DJ MARKSKI

Real Name: Marek Kalinowski. Former B96 radio DJ (1996 - 2003). Legendary B96 mixmaster known for Euro & Trance style mixes - the first of their kind for the time period. Has since completely removed himself from the music scene and focuses on his car modding business.

I came from Poland in the late 1970s with my family. A couple years later, as a young student at Gordon Tech high school, I remember watching Julian Jumpin’ Perez and Bad Boy Bill mixing at the school’ parties. I never thought back then that 10 years later I’d be mixing on B96.

I was a diligent student and a pretty good soccer player. I went to Marquette University for two years before transferring to Loyola University. In one of my accounting classes, I met a girl who worked for the school’ radio station — ENERGY 88.7 FM. She introduced me to some key people at the station, and less then a year later we started the Powerpack — a group of five DJs, each with a different musical style, mixing on the radio station — just like we do now at B96. At the time, I was mixing what we called techno — songs from groups like 2 UnLimited, the " James Brown Is Dead" song, Speedracer, etc.

The year was 1992, and back in Europe, there was the birth what we now call Euro — not to say that Euro did not exist before 1992. What I mean is that this was the year when European groups like Captain Hollywood Project, Real McCoy, Haddaway, and 2 Unlimited made it BIG in the US. They paved the way for groups such as Spice Girls, Backstreet Boys, Fun Factory, Vengaboys, etc. I saw what was going on over in Europe and realized that it was just a matter of time before Euro music crossed over to the radio stations in this country, so I made a Euro mix for the first time to be played on the station. That night, the radio DJ called me and said that he could not keep up with all the phone calls — the listeners loved it. From this moment on, I never stopped playing Euro.

I graduated from Loyola University in 1993, and oh, no — I wasn’t a music major — on the contrary, I was an accounting geek. Later that year, something just hit me. I got up early one morning, called my friend Peter, and told him that we were going to open up an Euro music store. He thought that I was crazy. On October 8, 1994, we opened one of two retail music stores called Markski CDs ∓ Tapes.

Throughout high school and college, I was mixing at most of the Polish nightclubs in Chicago — that is where I got my DJ experience. Then sometime in the summer of 1995, I received the call… I started mixing on B96 on January 1, 1996. I couldn’t believe it – and, as a matter of fact, it took me another year to realize what had happened. When I first got to college, I thought I was going to be a physical therapist and t hen an accountant. To my surprise, I ended up being a DJ on the biggest radio station in the country, B96.

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