Kish has lived in his North London apartment since 2003. He is a brand marketing consultant and a radio DJ on The All City Show, where he plays all the latest hip hop. With over 2,000 pairs of sneakers, it came as no surprise when he opened his bedroom door to reveal a wall densely covered from floor to ceiling with shoe boxes.
What would be the worst question I could ask you?
What is my favourite sneaker.
Would you say you’re doing your dream job?
No, no my dream job would pay far much more money and I would be involved in the creative side of things – commissioning special projects, designing shoes and apparel and employing some of my talented friends, that kind of stuff. Although, I have consulted with brands – I did a Puma once and recently My Swear asked me to design my own one of one shoe – the inspiration was from the movie Coming to America – channelling my Prince of Zamunda – you know what I mean. The shoe is quite crazy – basically customised, like NIKEiD, but on another level. The shoes were actually handcrafted – I chose all the materials, all the materials are premium, the shoe is made out of genuine Ostrich leather – it’s not leather that’s been treated to look like Ostrich leather, it is genuine, that material is bloody expensive – if you were to produce the shoe, you’d be looking at £1,000.
What does your bedroom mean to you?
It’s a place where you just get away from everything, right. You know, where you just chill. It’s a place where dreams are made. Ha, how cheesy is that.
What would your ideal bedroom be like?
All the sneakers in my bedroom are there out of necessity – I’d have them in a completely separate room, that would be the first thing. I would want my bedroom to be more minimal, more chill, have a good stereo system set-up in there, maybe a TV.
Sneaker or trainer?
Can’t really choose. Trainer is what I used when I was growing up as a kid, but sneaker is actually a term that pre-dates trainer. Technology that developed the rubber sole shoe dates back to the late 1800’s – a rubber sole we take for granted now. The bonding process back then was important, because it meant the sole could be attached to the upper material, also making the shoe noiseless, meaning the person wearing them could ‘sneak up’ on someone, hence the term sneaker.
When did your sneaker obsession begin?
When I was growing up just outside London in Aylesbury – a young Manchester United fan playing football in the street, wearing shoes like a Nike Oceania, with a gum herringbone sole, and listening to hip-hop – Afrika Bambaataa, Grandmaster Flash, Melle Mel.
What are the most expensive sneakers you have ever bought?
Well sneaker prices have gone up recently. So, if you asked me two years ago, I probably would have said £200. But that’s not that expensive now and kind of the going rate in some cases. Recently I have been fortunate to be gifted some shoes, but then I also buy stuff as well.
If you could invite anyone into your bedroom, who would it be?
It would have to be God because I have a lot of fuckin’ questions.
Who is the most interesting person you have ever met?
Probably Kanye West, which would probably annoy a lot of people. He was alright, he was cool. I interviewed him in 2003, before his first stuff came out. It was a fascinating interview, 1.5 hours long, that my mate Dan Greenpeace can’t actually find – which is really annoying. It was probably the deepest and most honest conversation you could have with Kanye, because it was pre his success. The success that I predicted and told him during our interview. Dame Dash came in halfway through, interrupted and then apologised – which is one of the few times he has probably ever apologised to anyone. Anyway, some of the stuff Kanye has done is fantastic, some of the stuff he has done has been shit. He’s a man of contradiction, but so am I. He’s said some outspoken stuff, but I think we have all done that, or we have thought stuff and not expressed it. You could say he’s got the lack of etiquette, or he’s got the balls – he’s a point of debate. He’s not the best selling artist in the world, and if you were to ask me are there are artists out there who are as creative as him and as influential, I would say ‘yes’. I wouldn’t say he is the most influential in certain ways, but he is in other ways, he’s got people scrabbling around for shoes – do you know what I mean. Most of the shoes he has done are shit, actually. But the ones he has done, that are good, are really good. I wasn’t a fan of the Louis Vuitton Jasper, people wear them, but whatever – I’m not really a fan of luxury sneakers per se. I would say the first two Nike shoes Kanye did were spot on, I like the adidas 350, but I don’t appreciate the aesthetics of the others. But the 350 is done really well, I’ve got a pair – it’s a bit like a Nike Air Moc or a Roshe, with an influence of the Clarks Originals Desert Trek shoe – must have been an inspiration to him, because the 350 has the seam going up the front just like the Desert Trek – they’re pretty cool.
Other than Kanye, who do you think is on the level with him?
I think Adele is wicked, she’s fantastic – her voice in unbelievable. In recent years, if we’re talking about singer songwriters, Lauryn Hill. Is Kanye better than Lauryn Hill? I’m sure she would disagree. Anderson .Paak is pushing boundaries, Beyoncé is phenomenal, and I’d say more so than Rihanna. And then there’s underground artists as well, who are doing interesting stuff – Roc Marciano, Hus Kingpin, Westside Gunn & Conway – people like that from a little bubble in New York scene and the surrounding state – the music is really stripped back down and sounds raw. And Nas for me lyrically, is one of the most profound lyricists. Period. Ever. In the history of anything. I think he’s up there with Rakim. I’m happily anticipating the new Nas stuff.
When are you happiest?
When I’m with friends and family doing real stuff. Seeing anything that I can appreciate the good aesthetics for. When I see people doing good things. New experiences. Discovery.
When are you the most sad?
When people do bad things. Shit day. When you see other people doing better than you.
Naked or bedclothes?
Bedclothes. But when I’m with a girl, I get naked.