K69’s debut release on Toolbox House was released on 13th November exclusively at Beatport and was an instant hit, entering the Funky/Groove/Jackin’ Chart in less than 24 hours and soon creeping up into the top 25. Still sitting high the chart, “Get Loose” is an old school influenced house anthem that we love here at Toolbox HQ. So we thought it was time to throw some questions to the man behind K69… Kevin Mac
01: Welcome to Toolbox K69. Let’s kick off with a brief intro into K69 please. Who is K69?
There was much deliberation with Reza over an artist’s name and I had a pad with hundreds of ideas on. The brainwave came driving home on the M6 K is for Kevin. 69 year of birth. Just don’t look in the urban dictionary where it means something completely different lol.
02: Your new release “Get Loose” on Toolbox House is currently riding high in the Beatport Funky/Groove/Jackin’ Chart – your first release on the label. The track has an obvious old school influence and fits with original sound of Toolbox. How did the track end up on the label and was it made for Toolbox?
I knew that some of the guys on the label liked my style including yourself so that track was specifically made with Toolbox in mind. It was a gamble to be fair having had no previous releases on the label but I felt it could give a different dynamic. Currently day at No.23 I’m more than happy. Since coming across Freaks don’t sleep if kept tabs on the label. I’m hoping this will be first of many.
03: The K69 discography is an A to Z of house music across a number of decades. Your sound has a very obvious influence from across a spectrum of house. Can you tell us about the main underlying influence behind the K69 sound?
I’ve been DJing now for close on 3 decades and in that time played many different genres. The halcyon years of clubbing / events for me were 88-93/94. I didn’t go Semi pro until 95 and I tend to seek influences from pre that era. I build the tracks as I can make them relevant to today’s Dance-Floors whilst kerpongvthe old skoolers on board. 3 years ago when I stated producing again I was shocked at how flat and boring music was.do the idea was to put a smile back on people’s faces. My style was snarled at back then but here we are 3 years later and you you have the likes of Calvin Harris, Alan Fitzpatrick and dusky all reaching into to 90’s for influential sounds.
04: You have released tracks on quite a heavy number of credible household record labels over the years. Do you think it is important for artists to build a profile across a catalogue of labels?
It actually started as a new years resolution to release 1 track and get it signed. I never expected it to chart but it scraped into the low end of the chart. That was on a Zulu records compilation. I was instantly hooked. The network I’d build on social media helped be get tracks under the noses of decision makers so back then I sent tracks mainly to Vamos, Poolside, Dirty music, Electroscene and 23 records. But I got on with Gary Hoxton Dedman very well from Whore House. He took a gamble on my style when other big labels wouldn’t give me a sideways glance. He believed in me and my style and it paid off as every Whore House K69 release charted. He also gave me so real good advice about expectations so apart from a couple of South American labels all my tracks went to Whore House. I did however notice other artists on multiple labels. I tend to slightly different styles to different labels. I have tried to build my own castle with Sublime Recordings and went in deep and list 12k in 2 years. I believe in go big or go home and paying for mail-outs, boosts, marketing, websites on top of day job was just too much. So Sublime has 2 releases to go and it will close. Music has never been about money. Even a running club night any profits were reinvested to improve the clubbers experience.
05: With clubs closed for the foreseeable – do you think this will have an impact on the direction of dance music and how people and society will feel about clubbing and dance music in the future?
Massively, I believe the 3rd coming of rave is on the way. People will want to let loose to uplifting pumping music and have fun. I see tech house and minimal drifting off. It’s already started happening the A Lister Tech House DJs drifting into underground house or Techno.
06: On a day off K69 will be doing…
As my day job has a lot of emotional pressure I tend to binge watch box sets. If I’m not doing that I’m doing guest mixes for radio stations or jamming on Ableton looking for the next K69 banger.
07: What piece of equipment could you not live with out when making a tune?
With everything being software based apart from my midi keyboard I’d have to say my pc.
08: The best club in the world is……
Tough one this in the past it would be space. In the current I tend to stick to u underground raves that play old and new.
09: 2020 is almost over… can you give us a sneak peak into K69’s 2021?
Every year I set myself a few goals as I’m a very enthusiastic and motivated guy. My belief is success comes from the learnings of many little failures. I’ve already got 8 releases backed up including Sublime – The essential collection” 64 tracks from emerging and established artist. I’m going to wind down and go back to my old hobby of photography. Music wise will depend on vaccines but I’d love to get behind the decks at a club or festival.
10: Finally, if you could collaborate on a project in 2021 with 3 other artists, who would they be and why?
I’ve already agreed a Collab with Nomadic, I’ve just finished 2 with Mr Jay and another 2 in the pipeline.probably more collabs with Dancing Divaz as they do extremely well. Collabs I find difficult as I have a distinctive sound which I don’t like diluted. I’d also love to remix freaks don’t sleep.
“Get Loose” is out now at Beatport exclusively to download or can be found to stream on all major platforms