Revered producer, remixer and DJ, MK’s storied background is one of long-term creative development. His roots are pure Detroit, but his early cues come from electronic leaning UK bands like Depeche Mode, New Order and The Cure. If you dig a little deeper, you will find that MK’s own musical path is a series seamless transitions from house to techno and hip-hop to R&B, with a complete turnaround back to house in the last six years. Currently, MK is finalizing his long awaited artist album. The project includes collaborations with vocalists Becky Hill, Milly Pye, Anabel Englund, and a host of other friends and collaborators yet to be revealed.
Incredibly, MK’s discography includes over 500 titles that bear the stamp of his signature style. These tracks range from his iconic worldwide hits to the underground aficionado’s secret dancefloor weapon. During this year’s Miami Music Week, MK explains that his main goal with his full length is to do an album of songs he really feels strongly about, whether they are club tracks or in acoustic form is not the bottom line. “I wanted to make an album that shows more of me as a producer and a songwriter as well as a house head. I want it to reflect more than a one-dimensional sound. When I am happy with the actual foundation of a song, I can always go in and make a club version.”
As a teenager growing up close to Detroit’s industrial landscape, he found his way into the studio with the city’s nascent techno legends Juan Atkins, Derrick May and Kevin Saunderson. “I actually met Derrick [May] when I was 13,” says Marc. “And then Juan [Atkins] shortly thereafter. I had a friend in Detroit, a clothing designer named Malone, and he would go and hang out with them. He knew Derrick May – an incredible producer, artist, eccentric and talent. Juan Atkins took me under his wing for a time, and a couple of years later I met Kevin. He was pretty well known and working with him was like a dream. When the guys were there they always made me feel comfortable and welcome, but since they were on tour a lot, I often had the studio to myself to play around.”
Those early studio sessions provided MK with the tools he needed to make those very early timeless tracks like ‘The Rains,’ ‘Burning,’ ‘Always.” By the mid 1990s, Marc had become THE go-to guy for killer club mixes after the monumental success of his million plus-selling ‘Push The Feeling On’ remix for The Nightcrawlers, helped make that which was really more of a total redo of the song. Marc was only given a vocal sample of the lead vocals and had never actually heard the original. MK twisted the original song inside out ,-built his own distinctive new groove for a cooler sound for the dance floor. dance-floors. His signature sound was officially baptized. In 2013, MK would do the same for ‘See Right Through’ by Storm Queen, which he proudly remembers as his first UK number one. “I knew it was going to be something special as soon as it was done!” he beams.
Following the worldwide success of ‘Push The Feeling On,’ remix offers from majors and indie labels came in like wildfire. During this time, he turned out smash hits like his classic bassline-powered remix of ‘Freek N You’ for Jodeci, ‘Misled’ for Celine Dion, ‘Can You Forgive Her’ for Pet Shop Boys, as well as remixes for Mary J., Jody Watley, M People, M.A.W., Janet Jackson, Blondie, and Brandy came out. Many of these remixes remain the favourites of the connoisseur. Marc says it best: “Nightcrawlers was the really popular one, Jodeci was the one every house DJ wanted to play and PSB was the underground cool.”
The so-called MK hiatus from dance music began toward the end of the 90’s, when his desire to explore other genres of music led him to delve into hip hop, R&B and ultimately pop. During this time, he worked with Will Smith, Quincy Jones, Diane Warren, Tyrese, Brandy, and Pitbull to name a few.
A chance connection with Jamie Jones and Lee Foss led to MK’s return to dance music, but when he came back he returned as a DJ as well as producer. “Six years ago, I was at a crossroads, trying to figure out what I wanted to do. I was kind of lost except for one thing, I knew I wanted to go back to house music. I reached out to my original team. After that things just started to fall together. First, Pitbull sampled Nightcrawlers [on ‘Hotel Room Service’ in 2011] and then Jamie Jones and Lee Foss invited me to play at a Hot Natured party in Miami and that was before I was really even DJing out! House has always been my first love and it still is the music that excites me, so I took the plunge and started DJing.” I owe a debt of gratitude to Lee and Jamie for urging me to come back.
Around the same time, Marc’s classics ‘Burning,’ ‘Love Changes,’ and ‘Always’ started to find a new audience in the UK and Europe. Defected Records asked him to take part in their popular House Masters series and then the icing on the proverbial cake was when he asked if he could remix Storm Queen “Look Right Through.” After an incredible 18 months of being in the charts, Marc’s distinctive rework of Storm Queen went to #1 in the UK singles chart.
That special relationship he had enjoyed with the UK for so long was newly reborn. Since then, Marc has nurtured that synergy; “In England, house music is part of the culture, it’s a lifestyle. The UK has always been an incredible fire-starter for music around the world, people tune in to listen to the online radio shows and watch the UK charts religiously.” Marc’s hot remix streak continued with songs like ‘Forward Motion’ for Hot Natured, Lana Del Ray’s ‘Blue Jeans’ and ‘Summertime Sadness,’ his masterful UK #4 remix for Wankelmut’s ‘My Head Is A Jungle,’ and mixes for Sam Smith, Pharrell, Paloma Faith, Ellie Goulding, Disclosure, Haim, Mary J. Blige, Diplo, Rudimental, and many more.
On the live front, MK’s signature chopped up, piano-laden sound started to become very recognized. Quickly becoming one of house music’s most popular DJs in the world, MK’s shows not only provide him the opportunity to engage with the crowd, but they also give him the chance to road-test new material. He played close to 200 shows in 2015, and 2016 looks to be just as busy. MK acknowledges that the Ibiza crowds and clubs played a big part in his resurgence. “First Storm Queen happened and the summer after was ‘My Head Is A Jungle’ and the re-release of ‘Always’. It was a hectic summer!”
Finding the time between a packed touring schedule to get in the zone to finish his album has been no easy fete. He said, even though the album is taking longer than I wanted it to, he admitted that it is hard to just turn on and turn off.“ He said he is trying to find ways to find inspiration on the road, so he can work on his laptop more. A work in progress is what he’d say.
Marc reveals that his album is a family affair, with one of the key touchstones being pop vocalist Becky Hill, who he worked with after remixing Rudimental’s ‘Powerless’ in 2014. “After delivering that remix, I told my manager: ‘PLEASE GO FIND HER!’ My A&R also helped to get us in contact. I have always been attracted to a certain kind of vocalist: melodic and soulful with a pop appeal. It’s actually harder to find than you’d think.”
With his sights set on the imminent album release, MK recently re-launched his iconic label and event brand Area10. He is currently on tour this summer with his Area10 Warm Up Sessions, including live stages at Creamfields, We Are FSTVL, dates at Together at Amnesia, V Festivals, Parklife as well as an Area10 takeover at Pacha Ibiza this summer.