Take a good look around and make sure no one’s watching, because there’s a decent chance Kiddy Smile’s song and video, “Get Myself Alone,” will make you want to dance like it’s 1992. The Char Alfonzo-directed clip, which was inspired by those early CK One ads and Malcolm McLaren’s 1989 “Deep in Vogue,” video, features Smile flowing over an early ’90s throwback house beat, while NYC nightlife luminaries like Ladyfag and Sophia Lamar vogue like Paris is burning. Smile was discovered by Beth Ditto after she heard his first single “Worthy of Your Love,” and the Gossip lead singer then invited the Parisian rapper to open for her band, which led to more touring gigs with dance acts Hercules and Love Affair and Sam Sparro. Check out the video below, followed by a brief get-to-know-you chat with Kiddy himself.
Who is Kiddy Smile?
Kiddy Smile is a young French singer/producer/rapper trying to make his way in house music. Personally, I think I’m amazing. And I want other people to know that I am amazing. I thought, How can I let the world know how amazing I am? And it’s through my music, through my music videos, through my mixes.
What is the idea behind the “Get Myself Alone” video?
One thing that was really on my mind was the Calvin Klein CK One commercial about androgyny. We tried to have this feeling with the cuts and the editing, and it had to be in black and white. Also, I used to dance, and was attracted to vogue dancing, and some of my friends vogue. So we were trying to do like a CK One ad meets the Malcolm McLaren “Deep in Vogue” music video.
Where are you from?
I’m from a little town called Rambouillet. It’s next to Versailles in the Parisian suburbs. But now I live in Paris, in the 10th arrondissement. I always felt like a Parisian at heart.
Who are your musical heroes?
I really like Afrika Bambaataa and Shirley Caesar. I’m in love with the producer Kevin Saunderson. I really, really, really love Sam Sparro. The first time I heard his voice I thought, “I want to sing like that. I want to know him.” Stylistically, I love Grace Jones. I love her.
What do you love to rap about?
At first I spoke only in French and didn’t want to speak about love, so I rapped about problems I encountered being black in a very posh area, but not being rich at all. But now I’m talking about love. “Get Myself Alone” is about somebody you’re done with but they don’t care because they don’t want to leave. Sometimes I would call my songs very feminist, because I was raised by a single mother. She made sacrifices for us and I think to let someone else treat you less than than what you’re worth is anti-feminist. And being raised by a single mom, you have to be a feminist.
I want to give shout outs to Samuel Falson aka Sam Sparro, Shaun J Wright, Kim Ann Foxman, Newbody, Donovans, Glass Figure, Love on the Beat, Whitney Weiss, Sharper Image, Dactylo, and Niallst aka CVNT for helping me get this record together. And Hakim Ghorab and my dancers!