If your first encounter with Kidda, aka Ste McGregor, was of the social networking variety, you would be forgiven for thinking him an acerbic, pop-culture berating, grumpy old git.
In the flesh, Kidda couldn’t be farther from that. He is a genial giant who’s making some of the most positive, joyous, life-affirming, pure unadulterated pop around. What marks it out from the disposable X Factor karaoke that litters the charts however is that it’s absolutely dripping with soul.
Kidda’s debut album ‘Going Up’ was released in 2007 to almost universal critical acclaim. “With infectious hooks, tasty beats and soul-tinged melodies, Kidda’s debut feels like the natural sequel to The Avalanches’ universally acclaimed ‘Since I Left You’,” said MOJO magazine.
It was awarded album of the month status in DJ magazine, album of the week in DMC Update, while BBC Music said: “Somewhere between funk, pop, hip-hop and old skool rave, ‘Going Up’ is the perfect soundtrack to this summer’s festivals.”
Today, Ste’s ear for a catchy hook has helped him develop into a fully-blown songwriter, with no need to do the sample thing anymore. Lyrics, melodies, choruses, toplines, beats, production, the sound… everything is down to Ste and co-writer Lee Baker, and new album ‘Hotel Radio’ is testament to Ste’s ability to craft irresistible feelgood pop.
Lyrically, the album swings from traditional ‘I love you’ sentiments to other real situations in Ste’s life. “There are bits that are quite raw but I’m happy for it to be out there,” he says.
The new album is rammed full of complete radio-friendly three-minute pop anthems that zing with joie de vivre. “I listened back to the first album recently, and it just seemed to have gaping holes in it where words should’ve been,” Ste reflects. “They’re filled in now, I just feel this time it’s more substantial - everything’s there."
To promote ‘Hotel Radio’, Kidda is formulating a live set-up involving an animated screen show, with Ste doing live sequences synched to what’s on the screen, and various vocalists from the album effectively making up Kidda the band. He’s also going to have a bespoke ‘Hotel Radio’ gig area on virtual life music site Reslive.com, and appears unphased about being thrust into the pop world: “I’m going to show them how to do it!”