One of the most distinctive voices in UK electronic music, Feral Is Kinky is the latest persona for MC Kinky, aka Cantankerous, aka Feral, aka The Infidel — or Caron Geary to her sister.
MC Kinky was best known for her work with the E-Zee Posse back in the day — they had a Top 20 hit with ‘Everything Starts With An E’ in 1990, despite it being banned by BBC Radio 1 and national TV — and for recording and running with Boy George, and her subsequent personas have shown off her fantastic low-slung ragga chat with varying degrees of success.
Now she’s back as Feral Is Kinky, acknowledging her past but projecting into the phuture. So did everything start with an E for her?
“Ha! Not exactly,” she says, explaining that her first appearance on a track was on dancehall cut ‘Kid Ralph’ by Little Twitch before appearing on Boy George’s second solo album with ‘Kipsy’. “For a lot of people in the clubs and raves, yes — everything started with an E, or six,” she smirks. “It was less a case of ‘Paris Is Burning’ — more ‘London Is Gurning!’
Caron had been obsessed with reggae since the age of eight, and when she started writing lyrics, she was more influenced by Jamaican DJs like Big Youth and U-Roy and then dancehall MCs, rather than American rappers in hip-hop.
“To put on an American accent seemed more alien to me than using one that was influenced by Jamaican MCs, and a London accent over dancehall wasn’t creating the vibe I wanted,” she tells DJ Mag. “I grew up on top of a betting shop next to an after-hours Blues [party], which started pumping the bass late at night and was still rocking as I left for primary school in the mornings. It probably had a deep effect!”
Becoming the first white woman dancehall MC worldwide, she fell into the E-Zee Posse with Boy George and Jeremy Healy amidst the hurly-burly of the London acid house explosion. “Whatever people think about George, he has been making reggae tracks since he first started out and it was George that had the foresight to combine my chatting with house music,” she says, “which created that huge anthem and hit.”
After the E-Zee Posse, she worked on the ‘Generations Of Love’ house classic with Boy George, then shot to No.1 with synth-pop duo Erasure before developing a persona called The Infidel and holding down a residency in Ibiza. “I then wrote the Cantankerous album and developed that character,” she relays, “and the sound was described by one of the girls from Club Motherfucker as feral pop, so I became FERAL.”
She put some Cantankerous tracks out on Tommy Boy in the US, had her magnificent ‘Fuck Off, Piss Off’ punky breaks track released on Botchit & Scarper with a reworking by Backdraft, and then saw this track morph into a house cut around the same time as she recorded skankin’ ragga-electro cut ‘Dskasting’ with Gary Gecko and Pig Bwoy. Her complicated discography is now being added to with ‘My Selector’ on Play Me Records from LA, a bombastic bass music beast that comes with a fine Billy Bunter & Sanxion future jungle remix, and she’s collaborating with them and assorted others on several shades of bass — from trap music to dancehall to twisted moombahton (‘#Tweet’). “Busy times,” she says, firmly back in the game.
Anything else one of the finest voices in dance music would like to tell DJ Mag readers? “I don’t take pictures of my dinner and post them on Twitter, I can’t stand ‘celebrity reality’ TV ‘stars’, I don’t watch X-lax Factor-style talent shows, I don’t have a kitten called Pussyclaat, and I wasn’t raised by wolves,” she gabbles. “I often say things other people think and want to say, but don’t — the results of this can be hilarious. I have an overactive humour gland, I’m not looking forward to explaining to my Nan what ‘Suck Ya Mooma’ means, but I am really looking forward to 2013.”