April 25th marked the 14th anniversary of the death of Kemi Olusanya, better known as Kemistry from the female drum n bass duo Kemistry & Storm.
When I went to London in May 1998, I arrived on a Tuesday and made a beeline for Fabio’s party Swerve on the Wednesday, then Bryan G’s Movement at Bar Rhumba on Thursday, and of course Goldie’s Metalheadz night at the Blue Note on Sunday. That very first Wednesday I was excited to not only see Fabio and guests DJing in the flesh, but Kemistry and Storm hanging out in what was a super small venue. I’d had pictures of them on my wall in NZ: they were like royalty to me. So I was feeling pretty pleased with myself for managing to get across the world to the legendary party but, stealing glances across the room at them in their cool corner, I was also painfully aware that I was just a guest – just a tourist – and they were bona fide players.
Kemistry will forever be frozen in the dope old ’90s but it’s cool to see Storm, in 2013, is still the leading lady of drum n bass.
And every time I see William and Catherine plastered on the front of a magazine, I think of that other fine woman who died in the ’90s: Lady Diana. Their lives were completely different, and they died in completely different types of road accidents, but both Kemi and Diana were incredible – and continue to inspire.