It’s big news for house heads, Defected die-hards and music aficionados – Defected is coming Down Under. The label, founded in 1999 by the big man in the business, Simon Dunmore, has come leaps and bounds since. For true lovers of music, Defected is where you go for real music, quality artists and the biggest parties and events around the world. Defected is house music.
With the label’s touring arm arriving on Australian soil for the first time, it’s bringing along American producer and DJ Marc Kinchen, or as you might know him, MK. Kinchen is no stranger to the scene, nor an overnight sensation. From age 12, he knew music was for him; a lifestyle rather than a hobby. “It’s always something I’ve loved doing – music is my life,” he says.
At 16, Kinchen had dropped out of school and was living and working in Detroit. There, he made music with techno royalty Derrick May and Kevin Saunderson. Hungry for more, Kinchen packed up and headed to the Big Apple, where the sound was “much more dirty”, and where he dove into production and making music of his own.
DJing wasn’t always in MK’s arsenal. It wasn’t until 2009 when he received a phone call from Hot Natured duo Jamie Jones and Lee Foss, wanting to book him to DJ at one of their shows. “I had no idea who they were,” confesses Kinchen. “I had to check with my agent to see if it was worth doing and they said it would be a good move. I didn’t even know how to DJ and had to call my brother for lessons and help. I was a producer first.”
Kinchen has taken to the new role quite well, given he’s now one of the most sought-after DJs on the scene, and keeps a busy touring schedule. But he’s also a well-respected artist, producer and songwriter on an international scale. Kinchen’s remix of Lana Del Rey’s ‘Summertime Sadness’ blew up, while his 1995 rework of Nightcrawlers’ ‘Push The Feeling On’ was also an enormous success. Kinchen says it’s “probably my most favourite project to date. I did it for fun and still love the sound.”
Remix and collaboration requests are flying in these days, but Kinchen is picky about his projects. He’s recently been in the studio with Sonny Fodera, Duke Dumont and Pharrell Williams. “It’s nothing like you’ve heard before,” Kinchen says of the Pharrell collaboration. “I’m not sure if it’s a monster or not, but it’s different to the normal MK sound – think old Chicago sound.”
With all the big names passing through his studio, Kinchen still has moments of fandom. “Working with Jamie Jones was a pretty special [occasion] and a bit of a big deal,” he says. “[Jones] was huge, travelling the world and doing some pretty cool things. I was like, ‘Is this really happening?’”
When asked about what we can expect of him in a set, Kinchen offers, “70 per cent of the tracks are originals – I’ve tried to slip in new things but the crowd aren’t receptive, they want to hear my own tracks”. So expect all the classics and the MK tracks you’ve come to know and love. But in an original-heavy set, are there any tracks Kinchen is sick of playing? “‘Look Right Through’ I’ve been playing forever; I kind of get sick of hearing it,” he admits. MK’s remix took him and Storm Queen to number one on the UK singles charts last year, but it was never meant for mass enjoyment. “Something pretty special happened when I played it,” he says. “The crowd lost it and loved it, and I knew I couldn’t keep it to myself.”