New York native, Kareem Clarke, has been a musician for most of his life. He got started in music at age 13 by growing his music chops in church and through private lessons. Most of his musical knowledge at the time came from teaching himself by ear. Kareem always had an interest in DJing, but didn’t pursue it until college. He attended Lafayette College where he studied engineering with a concentration in construction management. During his college days, Kareem DJ’d almost every party the school had for three years. After school, he moved back to New York and got a job in real estate and continued to DJ on the side. Kareem decided he wanted to be more immersed in music so he bought Ableton, quit his job, and moved to Valencia, Spain to study music at Berklee College of Music. Kareem spent two years in Valencia and got two Master’s Degrees; one in Music Business and one in Music Production Technology and Innovation. While he was in Valencia, he made a name for himself as a DJ by holding residencies and playing many gigs.
Along with teaching at Mmmmaven, Kareem is currently a professor at Berklee College of Music in Boston and runs his own record label called Digital Den Records.
There are a couple of aliases that Kareem has used throughout his musical career. kTunes is his DJ name and Tony Clarke is his producer name. I asked him to tell me the story behind both of these names and here’s what he had to say:
When I started spinning, I went with the name DJ kTunes because I wanted to play all kinds of music you could find in your iTunes (or want in your iTunes after hearing me). As a producer I decided to have a different name, Tony Clarke which is my middle name and was my dads name. I really just go by Tony Clarke now.
As a DJ, Kareem plays mostly open format sets ranging from hip hop to house to edm and more. His biggest influence as a DJ is A-trak. When it comes to producing, Kareem primarily produces house and dance music, but he is venturing out into the hip hop and pop realm as of recently. His biggest producer influences are Deadmau5, Detroit Swindle, Kaytranada and Nacho Marco
I consider Nacho a mentor, he released my first single with my trio Decatree.