+3 Interview: The MKC Experience

“Nothing beats supporting new talent.”

WHO: Angela Ishmael: Manager

WHAT: “After working with some of the music industry’s biggest names including Mark Ronson, Boy George and Florence + The Machine, MKC step back into the spotlight to bring a new, exciting and captivating show to Edinburgh after selling out in 2017. Expect a fully immersive musical adventure taking you on a rollercoaster of emotions and styles that will touch your hearts and leave you uplifted and inspired. Known for their passion, blend and soulful delivery, MKC’s slick and choreographed presentation, combined with a genuine connection to each other and the audience, make this the ultimate vocal experience.”

WHERE: theSpace @ Surgeons Hall – Grand Theatre (Venue 53) 

WHEN: 17:45 (70 min)

MORE: Click Here!

Is this your first time to Edinburgh?

Happily no!

MKC performed at Edinburgh Fringe for the first time in 2017. We didn’t have a clue what to expect then! Crazy logistics trying to get nearly 30 divas – including the lads – from South London in a tiny space at the Niddry. Try getting accommodation at Festival time for all of us in one place! Let’s say we know each other intimately now – no flinching when it comes to costume changes we just get on with it! Rehearsals leading up to the run were frantic and intense, but all so very worth it in the end. Back then, the aim was to showcase MKC’s repertoire in the form of a theatre show; we wanted to bring innovation to choir performances and get audiences to really feel our passion for music. It worked. We created a real buzz, far exceeding our expectations and sold out – achieving Laurel Status if you please – all of our shows after the first day. The performance highlighted years of MKC’s harmony perfection in the form of creator and MD Mike King’s incredible arrangements.

Just how incredible? Enough for Boy George and a 150 strong NHS choir to move millions of people in a tribute to David Bowie on Channel 4’s Stand Up to Cancer Show, performing Mike’s arrangement of “Starman”. We had audiences cry when we sang it at the Niddry too. And we know we’ve gotcha when you cry! One thing that frightened the life out of us was the sea of flyers to wade through on the Mile alone! We didn’t realise how crucial this was to getting bums on seats! The Mercat Stage really helped to boost our seat sales; but we’ve now perfected the sort of flash-mobbing. Don’t be surprised if we pop up while you’re eating your curry!

What’s the biggest thing to have happened to you since Festivals ’18?

For us, the last 2 years have been about building on the success of our sell-out Space @ the Niddry shows in 2017. It was so gratifying to know that people out there really enjoyed our Experience and wanted more. We’ve performed extended versions of the show at the Cockpit Theatre, Greenwich Theatre and went a touch further north to the Maltings Arts Theatre in St Albans! We’re working on taking the show UK wide, however, that’s going to take some serious money, so fundraising will be the way forward for us. Anyone interested? We had a breath-taking experience shooting a video with Boy George and Culture Club. Popular with all MKC fans is our live concerts, and we continue to perform at clubs in the South East, Pizza Express in Holborn being a great place for us to get our groove on. We’ve supported other famed artists in the past (Angelique Kidjo, Florence Welsh) but nothing beats supporting new talent and we’ve recorded with a few stars that have amazing futures ahead of them. Preparing for this year’s festival has for us been a top priority, learning new songs and new moves for a more powerful MKC Experience.

Tell us about your show.

The show’s concept was created entirely by Mike King, with production support from all of MKC’s members, especially Zoe James who quite frankly is a genius at getting us to move anywhere in time! As a vocalist, it’s always a pleasure to be able to realise your MD’s vision, but with Mike, it’s an absolute privilege. We’ve had 8 years of being able to sing some of the most complex harmonies that only his talent can create. Very lucky. If you want to see a traditional, 4-row choir with choral sheets and robes, don’t come and see us! We’re not your typical choir – that’s why we call ourselves a vocal collective. MKC is not a Community choir either; as much as we have fun and enjoy singing we are semi-professional vocalists that can bust a tune! Everyone could give Adele and ‪Ed Sheeran‬ a run for their money – we just love to do it together.

We’ve got new songs this year, mixed with some MKC solids. It’s the mix of songs with the sassy movements that will grab your attention. Bling and ass shaking is part of the norm for MKC (so is the rum punch and pizza wind down after the event, but more about that another time…) and we certainly aren’t afraid to shake them! This year, we’re not holding back on letting you hear the voices; more soloists backed with dynamic harmonies will give you an Earth-shattering vibe that takes you to a great place. And the choice of songs will surprise you; where are you going to hear West End Theatre mixed with London Grammar in one set? Different, but only MKC can pull it off. There is a seriously strong Legends tribute medley at the end of the show. Come see to find out who…

What makes us unique is our family feel; we’ve been through so many experiences as a collective (and because there is so many of us there isn’t much left that we can’t handle…..) look out for the special encore at the end that epitomises this….

What should your audience see at the festivals after they’ve seen your show?

The good thing about asking a collective what we should go and see is the vast amount of suggestions. The challenge when you ask a collective what we should go and see is the vast amount of suggestions! We’ve tried to narrow it down to our top 3, and of course, the music shows won hands down!

There have been rave reviews from MKC members about Eva Cassidy‬: The Story, theSpace@the Symposium Hall. An emotional journey highlighting the brief life of a woman with an inspirational voice. Reflects a lot of what we stand for in our music. A whole bunch of MKC are going to see Havana After Dark @ Pleasance, EICC; the Cuban salsa mood will keep us energised for the rest of our run! And a few very fortunate MKCers caught the Aretha Franklin Story (also at theSpace@the Symposium Hall). Almost all of the female vocalists in MKC use Aretha as an inspiration to get in touch with their inner divas! Awesome legend. Tickets for this weekend have already sold out, so don’t miss it next week!