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K’ Alexi also known as Mr. K’ Alexi Shelby is an American DJ, producer and composer from Chicago, IL. He is regarded as one of Chicago ‘s founding fathers of Chicago House music and is considered one of the key instrumental pioneers in the genre. Since the late 1980s, he has helped pioneer the true house sound that has led him to a House production career that has spanned over 20 years. This led to collaborations with artists ranging from The Pet Shop Boys to Derrick May, Larry Heard, Robert Owens, and Felix da Housecat to Will Smith, as well as gigs across the globe.
As a teen in the mid 80’s, K’ Alexi developed friendships with Frankie Knuckles and Ron Hardy while frequenting venues like The Warehouse and The Music Box. At this fledgling stage of dance music culture, there were no rules or precedents. K’ Alexi’s earliest musical influences were steeped within a rich musical heritage such as Stevie Wonder, Prince, Curtis Mayfield and David Huff. These roots continue to influence his music to this day.
It was under the moniker Risque III that “Essence Of A Dream” was released in 1987. This song established the name K’ Alexi amongst the ranks of some of the most prominent of all house producers at the time. These early tracks with rumbling dark bass, smooth strings, incredible percussion, spoken word poetic and erotic lyrical flow is the trademark for classic Chicago house, and has helped set standard for everything else that has followed.
This initial success led K’ Alexi to work with the leading names across the electronic music world and beyond. Collaborations and remixes for Chicago peers like Mike Dunn, Mr. Lee and Marshall Jefferson served as the springboard for Alexi to work with the best in the electronic scene, from Derrick May to Roy Davis Jr., Paul Johnson, Ron Trent, Dave Angel to Felix ad House Kat. These collaborations resulted in his to music to be sought after by the likes of The Pet Shop Boys and Will Smith.
His tracks have appeared on compilations by artists such as Laurent Garnier to DJ Hell, who used “It’s Me,” 2010 contribution to the Body Language series for Get Physical Music. Produced under the Club M.C.M. moniker, the 1991 EP “It’s Me/Club M.C.M” has been a frequent selection for compilations for the past 20 years, and is rightly respected as a true underground techno classic.