Exclusive Interview With Melon

When an 8 year old kid asks for a drum machine and Atari 500 computer with the intention of starting his own band, you know his future does not lie anywhere but in music. Introducing: Jeroen Hofer aka Melon. Not your average human being. Something that becomes obvious the second he enters the room – a beaming, larger than life personality that cannot possibly be ignored. Flair and charisma have never hurt anyone in this business.

Melon is one of those rare breeds, a DJ’s DJ who has managed to gain residencies and regular bookings at some of the world’s finest clubs purely by being great at spinning records, such as Fabric, Robert Johnson or Panorama Bar. His awesome record collection, spanning three decades of dance music, is the base for a unique sound that is always a few steps ahead of the game. Timeless, muscular house in all its glory and variety which can be witnessed this Saturday at Paradiso’s new event: Paradisolo

Hi Jeroen! How are you? How’s has 2014 been treating you?  
It’s been an interesting year so far, leaving old things behind & going into new directions… So far so good!

What new releases lie ahead?
Working on a few things at the moment. A release on Tom Trago’s Voyage Direct is in the pipeline and a few remixes are on its way, like one from my own imprint’s Ratio?music for a new release by San Proper & David Olivier which also includes a remix by Jacques Renault.

Paradisolo will revolve around one DJ only during the entire night. Other than the experience, how do you think you fit in line with Michel de Hey and Steve Rachmad, the DJs for the other two editions?
As I’m an allround DJ I’m happy I’ve got some more time to explore a variety of styles. All the other artists have been around for a long time as well, and have seen styles come & go, so I think I’ll fit in perfectly!

What’s your favourite track in your record box right now and why?
That must be Moodymann – Sloppy Cosmic. The tempo, the sleaze, the sex…perfect track for the upcoming summer!

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Many of your colleagues notice crowds getting younger and younger each year. Do you notice this as well and what’s your angle on this?
It’s a logical movement. As the dance scene is getting more massive each year more people get involved, also because it’s more and more being used in all kinds of media so it’s logical it attracts more people and also younger people, they simple can’t get around it.

Which local talent do you have high expectations for?
My support DJ’s for Paradisolo Tim Hoeben & Daan Donk are DJ’s that have that X-Factor that you don’t see much with upcoming DJ’s these days. They have the right attitude & approach to music.

In a prior interview you talk about the distinction between ‘commercial’ deep house and classic deep house stemming from the early Detroit days.

Do you sometimes feel frustrated that the younger generation is now mixing these two categories up?
Not at all! It always has been a mix of styles to make the right atmosphere, so why should this be any different now? Nothing wrong with getting the best from both worlds!

Lee Van Dowski told us this week that he finds the level of care that is given to DJs is disproportionate. How do you feel about this?
I do agree. Nothing wrong with DJs making a buck but we should never forget where we’re coming from and know our place at a party. I mean it’s not only the DJ that makes the party, it’s a combination of all factors including the crowd that can make an unforgettable experience.

Who have been your greatest inspirations from the disco era that have influenced your own productions?
Next to a huge list of artists and producers (too many to mention), it must be Larry Levan and Ron Hardy that had a major influence on me. Especially because they lifted things to the next level, laying the foundation for house music to exist. They created a vibe that’s still with us today.

Can commercial and ‘underground’ go hand in hand in dance music and events, or is such a match eventually doomed to fail?
As long as we stay true to ourselves I don’t see a problem.

The ‘pop temple’ Paradiso has hosted performances from some of the world’s greatest and famous artists for over half a century. If you could go back in time and relive one of those gigs, whose would it be?
Next to legends like Isaac Hayes & Al Green it must be Grace Jones that absolutely rocked my world! A come back like this, after years of absent, is something only a true artist can do.

What’s, give or take, the biggest amount of cash you ever spent in one visit in a record shop?
Not more than a few hundred bucks but there were times that this would happen a few times a week haha.

What would you like to teach or pass on to the Paradiso crowd this Saturday?
That we’re all in this together and should have an open mind. It’s the only way to truly experience the night and the people around you!

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Melon | Tim Hoeben | Daan Donk |

May 16 | Paradisolo | Tickets | Paradiso |