Producer, remixer and DJ, MK’s storied background is one of long-term creative development.
His roots are pure Detroit, taking his early cues from electronic leaning bands like Depeche Mode, New Order and The Cure. If you dig a little deeper, you will find that MK’s musical path is made up of seamless transitions from house and techno to hip-hop and R&B, only to return to house during recent years.
Currently, MK is finalising his long awaited artist album, which includes collaborations with vocalists Becky Hill, Milly Pye, Anabel Englund, and a host of other friends and collaborators yet to be revealed.
We caught up with MK to talk about his latest single ‘My Love 4 U’, working with Willow Smith and Nicki Minaj, UK audiences and plans for his new album…
Your new single ‘My Love 4 U’ features A*M*E, how did that collaboration come about?
It came about like many collabs come together, from outta the blue. It’s never the same story but in this case, I have a couple of producer friends in London who wanted to know if I would be interested in working on a song with them and I heard what they had started and I liked the basics, so I said, ‘this could be really cool, let’s do it.’ A*M*E was already into it and she was working with MNEK on the top-line vocal, and that totally sealed the deal. I mean A*M*E is amazing, but add my friends and MNEK… no brainer… I said, ‘I am starting on it tomorrow’.
The track is the perfect party anthem for the holidays, what was the inspiration behind the song?
I guess in this case the music and lyric sort of inspire each other to move forward, and the vibe of the song is so positive. In this case, music and lyric kind of end up lifting each other… trying to strike a perfect balance.
The video sees a group of girls embark on a trip to Ibiza, leaving city life behind, who came up with the concept?
Choosing storylines, directors, treatments is something that I have been known to struggle with, after all, it is really hard to look at a few pages of comparisons, photos and narrative and know what you will end up with… Usually someone on your team or from your label rounds up the best people for the job and the directors will start pitching their idea. Honestly, it is really hard to pick.
Anyway, someone said why don’t we do it documentary style and really make it real. Let’s make the story loosely about some young girls going on a fun summer weekend and follow them all the way to the Area10 show with me at Pacha. I really liked this idea since I didn’t have to do anything silly, I could just be myself.
It looks like you all had a lot of fun shooting the clip, you must be happy with the results?
Actually, I am, it’s a cool video, it looks pretty natural. I am very happy with it and appreciate how much work goes into making something look natural.
‘My Love 4 U’ is the follow up to the massive ‘Piece Of Me’ featuring Becky Hill, how would you say the two songs differ?
Hmmm good question… I would have to say they have different singers, they are different songs, they have different lyrics and different melodies, or you could say they differ because they are different.
They do, however, have one thing in common, MNEK… worked with Becky on ‘Piece of Me’ as well as having worked on ‘My Love 4 U’.
Can we expect an MK album anytime soon?
I certainly hope so, I have taken off the next two and half months to stay at home and finish it up. Keeping my fingers crossed.
Summer 2016 was a pretty hectic but epic time for you, what were some of your highlights?
There were so many amazing things, my Area10 nights at Pacha, Creamfields was off the hook, Croatia Hideout was amazing, Parklife, Ireland… so many highlights. Having A*M*E come out as a surprise guest at Radio 1 V Fest was incredible too.
As you just said, you played Parklife, Creamfields and Tomorrowland this past summer, how did you find crowds at the UK festivals?
The crowds in the UK are some of the best in the world… they make me feel so welcome and they love to have a great time, so it helps me have a great time with them.
You’ve remixed songs for artists such as Sam Smith, Ellie Goulding, Nile Rogers, Lana Del Rey and Bastille, are there any songs that stand out as being your particular favourites?
That’s like asking which kid do you like better, I really love them all. They are all different and I like them for different reasons. I always like to leave it up to the people listening to tell me which are their favourites.
I can still tell you that ‘Teach Me, Freakin You’ (Jodeci), ‘Push The feeling On’ (Rufus Du Sol), ‘Say A Prayer’ (Aurora) and one you have not heard Rhianna’s ‘Sex With Me’ are on the top of my list with ‘Reverse Skydiving’… there you see I really like them all.
Are there any other current artists you’d like to get in the studio with?
One word comes to mind SIA.
You’ve worked a lot in the past with Will Smith, what are some of your favourite projects you’ve collaborated together on?
We worked on this great song for Willow Smith and Nicki Minaj called ‘Fireball’, I had a blast doing that.
You have some upcoming shows in the UK and Ireland at the end of this month, what can fans expect when they see you live?
I am still planning my set, so I will leave you in suspense, I want it to be a surprise…
As 2016 comes to an end, can you tell us what you’ve got planned for 2017?
Well, I have to finish my album, work on next years production designs, finish my album, tour in the states with Shiba San and KC Lights, tour South America and finish my album… happy holidays!!!.. did i say finish my album :)
Let us know what you think of MK’s new single ‘My Love 4 U’ over on Twitter @CelebMix