Marc Kinchen’s touch is subtle, but it has changed the course of dance music multiple times. Born in 1972, the Detroit native got his start crafting moody, groove-heavy deep house for Kevin Saunderson’s KMS label when he was just 17. By the early ’90s, Kinchen (better known as MK) was making his mark on underground dance floors with hits like “Always” and “Love Changes,” balancing strident drum programming with punchy keys and organ bass—a signature sound that quickly found him rising in stature as the industry’s go-to remixer, racking up credits for The B-52’s, Pet Shop Boys, Céline Dion, Moby, and dozens more across pop, dance, and R&B. In the 2000s, he shifted his focus to hip-hop and made beats for Will Smith and Pitbull, but as deep house came back into vogue, a new generation of fans gravitated to MK’s early work. It was his 2013 remix for Storm Queen’s “Look Right Through”—skeletal, funky, and easily mistaken for an actual product of ’90s vintage—that marked MK’s return to dance music, followed by still more remixes (Duke Dumont, Sam Smith, Clean Bandit, and even Nile Rodgers got the MK treatment) and jubilant throwback anthems like 2016’s “Piece of Me” and 2017’s “17.” In the new material, MK gave classic piano house a state-of-the-art update, yielding a sleek, punchy sound akin to future house.
BORNAugust 3, 1972