Live or Recorded? “Piece of Me” MK ft. Becky Hill


Live or Recorded? “Piece of Me” MK ft. Becky Hill

by Melanie Rogoff (host of Euromerica)


Hailing from Detroit, MK (Marc Kinchen) is undoubtably one of the hottest house music producers of the year. He is responsible for pioneering some of the genre’s defining sounds, and he is at it again with his new release, “Piece of Me.” featuring Becky Hill, a fantastic emerging EDM vocalist from Bewdley in the UK. Recently, Pete Tong from BBC Radio 1 in the UK hosted a live party in Los Angeles that featured both producer and vocalist performing their new tune live.

Now, I had not heard the recording at this time. Upon hearing the live version, I was immediately in love with not only the song, but also the live performance itself. Becky Hill absolutely smashed it, and she and MK performed with loads of energy and emotion. Notably, Hill did seem to struggle slightly with the higher notes, sounding a little raspy on the vocal climb, but that somehow endeared her performance much more to me. Additionally, she did some soulful vocal runs and overall sounded fantastic.

Yesterday, I came across Annie Mac from BBC Radio 1’s “Hottest Record” radio rip, which features the new MK and Becky Hill tune. When I listened through the official recording, I realized that, while a rarity in the dance industry, the live version was much better than the recording.

Yes, both the live performance and the recording feature the bouncy drums, pitched down vocals, and catchy piano riffs that are typical of good house music, but there are a few differences between the live performance and the recording. The most notable difference by far is the vocal treatment on Becky Hill.

Granted, every dance track is going to have smoothed out vocals and any slight vocal struggles will be treated with either Melodyne, AutoTune or both, but this track used way too much Melodyne and AutoTune on Hill’s voice. On the recorded track, she hits the high notes perfectly with the sacrifice of emotion, and the rest of the track, which she hits perfectly live, is treated with a noticeable amount of AutoTune. Additionally, as someone who has worked with Melodyne before, I can tell that the program was used to rearrange her vocal notes to sound like they hit every note when it was completely unnecessary. It’s a great tune, regardless of whether it’s recorded or live, but I feel that Becky Hill’s vocal tone, emotion, and strength was suppressed in favor of a smoother, struggle-free sound.

It’s a great track, but I’m definitely going to go against the grain here and say that the live version is the better one by far. What do you all think? Am I right? Am I wrong? Check out the live and recorded versions, respectively, and leave a comment with your thoughts.