People from the era tell their stories.
» Krissy Kriss
Krissy Kriss (Kinsman)
I grew up in Southmead, north Bristol. We were one of ten to fifteen black families living there and at times it was real! I can remember the times when the TV show “Love Thy Neighbour” was on. In Southmead yeah, you had the black/white thing even when playing football, but when trouble came from outside we’d stand together. As kids we only had the streets and the adventure playground and as teenagers the Youth Club, so that’s where we went. If we wanted anything else we would have to go outside to find it. For night clubs we went to Tiffany’s, The Dug Out, Princess Court, Cinderella’s, Reeves…. Yeah and more often than not we’d walk. In those days there were no mobile phones so it was back to basics with the 10p pieces for the phone box.
Bristol is like a magnet; I left 3 times and always returned “Home”. Bristol had its click. I’ve had the luxury of spending time here with special, likeminded people. Big hearted people that inspired me. They’d help me out, I’d help them out. That was Bristol Man...
We’d go other places and hear what was going on and then bring it back and put our own touch to it. We’d save money and go up to London to buy tunes then bring them back and add the Bristol flavour. From about 1987 we’d take coaches organised by Berni to other cities. They were called “Soul Weekenders”. Someone would hire out the whole of a Butlins chalet style camp for a Jazz/Soul/Funk weekend! And then there was the same type of organised thing but an “All Dayer”. They started at midday and went on until the early hours. I remember one, at Hummingbirds I think, we had been partying all day. There was a big screen (I think it was Hummingbirds or maybe Rock City) and they projected the very first international screening of “Thriller” and everyone just stopped and watched… Then went crazy! Never saw a music video like that before! Wicked.
I first picked up the mic in 1983 as Mello Z and moved around with my boys, Rookie, Wallace and Claudio. We went on to call ourselves “KC Rock”. By about 1984-1985 I was christened “Krissy Kriss” by Claude Williams (then called “Willie Wee”) of the Wild Bunch and eventually rocked the mic with them too. They were wicked times for real... Milo Bad man!! I hooked up with Goldie, Soul to Soul (Funky Dreads), performed at the Wag Club, the Town & Country for "Artists Against Apartheid"… Nuff Gigs… Nuff memories!
There was also Smith and Mighty. In those days there were a lot of us involved with Rob and Ray. There was me, Jackie Jackson, Jackie Wilson, Jessica George, Carlton, Dan Ratchet, Kelz, Lynx, Charlie Cheese and Erskin who ended up being their manager. During that time I joined forces with Kelz & Lynx and we formed "3PM"" (3 Man Posse Move). We definitely represented the Britside and released a few 12' tracks through Alma Vale Studios. Who else did I rap with? F.B.I. (Paul and Mark Cleaves, Paul Smart and Phil Jones, 2BAD (Ed Sargent and Dom Thrupp), UD4 (General, Zion, Spyder D, Healer MC)… there were lots of crews back then.
I remember Micky B and Jillo Wisternoff, Sam and Jody’s mum and dad. Jody must have been about 12 and Sam 9. Sam on the mic and Jody doing the sounds. I can’t remember who, maybe it was Smith and Mighty, brought them on as surprise guests under the name “Tru Funk Posse” and the novelty of a little kid on the mic went down well and it really worked. I love the buzz that comes after a successful gig. Playing live is a funny one. Hard work but wicked and you have to tour to bring the money in. I do understand people that like to stay in the studio and even though I will be making music forever, I may not always be gigging.
I went solo and became Kinsman in 1996. I was introduced to a wicked Future Funk producer called LongLastin by my bro Shade One and launched our first project in 98. Was part of the "Hybrid" world tour and ended up in Sydney Australia for the millennium. Even got on the mic, New Years Eve, at the legendary "Home" night club Sydney with Nick Warren. Wicked adventuring!
I've been involved in a few projects over the last few years, recently working with Suv in Spain. I released a 4 track EP called “Last of the Bristolians” on vinyl in December 2014. It’s also on I-tunes, Amazon, Spotify etc. I have a new EP coming out in May 2015 and am in the midst of writing a book. You can find me on www.onekinsman.com. Always busy man... Raahh!!! I still live in Bristol, writing and recording and will do until... kingdom come...
Interview with Shirley Etaix
Words © Krissy Kriss