they seem cool

The French DJ Who Auditioned for Madonna

Meet Kiddy Smile.

Photo: Shaniqwa Jarvis
Photo: Shaniqwa Jarvis

Kiddy Smile is known for being a larger-than-life Parisian DJ and singer who showed up at French president Emmanuel Macron’s house wearing a shirt that read, in French, “Son of immigrants, black and gay” (Macron had invited him over, for the record). But before he was famous in France for being talented, fabulous, and political, he was a dancer, and before that a master’s student. His aha moment came when he auditioned as a backup dancer for Madonna and realized he wanted to tell his own story, not someone else’s — and so far, that’s worked. He continues to DJ in Paris, bringing fun and drama to the city’s nightlife. We spoke with him about Gucci, island-hopping, and having truffle oil for breakfast.

What is your most used emoji?
I think it’s the wink one. I wink a lot. Especially now that I’m dating.

What’s your favorite holiday?
Easter. It’s lots of chocolate. I like to hide chocolate in the garden; that’s always something that was very fun growing up.

If you could spend three months anywhere, where would it be?
I’d go to Thailand and hop from island to island.

What’s the best album ever made?
I would say The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill. It’s something that cemented my musical tastes. I could really relate to some of the things she was saying. I went to see her in Paris — she was only two hours late and she did perform. It was amazing.

What’s your go-to karaoke song?
“Valerie,” by Amy Winehouse, and “I’m a Slave 4U,” by Britney Spears. There’s no big vocal thing that happens in them, so you can just enjoy it. And everyone sings along.

Who do you think is cool?
I think Willow Smith is really cool. I think she’s very smart, and intelligence is very cool to me. Grace Jones is also fucking cool. I was supposed to get a tattoo of her on my neck. Seeing her fight clichés and not be what people expected of her is very cool to me.

What fictional character would you want to hang out with?
The Mother of the Dragons in Game of Thrones. It’s very interesting how she was a victim and is now a hero and savior.

If you were a magazine, which magazine would you be?
There’s a little sophistication about me but there’s a lot of fun and avant-garde, so I think I’d be LOVE magazine. I wouldn’t be a men’s magazine, because they’re too serious.

If you could talk to animals, which animals would you want to talk to?
Dolphins. I’d like to know if they’re really that smart.

Jeans or sweats?
It depends. Jeans are nice — if you pick the right one, it will give you a nice butt. But sweats are so comfortable.

What is something your social-media followers don’t know about you?
They don’t know that I have a master’s degree in marketing. My mom migrated from Cameroon to France, and she wanted us to have an education. She wanted me to have a Ph.D., but I already knew I wanted to be an artist and was just doing it for her. But I use what I learned in my current work.

What’s the last website you visited?
The Louis Vuitton website. I was looking for sneakers. I’m a size 14 and nobody carries my size in Paris, so I was looking in the States.

If you could be outfitted by one designer for the rest of your life, who would it be?
I think I’m a Gucci girl. I need lots of playfulness, lots of fabric, a mixture. I like sequins, I like faux fur.

What do you eat for breakfast?
I get either scrambled eggs with white-truffle oil and Earl Grey tea, or cereal.

If you were a color, what color would you be?

Kiddy Smile wears a Prada turtleneck and a Kenzo jacket.

The French DJ Who Auditioned for Madonna