Most people would start out this interview talking about youre history with some prestigious labels and collaborations with all kinds of artist, but most people can Wikipedia all that.. So where are you now? Where is Mr. K’ Alexi Shelby now?
As for my mind I’m in a space where I am trying to be present and grateful. I feel especially lucky to have grown up in the time I grew up in with the super friends I have had then & now.. Chicago will ALWAYS be home & I still have a home there but when in overseas most of my time is spent in Berlin.
You’ve been around, recently in Latin America, living in Berlin, where do you want to be next?
I’d like to be back home in Chicago flying from there as my number one base but as to where I’d like to go to or go back & play I’d say I would like to go back to see & play more parts of Latin America & Asia.
How can you describe to us the feeling of a travelling DJ? Airports, different cities, different shows all within days. Do you still love it? Has age slowed you down a bit?
It’s overwhelming still after all these years but to have the love & respect of the people & have then enjoy plus see my hard work knowing that when things come together the right way then its just #KKlassik Magic.
What have been some of your favorite gigs recently? What have been some of your favorite stops recently?
Chicago, Copenhagen, Berlin, Latin America, Japan, France, Amsterdam, Belgium…
The Merriam-Webster definition of musician is: a composer, conductor, or performer of music. Which do you see yourself leaning towards? Have there been changes to your musical process? Something youre paying more attention to now that you weren’t before?
The joy of creation is unbelievable it’s just such a pure moment of me & the music. I would say that I am definitely a performer at heart but have been focusing a lot of my time, heart and soul composing and producing for commercial licensing.
A lot of people have been putting labels on artists recently, “old school” “new school” “legend/hero” – Do you feel some of this is pure hype? Do you consider yourself a “Legend”? After so many years in the scene some people do feel themselves entitled to call themselves legends of house or legends of techno. What do you think about that?
In my eye’s that’s for the fans to determine, cause let’s face it how much of a “Legend or Hero” could you be if you’re the only one saying it??? I do as I always have let my work speak for me…
Label or no label, you have been around long enough to see things and styles grow, change, evolve, sometimes for better and sometimes for worse. What has gotten your attention lately? A group of artists? A new label? What makes you prick up your ears and say “hey this is pretty cool”
I love the sound coming outta Africa & more than happy it’s getting the shine it should. I’m also happy to see this be NOT so much of a boys club, so yes let MORE ladies in that can get the job done on SKILL & NOT ASS.
Tell us about your musical process, when you were first beginning until now. How did you start your first track? How would you start a new track now?
It’s almost the same but with way more software I start with the feeling of something in my mind I’ve seen or heard & let it fly from there. All my music comes from within, it has so much to do with my emotion.
What’s your ideal booth set up? What about a studio set up?
I’m a bit tall so I’d love nothing more than NOT breaking my back playing on a kids set up. Monitors must be left & right cause it seems some have forgotten where my ears are, I’m playing more with flash drives so 3 Pioneer CDJ’s, as for the mixer I’m open…
Ps I LOVE playing eye level as it makes for a better connection with me & the people…
Technology has definitely changed everything from the dj booth to the production studio. You’ve been around to see this happen plenty of times. Where do you see the music headings towards now? A lot of young producers are now able to create music where decades ago they couldn’t, do you take advantage of this new technology as well or have you maintained a more analog process?
Way too much music by numbers happening. It seems with all this preset shit & ready made loops it just seems wayyyyyyyyyy too lazy so I’d love seeing more real craft and feeling come back & LESS of entire genres sounding or trying to sound the same…
Can you tell us about some of your current or future projects? We have seen you promoting a music video called “Day One”, Tell us more about that.
The music video I am working on is about a song I wrote a few years ago called Day One. It’s about my journey into house music and how once I first was initiated into the genre it was over. The video itself is being directed by John Campbell, an American director living in Prague. I was introduced to him by my business architect/manager Catherine Hudon. She’s an integrated brand guru in the ad world and she’s been helping me create a strategy for my brands. The video itself is about the artist’s submission into something larger than them. The best way for me to describe it is scifi baroque. Think Eyes Wide Shut meets Dune. Hopefully we’ll be in pre-production soon.
Other labels are BLACK13 a harder sound of what we feel techno is lost soul and rhythm so we do are best to bring it all back.
TecSoul Deep – Powerful yet smooth mix of what’s also missing from techno the essence of soul with the music styles that are more then a dance floor hit.
Smoke Sessions team:
Andres Zevallos – Juan Pablo Boyadjian – Nahuel Lodi – Soledad Martinez
Interview by Juan Pablo Boyadjian & Soledad Martinez – in collaboration with Cuckooo Booking/Beautiful Techno – Nina Borra Candioti
Soundcloud – https://soundcloud.com/mr-k-alexi
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/pages/Mr-KAlexi-Shelby/124360304297972