Interview: Melchior Sultana
If you haven’t checked out Melchior Sultana’s music yet, then we highly recommend that you check in with this Maltese producer. A true proponent of all things deep, Melchior’s tracks are a real aural sensation; the sort of harmonious, cleverly textured sultry gems that you’re unlikely to forget in a hurry.
All of this is laid bare on Melchior’s latest EP, the stunning (and aptly named) ‘Love for the Art’ EP, which arrived recently to much fanfare on his recently launched Profound Sound label. And it’s not just us who are bigging up Melchior. On the contrary, Jus Ed and Mike Grant are big fans, with both producers signing them to their respective labels, Underground Quality and Moods & Grooves. With all this in mind, we thought it a good time to check in with Melchior…
“Growing up as a child in Malta definitely impacted the way I approach music and the values I hold “
Hi Melchior, thanks for catching up with us! I wanted to start by chatting to you about Malta. What was it like as a place to grow up and what was your first introduction to music there?
Growing up as a child in Malta definitely impacted the way I approach music and the values I hold strongly. The unique atmosphere, nature and architecture and the warmth of the weather gives you a sense of beauty and happiness that is reflected in the music.
But my introduction to music came natural; I was already studying painting and arts from very early on but music made me feel I can capture a feeling I felt and make others feel the same way.
How active are you in the scene at home and is your heritage something you’re aware of when you play abroad? Are you conscious that you’re repping Malta when you’re away, for example?
In Malta, I’m mostly in the studio writing and working on music, but I do get to some gigs for very specific local organisers every now and then. I’m very aware that Malta might not be seen as exactly the ideal place for discovering new electronic music though so yes, it’s certainly is something I’m aware of.
So in terms of the scene at home, what would you say is good about it? And what’s bad?
Well there is not much of a scene, to be honest. Malta is a very small island: the good thing is that for such a small place the level of talent you see is amazing.
The bad thing is the lack of opportunity for this talent and also the lack of education and understanding from the people in charge such as the government, media etc. to realise who deserves the investments and coverage and who doesn’t.
And if we had 24 hours to spend in your home country, what would you recommend we do?
I would say stay away from the east side where it’s full of chaos and traffic and go enjoy the nature and the sea on the west side of the island.
You’ve released on some really well known labels, not least Underground Quality and Moods & Grooves. Can you tell us a bit about how you ended up signing your music to these labels?
It came to happen with the project I have with Owen Jay. During that period we where almost living in the studio working full-time on music. Owen decided to send some tracks to Jus Ed and Ed liked all the tracks and decided to do an EP on UQ. Same thing with Mike Grant for Moods & Grooves.
You’ve also recently kicked off your own imprint, Profound Sound. What’s the idea behind the label, why was now the right time to do it and what’s the vibe you’re going for with each release?
The idea behind Profound Sound is to have a home for my music and have the freedom to decide what is released regardless of genre, titles etc. To me, music is not a tool for a DJ, but an artistic expression, a feeling captured inside. That is the mission – to break these categorisations we create in our minds which limit us from seeing beauty for simply what it is.
Going back a bit, can you remember the track or album that made you want to create music of you own?
There were two very particular compilations I remember as a kid that really made me look at house music as a magical thing. One was Carl Cox’s non-stop mix CD from 2000. The other was The Miami deeper Lounge 2 cd…especially the Rasoul – ‘Let me Love You’ track. I was still super young listening to that track and it just sounded like magic.
You also play guitar and piano as well as produce electronic music. Do you think making electronic music has become too ‘easy’ with computers etc? Essentially, do you think there are too many producers out there without the proper production skills?
It will never be easy. Yes everybody has the tools now to lay sounds together, but that certain feeling comes from inside someone who is gifted is unreachable; either you have it or you don’t, This also applies in the musician’s world, where there a lot of instrument players but very few artists.
So do you have a favourite piece of kit that you use on most of your releases? And can you tell us a bit about the idea and the production process behind your latest EP?
One particular piece of kit I use a lot is the MPC. I found myself using various gear but at the end of the day I always go back to the MPC. To me it feels like an extension of the soul. Every track I do has a particular process. One might be done in an inspired moment while practising the keyboard or guitar ,and others like the track on the EP ‘Give it to the Moon’ was born while improvising during a live in Malta where the singer wrote and improvised a piece of lyrics that struck me to later meeting up in the studio and building the track from there.
What release of your own are you most proud of? What advice would you give to any young aspiring producers/DJs?
I am proud and grateful for every piece of music I wrote and also for everybody who supports what I and other soul music warriors are doing to keep it true from the heart. My advice to every musician, DJ, producer is to make music that moves you regardless of what others say. Follow your gut feeling so you can find your path and truly stand out from the rest.
What are your hopes and dreams for the year ahead in terms of your music?
My hopes and dreams is to keep studying, investing my life and growing both musically as a musician and as a man.
If you were recommending your music to someone, what three tracks would you tell them to listen to? And why?
That would be Story from the Healer EP, Give it to the Moon (Live Edit), and Things Change from my ‘Mediterran’ Album. Because all these are tracks that evoke a certain feeling in the hopes other can feel it too.
Melchior Sultana’s ‘Love for the Art’ EP is out now on Melchior’s Profound Sound label. BUY