Kice, a DJ and producer based out of Chicago, has performed at some of the most popular festivals andnightclubs around the globe. More notably, he has distinguished himself by teaming up with top tierinstrumentalists in his famous DJ featuring live music sets.
Born in Chicago, Kice spent his early life in Amman, Jordan, and developed a passion for musicthroughout his childhood. He moved back to Chicago at the age of 15, where he earned a reputation forhis beatboxing skills. It wasn’t long until he learned how to mix and realized he could translate his love formusic onto the turntables. He developed a philosophy that drives his ongoing love of music today: Thatmusic expresses what cannot be said, and yet is the universal language of the world.
Kice emerged on the DJ scene in 2007, with his first major set at Bon V Nightclub Chicago. For more than a decade, he enjoyed immense popularity as he performed at high profile venues. Over the years, hedeveloped a reputation for skillfully reading his audience, innovatively integrating all genres of music,attracting crowds, and most importantly, bringing energy to any venue.Using the impeccable knowledge and skills he gained from the music industry, Kice went on to found Treblemonsters, a unique artist management and music consulting agency that services both top-tierglobal talent and venues across the USA. Clients include international names in the nightlife, hospitality,and corporate worlds.
As Treble Squad, he has also gained acclaim as a touring act integrating his original music and Treblemonsters artists Violin Girl (Violin) & MGabriel (Saxophone), with sets at Burning Man, NorthernNights Music Festival, Hard Rock, Sound-Bar Nightclub, PRYSM Nightclub, and many other notablevenues.
When did you decide music was for you?
I never really decided music was for me. For as long as I can remember I was always a fan of music. As a kid, I always listened to cassettes and the Radio and knew all the songs and their artists. From playing the piano and tablah to DJ-ing, and more recently heavy producing, I feel like it is engrained in me.
How is your sound evolving? What artists and genres do you enjoy mixing right now?
I grew up on hip-hop and it will always have a special place in my heart. But after playing clubs for many years I made the shift halfway through that (2014) to almost fully big room, house, and club sounds. MK, Gorgon City, Sonny Fodera, are just a couple that I love listening to and playing out their tunes.
How do you feel that your musical influences or impacts your listeners?
I think the Middle Eastern elements infused with house music have been around for a long time, but I think the style and different genres put together in my productions are something people raise an eyebrow to.
What projects are you working on right now? What can you tell us about your last job?
Pusher was a little different for me. A little too dark and deep. I was sitting on that one for a while and then to see artists like John Summit, Fisher, Dom Dolla, Chris Lorenzo, Chris Lake, Sidepiece, succeed within a similar genre - it inspired me to finish the track. I wanted something deeper and darker for an after-hours vibe.
Where are you and what have you been doing now?
Residing in Chicago, USA – managing Treblemonsters my company, DJ-ing in the USA and Mexico, touring with my band Treble Squad, and trying to stay producing as much as possible.
Has that sound changed a lot in recent years? What are your musical criteria?
Oh yeah, growing up on hip-hop, DJ-ing it, then moving into the club scene and going more towards House, really delayed my production elements. However, it also gained me an open mind and knowledge between the hip-hop, middle eastern, and house cultures.
Do you feel safe now to play a more experimental sound?
I thrive on this!
We all know that the digital revolution has affected sales, but has it affected creativity?
To a certain extent. Sometimes we see a lot more than we want to which could make us believe we are not doing enough and chase the wrong thing. Instead of us basing our sound on our ears we are basing it on others’ successes. It could be a good thing to stay inspired but I see it also hindering original creativity.
Can you tell us what your present and future projects are?
Music-wise, I have a ton of house tracks that I am sitting on but my next two songs will be a Middle Eastern vocalist (Arabic) over an electronic dance track. The other one is experimental house with a Middle Eastern instrument (the Oud). I am excited about these two because they truly balance my house ear and middle eastern ear closer than I ever thought I would.