Kevin McKay tells us about his debut solo album 'The Love Forever' | Soundspace

Kevin McKay tells us about his debut solo album ‘The Love Forever’

Kevin McKay Interview

Kevin McKay has undoubtably been vital ingredient in the recipe for UK house music, his Glasgow Underground label has been behind releases from Danny Howard, Jasper James, Kevin Saunderson, CamelPhat, Wally Lopez, Claptone and more.

Earlier this year seen Kevin drop his debut solo album, The Love Forever, a 12 track long player which seen him work with guys like Romanthony and Unorthodox.

We got to have a sit down with the UK veteran to discuss the albums release, where Glasgow Underground is heading and more!

Well pleased to get a moment to talk Kevin, how are things?

Really good thanks! The label is going so well this year, my own music is getting lovely reactions from DJs and on the stores and I’m getting asked to do more shows and collaborate on tracks with some brilliant producers.

You just dropped your debut long player, ‘The Love Forever’, tell us about the album?

I love making albums. Producing the Mylo album was one of the most enjoyable things I’ve done in music. I think it’s because I when I make my music, I’m always coming at it from a DJing point of view. If I’m making a club track I want it to do something special to you on the dance floor – be that making you go crazy, or feel overjoyed or hook you in to a different groove. An album is an extra special challenge to take you on a longer journey. For me that’s from warming up in a pub or pool party through to the dance floor and beyond to the after party, all in a condensed hour or so.

I approached “The Love Forever” in the same way I worked on “Destroy Rock’N’Roll” although with my own songs instead of Mylo’s. I don’t hear as much downtempo music as I did then so the tempo remains fairly up beat until the end but the energy moves from disco to house to techno and then back down through deep house to electronica. Hopefully it does what I set out for it to do!

At a dozen tracks in total, it features collaborations with Romanthony, Freeform Five, Manfred Mann and Unorthodox, did you pick these guys for the album specifically?

The Romanthony record is one we started when I was trying to help him get back on his feet when his publishing income was stopped due to a copyright claim on “One More Time”. (Daft Punk sampled Eddie John’s “Spell On You” for the backing track and although the writing %s of the song didn’t get affected, until it was sorted his income was frozen). This was back in 2007 and we were working in his studio in Asbury Park, New Jersey. Roman had the idea to do a song inspired by Cajmere’s “Percolator”. His vocal was great but we couldn’t quite come up with a beat that did it justice. I have tried a few times since then and finally managed to come up with something recently (with the help of super engineer Andy MacDougall) that I was really happy with.

Unorthodox is another producer I really admire. You might not know his name but you will certainly have danced to some of the music he has made. He has been involved in the background to some huge tracks! We met when I signed a few of his tracks to Glasgow Underground. His studio is just down the road from my flat in London and when I went down to see it we just hit it off and started on this idea.

How the Manfred Mann track came about is really cool. My ex’s Dad went to Uni with Manfred Mann’s late manager Harry Malone and so she was introduced to their albums as a kid. We were talking about samples one day and she played me the Manfred Mann album “Angel Station”. I loved the sound of the record and – in particular – the song “You are, I am”. Its been sampled before (by Kanye) but he didn’t touch the bit I liked. I started playing around with chops and found the Spaceman groove pretty quickly. I then picked some other phrases to work alongside the loop. Later that summer I was doing a studio session with Anu (Freeform Five). I’d just finished helping him on a remix of a single he did for Eskimo and we were back in his West London studio to do a collab. I played him that idea and he really liked it and helped me finish it off. It sat on my hard drive for ages because I just couldn’t see us getting the sample cleared. Recently though I was at a dinner with Harry Malone’s wife Vicky and I told her the story. She introduced me to Manfred and his manager Steve sorted the whole thing in a couple of emails. So cool to meet a veteran who was completely open to new ways of making his music work!

The album is out on your renowned Glasgow Underground, a label many people trust for quality house, techno and disco, can you tell us about what’s to come on the label in the coming months?

Ah, thanks! That’s really great to hear! Since the label’s recent Beatport success I have started to get sent the kind of cool, big records that I would play in my DJ sets but were just a wee bit out of reach for us before so there is a bunch of them coming! I still love finding new talent so it won’t be all Billy Big Time bangers and genre wise it should still be everything I like from melodic house & techno through tech house to disco.

Will we see any remixes from the album tracks?

Yes of course! I love having other people remix my tracks. There is one coming in the next few weeks from David Penn (he has remixed the Oooh Song) that I really love. He’s definitely taken my song to the next level. Another remix I love that was done recently is the house mix of “Run & Hide” that CASSIMM did. And in terms of future singles I have mixes coming from Mella Dee, Andrew Meller, Alaia & Gallo, The Deepshakerz, Demuir, Kaz James and hopefully one from Gerd Janson (although he is proving to be fairly elusive right now!)

And between being in the studio, touring as a DJ and running the label, what is your typical day to day like in 2018?

My days are really varied. I think that’s what I love most about what I do. Generally though I am doing one of these things:
Working on music, either finding samples, testing out new VSTs or actually writing songs; Shopping on Beatport & Traxsource and downloading promos to get mixes together in preparation of DJ gigs; Working on the A&R/release schedule/artwork/emails for the label releases or (worse!) VAT returns or royalties (Urggh!)

Thanks for taking some time out to chat with us, I hope the album sees the success it deserves, let’s finish up with one artist that you’re really paying attention to right now?

No worries! Thanks for having me! To be honest, I think its too hard to pick just one. There are so many great people out there and I like loads of different styles of house & techno. But off the top of my head (and not including artists on GU), here are three people I love right now; Brame & Hammo, Denis Sulta, Patrice Baumel.