DJ/producer Marc Kinchen, aka MK, aka the 4th Measure Man, has been topping charts since the early '90s with his signature vocal house tracks and remixes for artists including Betty Boo and Celine Dion. Though he is mostly known as a house producer, Kinchen has also shaped the dark sounds of New York garage, and most recently produced three tracks for Latin pop kingpin Pitbull. He recently spoke to us about the rise of the house sound in mainstream music, and playing alongside his brother, Scotti Deep. They will headline Public Works this Saturday with Todd Edwards.
What is the biggest change you've seen in house music since you started producing in the early '90s?
The biggest change is really how the actual music is made now because of technology. You can make music on your iPad now. In 2011, we have more tools to do cool complex stuff that would have been really hard to do in the '90s, and even just five or 10 years ago. The fact that kids can do this so easily in their bedrooms is a big change. Everyone is wireless. I can make a track in the studio, on the beach, or sitting in traffic in L.A. Truly anyone can do a mashup, a remix, or an original production now.
You also said that making music for you is "more just a feeling, so [you] just go for it and hopefully it ends up working." Is your production style the same as it was when you first started?
It's still the same today, but it's even easier with today's technologies because I can get it done a lot faster. It's like art in a way, except instead of seeing something in my head for a canvas, I hear the ideas in my head and try to put them down in the way that I imagined.
What do you think about house being a prominent presence in hip-hop, pop, dubstep, and almost all genres lately?
I knew it was coming. I am kind of surprised that it took this long. Everything seems to go in cycles, and it's especially true with music. I am also a true believer that things of quality and appeal never really go away. With the help of the Internet and social media, a new generation of kids and new people can rediscover old music and make it new again every day. My remix of "Push the Feeling On" was the hook and backing track for Pitbull's hit "Hotel Room Service." There is a new artist coming out of London that is using another one of my songs as the main hook for their new song called "Got Me Burning." I guess people really like the sound that I am known for.
You produce a variety of genres, including vocal house and Latin pop. Where does that versatility come from?
Most people know me as MK the house producer. But I am just a producer at heart, and I love to produce all types of music, whether it's four-on-the-floor, Latin pop, dubstep, R&B, or soul. Music is music, and if it appeals to me I am happy to jump in. I do love Latin music and reggaeton and moombahton, too.