Hey, Mr. DJ: A Conversation with Ames DJ Kinky Kyro

May 28th, 2008 · 1 Comment

In a sea of polo-clad Midwestern boys and carefully made-up sorority girls, Troy Cairo isn’t hard to miss. A brooding artist attached to his iPod by day and a pink sunglasses and white suit clad DJ by night, Cairo, better known as DJ Kinky Kyro, is a regular fixture at the Bali Satay House on Lincoln Way and the locally famous house on Knapp Street dubbed “the Brick House” by those who regularly attend parties there.

I caught up with Troy in the midst of Dead Week to discuss music, art, and bringing the dead back to life. Figuratively, of course.

Ames Progressive: How did you get into dance/electronic music?

Troy Cairo: It started with my mom listening to Prince when I was younger, she said I had impeccable rhythm. I was always dancing when I was a kid. It’s human nature just to feel the rhythm and dance. I’ve been a huge fan of dance and electronic music since 6th grade, but started DJing a year ago when I got my turntables, and in turn was able to spin live. Before, I’ve been computer mixing since junior year of high school and making my own beats. Turntables provide a way for me to do it publicly, rather than my basement.

AP: What/who inspired you to start DJing?

TC: Basically just music in general, especially high-energy dance music. I’m fascinated by the concept of controlling an otherwise dead crowd and getting them to dance.

AP: What are some of your favorite venues?

TC: I liked the Boheme when it was still open and now Bali, of course.

AP: Is there a subculture that surrounds the popularity of dance/electronic music? Describe it and how has that subculture arisen in Ames?

TC: I guess you could call them “hipsters” … just the open-minded people in the area who are open to new sounds and new music. They are there to have fun, not anything based on societal roles. In Ames, the scene is tiny.

AP: What other eras influence that subculture?

TC: Definitely the 80s. It is highly influential in the style and music that I play.

My biggest influence is Jean Michel Jarre. He started in the late 70s with synthesizers, giving a more electronica effect to disco.

AP: How do you think your music and art influence each other?

TC: They go hand in hand. I’d eventually like to get into making short films and creating visual ideas … I’m fascinated by the idea of making the dead seem alive through vivid colors and energetic sounds.

AP: Do you plan on making DJing a career or is it more of a hobby?

TC: Definitely a hobby. I like to make my own electronic music that I’d like to get out there that’s a little more ambient. It’s more of a weekend job. My career is definitely in visual arts.

AP: What other DJs have influenced you?

TC: Grand Master Flash is a huge influence.

Electronic artists influence me more than anything. Lately it’s been Kavinsky and DJ Tiesto … I’m highly influenced by electro funk music. It’s not so much DJs that inspire me as recording artists do.

I guess Ed Banger records inspired me in that you can put a whole character persona into being a DJ. I fell in love with that.

AP: Kinky Kyro is a pretty interesting DJ name. Where did it come from/What inspired it?

TC: More of a Greek effect to the last name, I’m fascinated by ancient Greece and Greek culture. I tried to go with the Kool Keith motif with the double K … Kinky is self-explanatory. I want to make people as uncomfortable as possible.

AP: What challenges have you faced in getting people to attend your events?

TC: There is a severely low interest in techno and newer dance music. It just goes along with the subculture. It’s hard to find. It’s always hard getting the word out, getting people there, and getting the owner not to charge so much.

It’s also hard getting people to trust me enough to listen to my music and enjoy it.

AP: What sets you apart from standard hip hop/club DJs?

TC: Most DJs cater to the crowd with top 40 music. I don’t like to cater to the crowd. I like to play new stuff that you can just listen and dance to. I like to put these artists out there in order to get their name out there.

Tags: 2008 · AP Issues · Denise Behrens · Interviews · June 2008

1 response so far ↓

  • 1 DB Speakers // Feb 14, 2009 at 11:59 am

    Kinky Kairo is a great DJ. He has a rare taste in music that’s actually unique, instead of a lot of DJ’s that lift other people’s style and pass it off as their own.

    Going to one of his sets guarantees a new and better perspective on songs you may not have heard in ten years (or ever). After you hear his work you can’t get em out of your head.

Leave a Comment