Before his May 7 Tonic show, Detroit deep-house royalty Marc Kinchen stepped away from the soundboard to speak with The Santa Barbara Independent about his upcoming album. Its well-received single, “Piece of Me,” pairs piano riffs and dance-floor synths with Voice UK veteran Becky Hill’s soulful vocals. This year, Kinchen — better known by his stage name, MK — found himself closing Coachella’s DoLaB on Saturday night, re-launching his label, Area10, at fests like Tomorrowland, and passing through Santa Barbara on a tour that ends at Detroit’s Movement Festival.
What’s the latest on your new album? Looking at [it dropping] later this year — I do have some great features on the record. Just released my single “Piece Of Me,” which is a collab with Becky Hill that will be on the album. The features are really great, and I can’t wait to let everyone know more about it…soon.
What’s the story behind the piano riff on your track “Bring Me To Life”? One of my A&R’s from Columbia found this girl Milly Pye and we got in the studio together. To be honest, right now my favorite version of the record is Dub IV, which was the last version released, so it may not have been heard by as many people. But I really love that one — it’s just one of those remixes that, when you hear it, you just know people will like it. I do hope that more people discover it once the album comes out.
You’ve been producing really cutting-edge house music for 20 years. How do you find a balance between your tastes and trends in music? I try not to pay too much attention to trends. It’s really easy to get lost like that. I always prefer to just follow my own instincts. I just know what I like when I hear it — whether it’s a RÜFÜS DU SOL track that I know I want to remix, or Becky Hill’s vocals on Rudimental’s “Powerless.”
What inspires you? Really depends on my mood that day. You find it where and when you can, but it usually just comes to me.
You’ve tweeted that you don’t usually record your live sets. Why not? The live experience of music is so special, I often like it living in the moment. There are times that I do record it though for a special set if it’s at a favorite festival, or if I’m asked to do it for a promo.
What would you be doing if you weren’t doing music? Man, I’ve been producing music for so long, I can’t even imagine doing anything else, or wanting to! The only real job I ever had was in the parking lot of a hospital in Detroit. I was responsible for Area 10. (I named my label and my events after it — AREA10).
MK plays Saturday, May 7 after IDEX and Bucketz at Tonic Nightclub (634 State Street) at 9 p.m. For tickets visit nightout.com.