Kelli Hand, popularly known as K-HAND, a legendary techno D.j who the Detroit City Council named “the first lady of Detroit” because of her skills within a male dominated industry as a business woman and a multimedia artist.
K-HAND who grew up in the United States, had her childhood revolving around music especially the drums. Kelli has always managed to stay ahead as a techno Dj for decades and she explains how she has always managed to stay ahead in a male dominated industry as a woman and as a Dj “Ignore the ones who should be ignored especially the ones that show little or no respect”. In an industry sparse in female counterparts, Kelli took on the pseudonym to avoid gender stereotyping, refusing to be intimidated Kelli remains unmatched, keeps busy and believing.
Kelli’s work has been celebrated plenty times, Kelli’s brand new music for Nina Kravis’s (Russia for “trip”) label and her own Acacia imprint on deck after 25years of releasing undeniable techno and house tunes that remains in demand till today. “How challenging can it get for Kelli as a DJ?”……”to stop looking at more equipment to buy when I have more than enough as it is” she had said, which means technically, she sees no challenge.
Kelli picks up interest in a different kind of music, in a move that puts her on a platform to do all herself, she had turned down Jeff Mills offer to release her first record on underground resistance saying “I want to start my own business to see how the business worked”. Kelli isn’t considered to be just any regular person, she says her life as a regular person is “Indescribable, can’t describe”.
From being the first woman to release house and techno at the start of the 90’s, she also became the first producer from Detroit to release on Warp records in’94 and then the first artist to release an album to Studio !K7, Kelli definitely had to put much hard work towards building up the status she has today, “was there a time you ever thought of giving up as a DJ?”……”Haha! Never”, Kelli is truly working towards achieving more towards her career and bringing more achievements to Detroit.
Her hometown peers kept her working as well, talk of Norma Jean Bell’s Pandemonium Label, which released the Super Natural single in 1999 along with remixes for both Bell and Sharon Jones, and a collaboration with Kenny Dixon Jr. on Bell’s Come into My Room album. When not releasing records, K-HAND continues to maintain a vigorous touring schedule. “When you are not being a DJ, what are you doing?”…….”Patronizing the “do nothing club”.
Her turn-of-the-century cut “Clap Yo Hands” found its way onto Ostgut Ton’s Panorama Bar 06 mix compilation by resident Ryan Elliott; going on to receive the best mix of 2014 by Resident Advisor and reigniting interest in her music. “DJ’s DJs” Ben Klock and Ben UFO have also minded K-HAND’s classic catalog, utilizing “Starz” and “Project 5 (Untitled B1) for their respective Fabric 66 and FabricLive 67 mix CDs, “talking about your work as a DJ, did any track you have ever made give you a hard time?”…..”No, all is just creative work, whatever happens happen, not supposed to be a hard time or I just shut down the system till next round”.
“The music business isn’t for everybody. Life processes are natural, yet simple. My life lane has amazing experiences without force, thus leads me to who I am today”- K-HAND…..”You have an amazing life experience without force” what does that mean?”……..”All is by divine order no one can stop, it’s about one’s life lane. All is my life, no one can stop what’s due”.
K-HAND has been earning a few vintage gems for herself. The first lady of Detroit as a woman and as a DJ, “What is your greatest achievement as a DJ and what is your greatest achievement as a person?”……..”All the above is achieving the status as First lady of Detroit techno City records last year. A great achievement and I am very thankful.” Kelli illustrates that one of her greatest achievements both as a DJ and a person is being the First Lady of Detroit techno City.
“It’s not final until it’s on vinyl”—K-HAND. Kelli describes her motivation to keep doing what she knows how to do best as “The little people who show no respect, the status I have received and for those who think I don’t reside in Detroit Techno City all keeps me going”. Kelli is definitely going to make them respect her someday.
“Everything has a tone. What you create in your tone will determine whether anyone will listen” —-K-HAND. Kelli is a pillar to the music industry because of the kind of achievements she has brought to her city and her achievements as a techno DJ, she’ll act as a role model for upcoming female multimedia artist who feel intimidated. “Do you, get off the internet and focus on your life and not what everyone else is doing. Also take other people’s opinion as a compliment and keep going”—Kelli Hand.
K-HAND had this to say on what fans should expect for her upcoming gig in Hong Kong. “Big Noise Big Things! I look forward. I am very excited”
Kelli Hand has worked herself from scratch to being the first lady of Detroit Techno City and to being one of the best house and techno DJs in the world. She embraces her career and her achievements and also served as a role model to the upcoming female DJs.
K-Hand will surely be giving us the best in the world of Techno beats.