by E.P Pirt, Jr.
There comes a time in every DJ’s life when you hit a crossroads. For some, it’s when you finally realize the only gigs you’re still ever getting are your boy’s lame house parties and the occasional depressing wedding….and you’re about to turn 52. But hey, you only YOLO once or whatever. But for others, it’s a moment of clarity. It could be the moment you figure out how to turn that track into a #1 hit. Or when you realize you probably shouldn’t have passed up that job with Google cause you were “pursuing your dreams”. In some cases, it’s when you realize that it’s simply time to switch up your sound.
The latter isn’t unheard of. Skream is probably the best example. As one of the founding fathers of real dubstep back in the day, nobody ever envisioned that one day he’d switch to house music (as if we need any more house DJs…or any DJs for that matter). Now one of Denver’s own, Collin McKenna aka McFeelit, is flipping the script. “Sometimes ya just gotta follow your heart, you know? Ya gotta just go with what you FEEL. Tech house, deep house, and all that other shit that I don’t even know what to call anymore was fun for a while, but I truly FEEL like trop house is the future. It’s calling me. It’s time to turn in my XXL black tee for some neon green 80’s swim trunks.”
Some may have thought that trop house already got the short life that it deserved, but McKenna disagrees. “People just weren’t ready for it, man. They thought they were, but they weren’t. And it crashed and burned. But I think now, listeners’ tastes have finally evolved to a point where they’re ready to really FEEL IT. You know? And I’m gonna help them FEEL IT. Literally and figuratively.”
What exactly McKenna means by “FEELING IT”, and why he demanded that I capitalize it every time when writing this, who the fuck knows. But one thing’s for sure – the man is driven. He’s built a reputation around town as one of Denver’s most talented DJs and tastemakers by catering more to the “underground” crowd, which must mean one of two things: a more mainstream and “basic bitch” genre like trop house will come easy to a real DJ such as McKenna, and he may very well be on the verge of a life of glitz, glamour, and cake-chucking. Or, it means he’s completely lost it and is about to wrap a plastic bag over the head of a once-promising career. Time will tell.
Reaction to the news has been mixed. Close friends and some fans have sent him messages of support, while a couple of promoters have already guaranteed that they will never book him again. Afterhours Anonymous founder, Colin Chmielewski, had this to say: “He’s out of his goddam gourd. He was on the right path. Now the only path he’s following is Thomas Jack’s sloppy seconds. I hope that asshole likes pineapples.”
But McKenna refuses to be swayed. “You know, a lot of people thought Einstein was crazy. With that hair and shit. But who got the last laugh? Einstein, bitch. Now people appreciate him every time they turn on a lightbulb. One day people will appreciate what Kygo has done for the scene, and hopefully they’ll appreciate what I’m about to do for it too. Kygo was just a man before his time…kinda like Van Gogh. Yea, Kygo is basically the Van Gogh of dance music. There, I said it.”
Aside from trop house “calling him”, he confessed that he was also sick of the pressure that comes along with being hip and respected within the “cool kids” cliques in house and techno circles. “Yea, the pressure’s a big thing too. When you’re playing dark clubs and warehouse parties, you’re just supposed to be so cool and act like you don’t give a shit about anything except for the latest Green Velvet release. But maybe I just wanna go to the beach and let my hair down…lay down some sick wood flutes and steel drum tracks, ya know? Oh and ranch. Eat all the ranch I want.”
What’s unclear is the approach that McKenna plans to take. When I asked him if he plans to use the formula already laid out by his newfound heroes, Thomas Jack and Kygo, or completely re-invent the sound, all he could say was “Who knows? We’ll see what works. All I know is I’m gonna send it. And when you send it, you’re naturally gonna slap it. When that happens, you’re bound to whip it, and then the only thing left to do is FEEL IT. Know what I mean?”
Uhhh….sure. After our interview, McKenna sent over the following promotional video that “really encapsulates what the new McFeelit is all about”, and insisted we include with this piece. After much convincing, our editor finally agreed to let us use it. Parental guidance suggested.
ELCO’s ‘Spoiler Room’ is satire. It’s our attempt at humor. Almost nothing in the “spoiler room” is real, factual, or meant to be taken seriously. Think The Onion, but for electronic music and not nearly as well-written or funny.
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