Kid Kash is a writer from Lausanne in Switzerland. He has a traditional style but paint with lot of funk and fresh colors. This is one of the guy I wanted to present you because he is one of the most humble writer I know a Lectrics supporter and of course a big talent in Switzerland and Europe. So, let‚Äôs start with the a short talk with the 7$ b-boy‚Ä¶Don’t forget to play the youtube breaking video of the 7 Dollars crew and to have a look on the Kash pieces at the end of the interview.
Lectrics: ¬†Kid Kash could you please shortly introduce yourself and how you started graffiti ?
Kash: I am living in Lausanne Switzerland and I started graff around 93-94 and breaking around 97. As a kid I liked drawing and I was into skateboarding a lot, that‚Äôs how I started noticing graff around the city. At the same time kids at school started talking about this ¬´¬†bboy¬†¬ª stuff. Tags, graff, and breaking I was fascinated. I got a can in my hand for the first time when Ader and another friend asked me to help them to do a character on their piece because they couldn‚Äôt draw. I remember it was a face with a gun sight instead of his right eye ‚Äì public enemy style -. It looked like crap but I was hooked.
Your crew is called 7 Dollars. The members are composed of writers and b-boys. Could you tell us how the crew started and the situation today ?
Yeah in fact 7dollars is a bboy crew, it started in 2000.We were four in the beginning: Amjad, Ader Serval and myself, we were always practicing together and¬†we share the same love for breaking and for the culture in general. We were writers too but we wanted to form a bboy crew. Our breaking style was all about the dance – top rocks footworks and burns -. Back then the main trend in european breakin was more like circus and gymnastic shit so we felt really different from most of the other crews. The good thing is that we travelled to a lot of jams and we connected with bboys who shared the same vision of the dance. We made a lot of good friends along the way and some got down with the crew. So nowadays 7dollars is worldwide, it‚Äôs a big family of good people and to me some of the freshest bboys out there. I used to be down with another graff crew before, but since 2001 I changed my name and I started to represent 7$ to the fullest.
I know there is a little story about this crew name. Could you please tell¬†us this story ?
The name 7$ comes from the movie BREAKIN‚Äô. Turbo disses a dance teacher saying¬†: ¬´¬†you owe me 7$ ‚Ä¶for teaching you how to dance sucker¬†!¬†¬ª we used to say this all the time as a diss so when we decided to do a crew, the name naturally became 7$ because we teach suckers how to dance¬†!!!
Kash, you are a writer and as you say a stence b-boy. Your graffiti style and the dance you practice are both old school. It seems that you are fascinated by the old school, right ?
When I started writing I was looking up to a crew that was called CMA. Those guys were true bboys, they were dressed fresh they were all city with the dopest style and they were breakin‚Äô too. For me it was the ultimate goal to reach – having style in everything you do – and I am still working on it today.
I dance the same way I paint but I would say my style is more classic than old school. I feel the term old-school sounds a bit has-been. I am using an old recipe but I try to update it and put my own flavor into it, like a few more spices in a curry. But yeah I love the esthetic from the 80‚Äôs to the early 90‚Äôs. From the clothes to the attitude. It is probably because I have missed it that I have this romantic view of those years. I remember the first time I saw Style Wars it was nearly better than the first time I touched a girl‚Äôs breast‚Ä¶
Nowadays I have a more critical view of this ¬´¬†hip-hop package¬†¬ª that was sold to europe but that‚Äôs how I got it in the first place and it feels good like that.
I always wanted to learn the history and the foundations of what I am doing. So that I can do it right and build my style on some strong foundations. We are the generation that can actually meet the people who contributed to create this culture and get the knowledge from the source, I think it‚Äôs a great opportunity that a lot of kids don‚Äôt care about. If you paint since 5 years and you think you came with a brand new style and created this shit from scratch – there is a good chance you are wrong‚Ä¶
I got the the feeling that Switzerland is really more ‚Äúhip-hop‚Äù than the other European countries. Could you please tell us about the Lausanne scene and in general the swiss scene?
No I really don‚Äôt have the feeling that swiss is hip hop‚Ä¶ not at all‚Ä¶ Switzerland is really conservative.
But there is a pretty strong hip hop underground scene. The fact that we are in the center of Europe more or less gave us a lot of influences from Germany France and Italy. The scene is pretty old and a lot of swiss have names that ring bells all over like the UC boys, TWS, GTK, VTO, EDK, Rosy, Basel City Attack, Crazy Force Crew ‚Ä¶
As for Lausanne when I started the train tracks looked like a small version of the Famous Basel lines. It was full of color burners with characters and background. It was the main target to show your skills. There were some dope tags in the city and a train scene. Around 2003 exaggerated police repression nearly killed the scene. But what they don‚Äôt know is that graff will never die and nowadays the scene is growing again, new kids are on the block and even though I feel some of them miss the juice (wich is probably what the older guys thought about me when I started) they are keeping it alive. I have to give props to them and specially OSA crew for keeping the spirit alive.
Now, that you are an ‚Äúold writer‚Äù for these new generation. Tell us what kind of juice it missed on their style ?
It‚Äôs just a matter of taste we probably have different references.¬† Personally I like better seeing a silver piece with mad drips but simple and nice letters, than a too complex – full of trendy effects ‚Äì only painted with shadow or super skiny so called burner‚Ä¶ but again it‚Äôs just a matter of taste.
Your style has been evolving this last year. It seems that you prefer round and curves even more than in the past.
It‚Äôs always evolving. I am never happy with myself so I always try to improve. And I can‚Äôt do twice the same outline so I am constantly trying new stuff. It goes in circles I use to do more curves then I did more straight lines and so on.
I see. And how do you do to always find these new outlines? Do you sketch a lot ?
Yeah I try to sketch as much as I can. These days I try to pass over the classic letter structure ‚Äì I break them in places I wouldn‚Äôt usually¬† and try to stick another part instead-¬† When it get to extreme I don‚Äôt dare to paint it but I keep the ideas in my mind for later‚Ä¶
What are the people that influence your style ?
Of course all the classic new yorkers and a lot of swiss too, like Dare and Dream TWS, Smash and Rois GTK, Henks HWS, Toast PK, Drek CMA‚Ä¶
Mode2 was also a big influence especially the way he would mix letters with caracters, to me he is a kind of genius in this graff thing, everything he touched turned into gold. And last but not least my friend and partner Serval who knows more about graff than my grandma knows about cooking.
Other than graff I like illustrations Jack kirby, Bode, Crumbs, Rick Griffin‚Ä¶ skatebord designs like Jim Phillips and more recentely Alex trochut, a dope graphic designer.
Mode 2 do this good, for sure. At the beginning of this interview we spoke about your introduction to the hip-hop elements. You told us that you start graffiti in painting characters. Please, tell us how important it still to paint b-boy around your pieces?
I had the chance to see the man paint in Bern a while ago he did a ¬´¬†BITERS¬†¬ª letters with a guy smashing the ¬´¬†S¬†¬ª with a bat‚Ä¶ seeing him paint was amazing.
I always thought that graff was letter first but adding a character can be a big plus it attacks attention and gives life to your piece. I always painted characters. And the more I was involved into breakin‚Äô the more they became ¬´¬†bboy¬†¬ª. When I draw a bboy it‚Äôs a cartoon version of myself or friends. I try to capture the bboy attitude from the people I see at jams, the classic mugzy face that Kenn swift used, the way Ata would look at an opponent during a battle, that look that say ¬´ My style is better than yours,¬†I am gonna smoke you fool¬†!¬†¬ª .
Your last productions were quite organized with a theme and a background. How do you prepare before a session ?
I don‚Äôt paint so often so when I do I try to burn as much as I can. But I am often too lazy to plan a complicated background and I like to paint spontaneously. However sometimes we manage to do theme productions, it‚Äôs cool but I like to paint alone too, take some weird colors and freestyle on the spot with the mood of the day.
Is it because you want¬† to be 100% free to do what you want ,that you sometimes plan alone ?
Yeah I don‚Äôt like to follow the rules. I have a real hard time to follow a precise color scheme ‚Ä¶ if I feel it would burn more with a little red in it I am gonna put it and destroy the whole piece¬†J
I also like to go in trance when I paint. Sometimes I am so into it I don‚Äôt even notice time or hunger or the need to pee‚Ä¶ I am painting that‚Äôs all.
Do you plan to paint more in 2010 ?
I don‚Äôt know, 16 years of graff made my lungs really sensible so I don‚Äôt paint so often because I would like to be able to paint when I am 60. Anyway the number was never my goal‚Ä¶ my goal is style so I rather sketch more and paint only burners.
To my crew , everyone I mentonned before thanks for inspiration ‚Äì motivation – friendship, and everybody who do this with theire heart. Keeping the culture alive.
7 Dollars crew featuring Kash wearing a Lectrics t-shirt (More edition) in 2008
Offical 7 dollars crew Youtube channel after the jump