 November 2008. 
  28. ^ "Radio 1 refreshes in New DJs We Trust roster". Radio 1 Press Release (BBC). 6 July 2007. Retrieved 11 November 2008. 
  29. ^ "Radio 1 welcomes new talent to revamped evening schedule". Radio 1 Press Release (BBC). 14 August 2008. Retrieved 11 November 2008. 
  30. ^ [6]
  31. ^
  32. ^
  33. ^ [7]
  34. ^
  35. ^ a b
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  41. ^ "KISSY SELL OUT : Her". Phonica. Retrieved 11 November 2008. [dead link]
  42. ^ Graham, Mhairi (3 August 2007). "Kissy Sell Out – 'Her'". Gigwise. Retrieved 11 November 2008. 
  43. ^ Your Army
  44. ^
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  49. ^
  50. ^ a b
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  52. ^ "Various: Ministry Of Sound / Mashed 4: 2CD (CD)". Sanity. Retrieved 11 November 2008. [dead link]
  53. ^
  54. ^ Green, Thomas H. (April 2010), "The Mad Hatter's Free Party!", Mixmag 
  55. ^
  56. ^ International DJ Magazine

External links[edit]