Caitlin | BLEU

Issue 48: Humans – Kenneth Kyrell

Words by Sable Sweeper

Kenneth Kyrell brings his fashion sense to the turntable. During the day he’s a fashion director at Macy’s in New York City. But when he is off the clock he’s creating style through sound as a DJ.

What got you into music?

I’ve always had a music background. I was in band. I also was around it growing up with my family and my grandparents especially. In college, I was always in charge of the playlist. I moved to New York City after graduating in 2012 and I kept going out to a lot of events and parties and realized that all the DJs were kind of playing the same thing. I had this bright idea… I love music… I love people… let’s get some equipment and see what happens. I got some equipment and started putting some videos on social media of me practicing and people started reaching out… from there it’s been up and up.

What does music mean to you?

It works as a global adhesive. It connects so many people from various places and backgrounds. Honestly, without music I don’t know how I would get throughout my day-to-day.

What has been your best compliment as a DJ?

This sounds really crazy but [I] was DJ’ing one of my friends’ events and I played Solange’s “Cranes in the Sky.” It was right around the time Donald Trump was elected as president, so everyone was having a down week. One of my friends told me once I played that song one his friends got up and even though she was crying and in a mood she became happy. Just to see people have a space where they feel comfortable with me spinning some of their favorite songs [is] honestly why I do what I do.

What is your goal in mind when you construct a playlist?

It really comes down to what type of event it is. But, I like to go through my music library to pick up songs that mean a lot to me and songs that people would not necessarily expect to hear at a party. I incorporate [those songs] with what is current and what is being played on the radio now.