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Alicia Keys enlists Kenyan producer in new album

July 5th, 2016 2 min read

A Kenyan DJ and record producer has produced one of the three official remixes for US artist’s Alicia Keys’ newly released hit single “In Common“.

DJ Xpect, whose real name is Peter Kerre, was enlisted by Sony/RCA records and the multi-platinum artiste in late June.

The New York-based DJ beat out three other producers in a landslide after a Twitter poll was put up by Alicia’s husband Swizz Beatz over the weekend asking fans to vote on the best remix.

One of the DJ/producers he beat was South Africa’s Black Coffee who was the last to be added to the production.

On Friday, Ms Keys released the three remix albums including the one featuring Xpect this past weekend and is now available on iTunes.

DJ Xpect

The four and a half minute production has a heavy mix of electronic and African percussion instruments.

“I have always wanted to do my own unique sound different from Afro-beat and Afro-house”, Xpect told the Daily Nation.

The music business has not been without its ups and down for Xpect.


The Harvard University extension school student, who is majoring in Visual Arts, quit his job as a cyber security analyst with a Wall Street firm to concentrate on music.

He, however, found the going tough had a hard time getting an audience for his afro-electric sound.

He said he tried to secure invitations to perform during festivals across the US but was constantly rejected because not many people were familiar with his beats.

He eventually got a break in March this year when he landed an invitation to the South by Southwest (SXSW) festival in Austin, Texas, which is held annually.

Cosmic Homies O.N.E, a Kenyan group, was also present at the festival. The group includes two former members of the now defunct Camp Mulla group.

DJ Xpect with Fat Joe. PHOTO | COURTESY
DJ Xpect with Fat Joe. PHOTO | COURTESY

Though now his music was doing much better, he was not sure how long he could sustain it without a big break.

“I was really wondering whether it was going to work out after going through a tough stretch,” Xpect admitted. “Sony records came calling just in the nick of time.”

Xpect says that he made a remix of the “In Common” single on the day it was released in May. He posted it online and that was how Sony records found it and reached out to him.

He has also done remixes of America artist Fat Joe’s “All the way up” and Designers “Panda” hit song. In 2015, he released a remix of Sauti Sol’s “Sura Yako”.