Music, shows, history: getting to know MK


by Jackie Willson

A few weeks ago, we had the opportunity to speak with producer and a DJ Marc Kinchen (MK). Kinchen’s career took off in the early 90’s, working with the top artists and producers and making a name for himself in LA. Years later (and with much success), Kinchen got restless and wanted to explore the music industry in a different light which led him to start deejaying. We caught up with MK to talk about his time in Canada, his dream collaborators, working with Will Smith, and how his fans inspire his ideas for music!

Jackie Willson: When was the last time you were in Canada? 

Marc Kinchen: Feels like yesterday but actually, it was around two and half weeks ago. I played at the Dreams Festival in Toronto in the beginning of July.

JW: What do you think of Toronto? 

MK: I love Toronto, it’s such a great city. It’s a little like NY and it’s a little like a small version of London. I gotta tell you that haven’t been here in February though and to be honest, I think I want to keep it that way.  I come from Detroit, so I know how cold it gets, and that is too cold for me…

JW: Last time we saw you, you played at the infamous after-hours club, Coda. What is it like playing for a venue like Coda compared to a festival like this? 

MK: Even though I love playing at festivals, there is really nothing that compares to the energy of playing a small club where everyone gets so swept up by the music.  It is a totally different buzz, I love it.

JW: Does your set list change drastically when playing for different crowds, or do you just tweak it? 

MK: That always depends, I tend to tweak my sets all the time, but I change it up completely as well.  There are factors involved in my decisions when it comes to the type of set i will play like where we are playing, what kind audience, time of day, whether it is going to be cold or over 100 degrees… time, weather, place, all these things contribute to the type of set I play.

JW: What is the most memorable show you have had to date? 

MK: It’s really hard for me to say since each special show has marked a milestone in my life. The first time I played Ibiza, or my last  Area10 show in Dublin; or last Mays We Are Fest or my first time at EDC Vegas on the main stage, or last years Creamfields. Just all incredible and memorable.

JW: Who would you love to work with? 

MK: Pharell, Dre, Mark Ronson, Diplo, Depeche Mode. So many people…..can’t name just one.

JW: You have obviously explored a lot of different genres and sounds in your career, starting out in the 90’s with pop music. Do you feel like you have more freedom with what you are doing now?

MK: Yes, absolutely.  I definitely have more freedom to work on what I want now, but since I play out live, I get opportunities to play and tweak things I am working on as the project is being produced.

JW: You have talked a lot about making music and how you rely a lot on instinct rather than creating something you think people want to hear. How did you get to a place where you were confident enough to do that?

MK: That’s a great question, it’s a process and aside from my own instincts, the fans actually give me ideas through their reactions to the music.  When they are into something I am doing, it’s a total buzz and affirmation that they relate to my instincts.  It’s a great feeling and I am really lucky to have that opportunity.  Like I said, gaining confidence is an ongoing thing.  It happens as you go. It’s a very tough line to follow and you always want to keep it legit and real

JW: Who has helped or inspired you the most in life?

MK: I can’t answer with  just one,  it’s my parents, my friends, Depeche Mode, Michael Jackson, Will Smith, Quincy Jones, I have been really lucky to have great supportive and creative people in my life.

JW: Out of all of the artists you have worked with or collaborated with, who has taught you the most? What have they taught you?

MK: I learned a lot from Will Smith, he is amazing on so many levels.  I learned everything from production tips to life lessons.

JW: In your eyes, what is the biggest changes in house music in the last 4-5 years?

MK: For me, some of the most exciting things are the changes with technology and how if affects the way you make and can play music.  I also love that it is always changing.  The audiences consider this music as part of their own culture and are devoted; it’s part of their lifestyle.  Hopefully, it does not go the way of EDM and just get rinsed commercially.

JW: What is next for you?

MK: Well, I just landed in Ibiza and have a whole series of shows coming up, going to go into the studio with my mates, Camelphat to work on some tracks.  And then, I have a new single called, “17” coming out any day now.


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