Killa Kela

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Killa Kela (born Lee Potter, 1983) is an English beatboxer and vocalist & rapper from West Sussex.


Killa Kela performing at the Camden Crawl in 2007

Kela received the Stuff Magazine Award for "renegade of Style" 2006 in Los Angeles, he toured alongside Testicicles (Dev, Lightspeed Champion & GLC (Goldie Lookin Chain) while performing on festival dates with Pharrel Williams and N*E*R*D.[1] He also went on a U.S tour alongside DJ Z-Trip in 2007. From 2003 to 2008, Kela was a special guest at various N*E*R*D shows and festivals across Europe, including Seattle for the Sprite Liquid Mix festival and Oxegen Festival, Dublin. In 2008 Kela performed with Prince and Nikka Costa at the O2 Arena.

His live shows incorporates drum & bass, electro and hip hop styles, singing, MCing, very realistic vocal scratching, body movements, and imitations of popular songs such as "I'm a Slave 4 U" by Britney Spears and "Tom's Diner" by Suzanne Vega. He calls his technique "multivocalism", a term coined by longtime artwork collaborator Mark Splinter in 2000. Kela's crew has performed hundreds of live shows all around the world; they are known as "Spit Kingdom."

Kela released The Permanent Marker in 2002, a beatbox-only album featuring Fallacy, Harry Love, and Normski. He then toured with Mobb Deep, Redman, Busta Rhymes, and others. He was second billed at the Earls Court Music festival with Jay-Z.

Some of his voices are featured on the Basement Jaxx single "Oh My Gosh" (2004)[2]

Kela released an EP in Europe entitled "For Those Who've Joined Us", featuring Stereo MCs, Artful Dodger, and DJ Vadim.

The Elocution album [3] (Sony BMG) came in 2005 & included The Elysian Quartet on strings, backing vocalists Rookwood and Trip, DJ Skeletrik, and his producer Spider on keys and vocals. It also featured Sweetie Irie, James Rushent (Does It Offend You, Yeah?), Roots Manuva, and Neneh Cherry, with writing from Karen Poole. His song Jawbreaker was put on the FIFA Street 2 soundtrack and is to date one of the strongest releases off the Elocution album.

KK appears in an advert for "Rowntree's Fruit Pastilles" and regular appearances on TV shows such as "Big Brother's Little Brother", the Royal Variety Performance, Blue Peter, 4Music, Britain's Got Talent, and four Absolut Vodka commercials in the US.

Kela parted ways with SonyBMG in 2007. During this period he also travelled to China, playing in Shanghai and Beijing with the Infadels on a tour organised by Split Works.[4]

Between albums, Kela created the single "Nightwatcher" (formerly "Addictive") alongside Alan Braxe and Fallon.[5][6]

He also created a mix cd alongside his then crew Spitkingdom, entitled "Days That Shook The World" produced by James Rushent (Does It Offend You, Yeah?) and DJ Skelectrik, which received "Best Mix CD 2007 in DJ Magazine UK. He also released the cd Ontourvandamage in 2008, produced by DJ Plus One (Scratch Perverts, Jack Beats)

Spitkingdom were also the team behind the legendary Hip Hop London weekly SpitkingdomHQ @Herbal in Shoreditch between 2004 and 2007, which saw a wealth of artists perform, such as The Mixologists, Killa Kela, Skelectrik, Trip, Rookwood, Spider J, and DJ Martello, and special guests including Andy C, Whookid (50 Cent), Goldie, Artful Dodger, Dynamite, Nicky Blackmarket, Cash Money, Kool Herc, Chase & Status, Scratch Perverts, and Stanton Warriors.

In 2009 Kela created his debut album Amplified! alongside producers Andy Knowles (of Franz Ferdinand fame), Alan Braxe (Stardust, Paris), Martin Rushent (Human League), The Shoalin Punks, James Rushent (The Prodigy, Does It Offend You, Yeah? and long standing friend), and Stunt Double, and featuring artists such as DJ Craze, Bashy of Gorillaz, Hadouken!, Lateef The Truth Speaker, and Spider J of Lee Scratch Perry.

The album contained "Built Like An Amplifier" which included remixes from Dave Spoon, Sway, and Faith SFX. "Everyday" was produced by Alan Braxe with remixes from LifeLike, Jakwob, and Franz Ferdinand. It also included "Get A Rise," featuring Hadouken, which was heavily featured on the Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit soundtrack.

Killa Kela began touring the UK with Lethal Bizzle on the Go Hard tour, with Frankmusik on his 2009 winter tour and with Hadouken! in early 2010.

Other features include a Mentos candy commercial, Absolut Vodka Commercials for North America (2004), recent work alongside stylists Judy Blame, PinsLondon, Noki. studio work with Tinie Tempah, Wiley from his "See Clear Now" Album, The Kool Kids (US), visuals and beatbox for the new Gorillaz Soundsystem project, and recording with The Glitch Mob.

On 28 September that year, Killa Kela appeared at the London School of Economics.

In 2011, he featured in the Plan B movie Ill Manors.

KK performed at the Glastonbury main stage to 83,000 people, as well as touring Australia and Asia.

Personal life[edit]

In 2007, his year-long relationship with the UK actress Patsy Kensit came to an end.[7]


  • Antistatic Mouthwash mix tape (2000)
  • Heavy Artillery - All Terrain Series (2001)
  • Crop Circles - All Terrain Series (2001)
  • Permanent Marker (2002)
  • For Those Who've Joined Us (2003)
  • Jawbreaker (2003)
  • Elocution (2005)
  • Secrets (2005)
  • Days That Shook The World Mix CD (2006)
  • Reveal Your Inner Self (2007)
  • Ontourvandamage Mix CD (2008)
  • NightWatcher (2008)
  • Built Like An Amplifier (2009)
  • Everyday single (2010)
  • Amplified! (2010), released through 100% Records


External links[edit]