We've been fans of South London based producer Alex Warren for a while now. In fact, we used to see him down the pub quite a lot in a past life. We're still supping pints in the same old watering holes and he's jetsetting round the globe, DJing as Kiwi. How things change. New Cross' loss is the world's gain, and Warren's been smashing clubs left right and centre over recent years.
Just a fortnight ago he was supporting Norwegian demi-god Todd Terje at London's XOYO and he's very kindly let us have a listen to exactly what went down that night. Check out an interview with Kiwi and the mix below, but why not listen to the title track of his new EP, Shiba Inu, on Duke Dumont's Blasé Boys Club imprint before all that?
THUMP: When did you transform into Kiwi? Was there a moment when you thought, "this is the real me. This is who I am now. I. Am. Kiwi"?
Kiwi: I often get asked where I got my name from; this is kind of a better way of asking the same thing. I decided I was going to make a go of producing music/DJing full time. I was handling bookings at The Nest at the time. We had a rotten bowl of kiwi's on the desk so I was like what about 'Kiwi'. I'm a visual person, I like how it looks on paper, and so I just went for it. I didn't think about the New Zealand connection at all. It's just a name, an identity with a slightly better 'brand' than just plain old Alex Warren, which I find to be a bit of a mouthful.
You've been part of the crew for a while now but can you tell us about how you hooked up with BBC?
I did at show at XOYO with Adam (Duke Dumont) a while back. He wasn't such a massive deal back then and he ended up leaving his headphones and we spoke for about six months about getting them back to him. In the end I gave up, but sent him some tunes instead. He had already been supporting and playing my track "Llama" at the time. One of the tracks I sent him was "The Mara" and the rest as they say is history. He never did get his headphones back. I think I left them in a McDonalds somewhere.
I hate dogs: convince me I should listen to the new EP?
I guess Shiba Inu's have teeth, music doesn't? The dog on the sleeve is my good friend Kenny, he's really really cool and he's also a big fan of the track, so maybe you will be too?
Fancy telling us a little about this mix?
It was recorded live in XOYO 2 weeks ago on my DJR400. I was playing a three hour set before Todd Terje, so the room starts empty at 9pm and records as the room fills, right up until the point Todd Terje takes the stage at midnight. As usual it's quite all-encompassing genre wise. It was a lot of fun on the night, and the crowd was really great. I think that comes across quite nicely in the recording.
Finally — I know you're one of SE's biggest fans. Where's the ideal place for a pint on a Friday night in New Cross? And where do I need to go for a soothing breakfast the next day?
Yes! I love South London. I'm actually now based behind Peckham Rye Park, which is very leafy, but New Cross is my spiritual home. Sadly a lot of the great pubs that once were have been converted into swanky pizza/gastro pubs now. I would say the Marquis of Granby is the only real drinkers pub with any sort of vibe left, and the Royal Albert is also particularly nice if you're after a more civilised affair! For breakfast you cannot beat the Goldsmiths Café, ask for the Kiwi special (Heavy Breakfast, no beans and hash browns). He will pretend he doesn't know what you're talking about but deep down inside he knows!
Kiwi's Shiba Inu EP is out now on Blasé Boys Club.