Detroit-born Marc Kinchen, known commonly as MK, is one of the rare house producers to consistently innovate as well as achieve significant commercial success throughout his lengthy career, which stretches back to the late '80s.
Initially appearing on Detroit labels such as Kevin Saunderson's KMS, he developed a highly unique style that combined the soulfulness of New York-styled garage with the energy of hard techno, as well as intensely cut-up vocal hooks. His work would prove to be a significant influence on New Jersey house deity Todd Edwards, as well as the entire U.K. garage scene. Throughout the '90s he achieved club success with several singles sung by Alana, collected on the 1993 full-length Surrender, as well as countless remixes for other artists, including the Nightcrawlers' seminal "Push the Feeling On," originally released in 1992. During the early 21st century, he worked closely with stars like Will Smith and Pitbull, then returned to house music as interest in his earlier work resurged during the early 2010s. He scored one of his biggest hits with his remix of Storm Queen's "Look Right Through," which topped the U.K. pop charts in late 2013. He then resumed releasing original tracks, scoring hits such as 2017's "17."
Kinchen's first production credit was "First Bass," as part of the group Separate Minds with Terrence Parker. The track was released on the 1989 KMS compilation Techno-1. Kinchen also recorded several singles as MK before he moved to Brooklyn in 1991, formed his own Area 10 Records, and released the single "Burning." The track became a moderate club hit, and led to remixing for the Shamen, Tom Tom Club, the B-52s, D-Influence, and, most notably, the Nightcrawlers, whose "Push the Feeling On" was transformed by his "dub of doom." Soon, Kinchen was one of the hottest figures in house music, and he signed to Charisma for an album deal. Kinchen's full-length debut was 1993's Surrender, credited to MK Featuring Alana (aka Alana Simon) and featuring the singles "Always" and "Love Changes," which became deep house club hits worldwide. Kinchen continued to remix for a motley assortment of artists -- Pet Shop Boys, Opus III, Ethyl Meatplow, Jodeci, and Brandy among them -- and recorded both as himself and 4th Measure Men.
After a lengthy retreat from house music that began in 1996 and entailed a close association with Will Smith, Kinchen easily resumed activity as a producer and remixer of club music, and as a DJ. During the early 2010s, he racked up dozens of remix credits for high-profile pop artists, including Lana Del Rey, Sky Ferreira, and Sam Smith. However, it was his remix of an underground track -- "Look Right Through," by Morgan Geist and Damon Scott's Storm Queen -- that was most successful, as it reached number one on the U.K. pop chart. Around the same time, there was renewed interest in Kinchen's early work, compiled by the Defected label's ITH division as part of its House Masters series. In 2015, Kinchen released "Bring Me to Life" (featuring singer Milly Pye) as the first single from an album he was preparing. Among the remixes was one carried out by Dantiez Saunderson -- the son of Kevin Saunderson. A second single appeared in 2016. "Piece of Me" featured Becky Hill on vocals, and the remix EP included versions by Groove Armada and the Saunderson Brothers. The 2017 single "17" topped the U.K. dance chart and reached number seven on the pop chart, becoming MK's most successful solo single. Kinchen enlisted Hill once again for the 2018 single "Back & Forth," which also featured Jonas Blue. ~ John Bush & Andy Kellman, Rovi