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DJ MK on Pitbull, peeves and publishing rights

The American producer will be in town on Friday night for DXBeach

Image Credit: Supplied

DJ Marc Kinchen takes the stage in Dubai this Friday with Fat Boy Slim and Benny Benassi for the DXBeach music festival at Zero Gravity.

Kinchen, aka DJ MK, is a frequent Will Smith collaborator, and the mastermind behind the ’90s remix of Nightcrawler’s Push the Feeling On — which, two decades later, became the basis for Pitbull’s Hotel Room Service. He tells tabloid! how he feels about the song — and why he never made any money off it.


You come from a hip-hop and R&B background. How does that influence your sets today?

Actually, I come from a new wave, hip-hop, house and R&B background. I grew up in Detroit so it was bound to happen that I would be inspired by everything ranging from Depeche Mode, New Order, to Jay Z and Biggie Small to Marshall Jefferson, Mr. Fingers, Frankie Knuckles to Mary J. Blige, Jodeci and Michael Jackson. All of it has an influence on my sets and also on the music I make.


How old were you when you first began DJing — and how old are you now?

I only started DJing around seven years ago, I was a total studio rat before that. Sometimes I feel like I am 15, other times after some of the brutal travel, I feel like I am 110. But, if I remember correctly, I am in my fourth decade now.


Do you remember making any rookie mistakes when you were first starting out?

No, I don’t actually — not because I didn’t make them, I was just so nervous that it just seems like a blank now. I can’t remember …. I blocked it out.


Your remix for Push the Feeling On took on a life of its own. Why do you think it found the wide audience that it did?

Well, I don’t know if I can answer that since I don’t have the answer, but I can tell you the original was completely different and I wrote the new track and people just started loving it.


How do you feel about Hotel Room Service?

Pitbull and I became friends because of that song and that is how he found me. He thought I owned the publishing to it and that I was being unreasonable with the deal that The Nightcrawlers were demanding. The truth is that the Nightcrawlers never gave me any of the publishing and trust me, we did ask and kept asking, they never shared any of their profits with me, but I made a new friend in Pitbull and he is a really great guy.


What draws you to a song and makes you want to remix it?

The vocals. It’s always the vocals, they have to inspire me or I can’t do the song.


Who’s a contemporary musician you’d still like to work with?

Sia is really the first that comes to mind.


What’s your pet peeve as a DJ?

Table height. I am 6’5 and we always ask for the table to be around 42 inches and sometimes people don’t measure the table that we request on the rider so we have to figure out how to get it higher between soundcheck and the show.


What’s next for you?

I just finished my remix of the Phantogram single and I am getting ready to release my next single with A.M.E., My Love 4 You. I am also working on finishing up my album, I have a song I am working on with Rufus Du Sol, and I have one with Idris Elba coming soon as well.


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*Tickets to DXBeach are Dh275-400 on