HSH_INTERVIEW: Melé [Defected / Edible]

The high-octane, energetic and euphoric sounds of Melé have propelled him quickly through the ranks of the underground music scene. Inspired by his love of Brazilian beats, transatlantic hip hop and classic house music, his tracks are becoming instantly recognisable in clubs across the world and have garnered him prolific support from some of the industry’s biggest names, from Eats Everything and Jackmaster to Annie Mac, Pete Tong and Disclosure.

> For the people reading this who haven’t heard your music before, how would you describe your style, and the key elements that define it?

It’s a mixture of so many things, because as a DJ and a music fan my record collection is so all over the place. I suppose my sound is essentially just percussive House, with elements of world music, hip hop and techno in places. I try not to define it to much as I like to keep it exciting for everyone and me as well.

> Your most recent release was the huge track “Atlantic” on Eats Everything’s label “Edible’ - how did that collaboration come about and will you be working more with him and the label?

I told Eats maybe 2 years ago now about some of the records I was making, and he was really keen to hear them and just said “If they’re good enough I’ll put them out” So I signed 2 tracks called Scouse Afrika & Sleepless initially then Atlantic came about and he was battering it for the whole of last summer. Definitely will be working with him more, he’s the best.

> You have released on some huge labels, such as Defected, Snatch! and Turbo Recordings. Do you think there has been a key moment, gig, or release, that has been the turning point in your career so far?

I think the Scouse Afrika release on Edible was a big one for me. It wasn’t a massive massive tune, but it kind of gave me a lot of confidence that the records I was making around that time were good, especially I was going through a little bit of a style change at the time. People really responded well to that first EP on Edible, so I’d have to say that. Gig wise I played a 4 hour set at Elrow in Barcelona in December on the terrace and it was unbelievable, I can’t even describe how good it felt. Definitely one of my career highlights.

> Could you talk us through your creative process and list any specific equipment used to bring sounds to life?

I use a lot of hardware synths. For whatever reason I can’t get used to VST synths and I just don’t use them when I make tracks. The main pieces of equipment I use are the Korg Monopoly, the Roland SH-09, Korg MS20, Roland TR8 all going through Ableton Live which I love. I also have a lot of records in my studio. I will just sample loops maybe from old Brazilian record for example. And I have a lot acapella records that I can just kind of DJ on top of the track I’m making to see what fits.

> Could you give some advice or words of wisdom to any aspiring producers who would look to your music for inspiration?

I always just say to people be individual as possible, and be obsessed with the work you do. It can be the hardest and slowest route, sometimes the temptation is there just to make a record that sounds like everybody else, but you need to find your sound and know who you are as an artist. Just be really confident and go for it. I think if you’re an artist, you’ll always make mistakes along the way, as it does take a while to figure out what you want to be, but if you’re true to yourself you will definitely get there.

> You are about to throw your own party, Melé presents Club Bad with Jasper James - can you tell us a little more about this.. What is the concept behind your parties and is there a music policy?

It really just started as a place where I could get together with all my friends and listen to music. It still is that really, but I just wanted to start my own party in the city I first ever played, and is still my favourite place to play. It’s all just about good vibes and amazing DJ’s that are similar to the vibe that I’m on. I can’t wait to grow the party more and more over the next few years, I’m loving doing it.

> You can check out the event details HERE

> How is the vibe & the crowd in Liverpool, in comparison to cities in Europe and across the world?

It’s the best. I grew up over the water on the Wirral so my first clubbing experiences where always coming over to Liverpool and going nights like Chibuku, Cream and Circus. I think them nights were what made me really want to be a DJ. The vibe is always incredible and I hope people coming to my night can have the same experiences i did a few years back.

> What can people expect from you when they come to one of your gigs?

Hopefully just a lot of energy. I love playing so much, it’s my favourite thing to do and always will be, so I do end up getting quite weird when I play sometimes. I hate looking at photos the next day of the way I’ve been dancing or something.

> What is in the pipeline release wise; do you have any big projects you are currently working on?

I’m just about to release a three track EP on DJ Haus’s label Unknown To The Unknown, with remixes from Bontan and DJ Boring. I’m really happy with it as I’ve been playing the tracks for quite a while and it’s going to be nice to get them out there. Other than that, I’ve been working on a DJ compilation which is going to be coming out in the summer which I’m really excited about.

> Thanks for taking the time to speak with us today, we like to finish our interviews with a couple of questions that are a little bit light hearted… without getting too personal, could you tell us something most people won’t know about you?

I’ll probably get slated for this, but I’ve never drank a cup of tea or coffee in my entire life.

> You don’t need to mention names, but what’s the most “outrageous” thing you have ever seen in a club… was it something outrageously brilliant, like a blindfolded DJ mixing seamlessly and scratching with their elbows, or something outrageously cringe-worthy, like some embarrassing drunken raver urinating on the dance floor?

I was playing at one of them ski resort festivals a few years back, and the club I was playing in was kind of like the worst club in your town but on top of a mountain. Anyway half way through my set two people just decided to get completely naked, taking off everything but their wooly hats. It was fucking strange.

> You can find Melé on Beatport HERE and Soundcloud HERE

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