5 Years of Play – A LeisureLeisure.Co Story

We’re turning 5! In the second of three deep dives into the artists we’ve hand-picked to celebrate 5 years of Melodic Distraction with us, we’re checking out Wavertree Worldwide co-founder, Kelvin SM (AKA LeisureLeisure.Co).

Our man Kelvin first came to us as a merchant of newly released records back in 2018. Our studio hosted the physical side of Kelvin’s online record store for over a year and his crates provided a great space for musical discussion, education and original radio material.

Kelvin is also a key illustrator for us, designing the artwork for our flagship Wake Up With and MDR’s Breakfast Club shows.

For his 5 year piece, Kelvin pays a word to the wise with the lucky waving cat (maneki-neko), found inhabiting the mantle of our radio studio for the past 3 years.




Touching on the 5th birthday project, Kelvin shares that he was really happy to be involved alongside Sketch Stance and Abby Bird: “They’re designers whose work I really respect so it was cool to design something alongside them.”

“Coming up with my design was actually pretty straight forward (it doesn’t always come so easy) as I’ve worked with the station on a couple of other projects through the years and know the Melodic brand to be playful. I was instantly drawn to doing something with Maneki-neko, the little golden cat that sits in the station window. I made the colours a little more abstract, gave it the vinyl record from the Melodic Distraction logo, changed the expression to make it cheekier and then used type to anchor it in a more familiar dance music design style. Maneki-neko is also supposed to bring good luck in Japanese culture, so hopefully this t-shirt brings people a bit of that too!”

Co-founder and artistic director at Wavetree Worldwide, Kelvin’s design work has really taken off over the past 18 months: “It’s probably a bit cliché but in the past I’ve suffered from that niggling little voice of imposter syndrome, so it was only recently that I got comfortable with the idea of calling myself a creative –
whether that’s as a DJ, designer or any field where you’re putting an idea out and exposing it to scrutiny.”

Hosting the likes of John Gomez, Lexus Blondin and Contours, alongside a string of local talent – the party is well known for platforming great selectors. For Kelvin, the party’s success is down to “the careful planning of small details and the requirement of a lot of people to have the right philosophy.”

“There’s been so much conditioning gone into our collective idea of club culture that stripping everything back to an eighties social club has totally sidestepped those expectations. With the seating and dancefloor arrangement there’s no necessity to dance at all actually, so if you’re the kind of dancer who takes a few pints to warm up, cool – you can sit off or play snooker until you’re ready to get down. The crew are mainly DJs and musicians too, so I’d like to think that we’re very deliberate in the bookings we make and try to pair international acts with the local artists that fit together well musically, without putting too much focus on the lineup as it’s a community dance much more than it’s a DJ showcase. That leaves everything setup for people to come in, shake off the week and just dance in a totally unorthodox setting – it’s back to basics and it’s guaranteed joy!”

Kelvin and his fellow Wav.WW organisers are also more than happy to shout about their local Smithdown Road community too: “I really loved the tee-shirt campaign that we did with Friends Kebabs on Smithdown Road, it’s something so trivial and light-hearted that I think people really bought into the nonsense of it – including the owners!

Since partnering with Elliot Ferguson on the Wavertree Worldwide project, the two have gone on to collaborate further, with Kelvin penning the visual identity and window signage for Nomad, Smithdown’s freshest new coffee spot. You can catch Elliot broadcasting live from Nomad, 5 days a week, for Red Brick Picnic (12-1).

With plenty of projects on the go, we’re excited to see what Kelvin will be working on next. As he tells us; “I’ve been commissioned to design a street campaign and website for an educational group, so that’ll be happening soon and I’ll be able to share more details on Instagram (below). I’m also working with a journalist who’s launching a website for independent arts and culture criticism. I’m also going to start a running crew because I’m fed up of training solo and it seems a few friends are too, there’ll probably be some free merch for the early adopters.”


Cheers, Kelv!



|| LeisureLeisure.Co on Instagram ||

|| LeisureLeisure.Co Website ||

|| Wavertree Worldwide ||

|| Nomad ||

|| Kelvin (Leisure Deejay) on Melodic Distraction Radio ||