Mr. K’ Alexi – “Stop Calling Me A Chicago Artist”
DJ and producer, 0ne of Chicago’s true music heroes, and with one of his earliest releases, Essence Of A Dream, being regarded a classic, he is cited by many as a pioneer of the City’s sound.
At the age of 12, K’Alexi was already moving in the right circles, befriending Frankie Knuckles and Ron Hardy, whilst frequenting the famous Warehouse Club. His 1970s and 80s Chicago upbringing meant that he was exposed to a broad range of genres and styles of music from such artists as Stevie Wonder, Prince, Curtis Mayfield, and David Huff, who would prove to be the roots of his influences.
A tally of successful hit records, remixing and collaborations resulted in his talents being sought by artists including The Pet Shop Boys, Derrick May, Angel Abi, Paul Johnson and Mr Lee. He has also worked with Larry Heard & Robert Owens, Dave Angel, Tjen Tjen, Felix Da Housecat and Will Smith.
S&S: What’s your style of music? How do you describe it?
Mr. K’ Alexi: #Klassik, that being I am past & future.
S&S: Who or what was most instrumental to you when it came to music?
Mr. K’ Alexi: CHICAGO! Time & place: mid 80’s, born and raised in the Mecca at the start of it. Chicago was paramount for who I am today.
S&S: What drives you creatively?
Mr. K’ Alexi: I think my creativeness comes from the world around me. Everyday life helps me stay creative.
S&S: How much does your audience influence you and your music selection?
Mr. K’ Alexi: I think you got that the other way around. Because of me doing what I do is why I have an audience, so that’s my influence on them.
S&S: What artists or genres do you listen to when you’re not working?
Mr. K’ Alexi: Common, Jay-Z , Nas, Kendrick Lamar, HIP HOP. When you listen to them talk in documentaries, their stories of struggle parallel ours so much.
S&S: Do you have any favorite memories of growing up with your family?
Mr. K’ Alexi: I played a party at this kid’s house when I was still in high school and it turned out to be that Loleatta Holloway was REALLY his mother. She told me she loved my set, as I closed with one of my allllll time favorites “Hit & Run.” Then after paying me, she gave me a ride home. Just when I thought it couldn’t get any better, years later she remembered me @ WMC. I miss her very much.
S&S: Is there anything you would like people to know about you?
Mr. K’ Alexi: That’s a trick question as there’s just so much. So before I go all political, I’d rather just talk about what I’m doing. People ALWAYS talk about how there’s no more good music. So I’m doing all I can with some super friends to change all that for the better with my 3 labels K Klassik /TecSoul Deep /BLACK13.
S&S: Are there any charities you are working with or excited to tell us about?
Mr. K’ Alexi: I’m just working & bridging the gap more between new & old music, working with artists as far away as Singapore, Japan, Berlin, Amsterdam, Argentina, etc. I’ve been looking for more girls that can really do the job without taking their clothes off. “SKILL” first…
S&S: Are there any questions that you wish people would ask you?
Mr. K’ Alexi: Why am I not reaching more people with way less skill than me? Why, in the top 100 DJs, is there nobody Black, like me? Why is it ok to reclassify something that we have built from the ground up just because OTHERS can’t do it? But I digress.
S&S: And on the flip side of that, are there any questions or references you wish people would stop asking or using?
Mr. K’ Alexi: Stop calling me a Chicago artist as my music is for the world. Chicago is & will always be home. Stop asking me how it feels being back when I’ve been consistently putting out music that’s never been just for right now or just for the clubs.
S&S: What artist(s) have you been the most excited to work with?
Mr. K’ Alexi: Robert Owens, Mike Dunn, Glenn Underground, Wayne Gray, Joe Smooth, Tjen Tjen, Ron Carroll , Roy Davis Jr., Maurice Joshua, Coll Selin, etc.
S&S: Are there any artists that you dream of working with on a collaboration?
Mr. K’ Alexi: Dimitri from Paris, Louie Vega, Marlin D, Dj Kawasaki, Black Coffee, Heavy K, Black Motion, Josh Milan, Joe Claussel, Larry Heard, Steve Hurley.
S&S: What can we look forward to next from you?
Mr. K’ Alexi: More great music from around the world on all 3 labels #KKlassik #TecSoul Deep #BLACK13 & another label in the family, Soul Matters.
S&S: What legacy would you like to leave?
Mr. K’ Alexi: That I gave a damn & that I made music NOT just for right now but all time.
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