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Ravers remember pioneering DJ killed by motorway cat’s eye

Kemistry worked in the Red Or Dead clothes shop in Camden Town before helping to found Metalheadz

03 May, 2019 — By Richard Osley

DANCE music ravers have remembered one of the clubland DJs behind the explosion of drum ’n’ bass music, 20 years after she was killed by a motorway “cat’s eye” that flicked up from the road.

DJs and dancers paid tribute to Kemistry, who was known in Camden Town for her days working at the famous Red Or Dead clothes shop and being one of the founders of the Metalheadz club night at Dingwalls.

Last Thursday marked the two-decade anniversary of her death. The performer, whose real name was Kemi Olusanya, died aged 35 in the freak incident on the M3 near Winchester. A “cat’s eye” light was dislodged by a lorry in front and flew threw the windscreen. It is the only such incident involving a “cat’s eye” recorded on Britain’s roads.

On Sunday, some of the genre’s biggest names from the 1990s gathered for a gig at the Village Underground in Shoreditch.

DJ Storm, who had been Kemistry’s DJ partner, said: “It was so special I was overwhelmed. The vibe was incredible.” At the time of Kemistry’s death, they were sharing a flat in Finsbury Park. Metalheadz became the go-to club night, switching venues across the city as its popularity grew.

DJ Rap, another artist who helped transfer the mushrooming popularity of drum ’n’ bass to a mainstream market in the 1990s, said: “The fact that 20 years have passed and this legend and beautiful soul is still in our hearts is the measure of her beauty, talent and grace.”

And Doc Scott said: “Twenty years ago we lost our sister. A part of the foundation of Metalheadz, a trailblazer for female DJs, but more importantly a beautiful human being.” He added: “I feel blessed to have known her for as long as I did and that I could consider her a friend.”


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