interview-mele

Interview: Melé

Published On 15/11/2017 | Interviews

From age 13, Melé’s interest in electronic music has resulted in euphoric, high-octane dance music inspired by his love of Brazilian beats, trans-atlantic hip hop and classic house music.

In 2015, his tribal anthem ‘Ambience’ kick started his status as one of the new names to watch, which ultimately garnered support from the likes of Eats Everything, Patrick Topping, Tiga, Jackmaster, Annie Mac, Pete Tong, and Disclosure.

Now, with a new release, “Atlantic” on edible, a regular mix series, Manor Rhythms, and a new Liverpool residency, Melé is a name rapidly on the ascent at home and around the world. what better tie to catch up for a chat, wouldn’t you say…

“It’s definitely more of an independent way of doing things, which works for me.”

Your new EP ‘Atlantic’ comes out on 3 November via Eats Everything’s Edible imprint. What was the first element of what would become this package that occurred to you?
Well the main influence for the track was early Basement Jaxx, and the releases on their label Atlantic Jaxx (hence the name Atlantic) and also Armand Van Helden, that kind of mid to late 90’s London influenced tribal garage sound. I made it as a track to play at all of the festivals over the Summer. I didn’t send it to Eats straight away but as soon as I did he loved it.

How do you find the creative atmosphere with Eats and Edible? Do you feel like it is collaborative, independent, or something else entirely?
I send Eats a lot of the music I make, and I’m a big fan of him as a DJ so I know what records will fit Edible and what won’t. It’s definitely more of an independent way of doing things, which works for me.

What would you say the ultimate piece of equipment/technology used on this release is?
Definitely the Korg Monopoly. All the weird sound fx are done with this synth, the baseline too. It’s the most diverse synth I’ve ever had, I use it on pretty much everything. Also, Ableton Live which I sequence all my records in. For someone like me who likes to get ideas down quick and not over think tracks it’s perfect. I think the idea for Atlantic started on my laptop whilst I was sitting on the couch watching TV. Then I just took it into my studio and finished it off.

How do you split your time between gigging and studio time? Is this something that you pay particular attention to or are you more of a anything goes kind of person? What about the concept of the mobile studio, do you find yourself Producing a lot while in transit?
I do like to try and get into the studio as much as I can, but it can be hard after a long weekend gigging because sometimes the last thing I want to do is listen to music really loud. Forcing the creation process is never good, I just end up getting frustrated and a writers block that has lasted a few days could turn into a few months. I do like being in the studio though, listening to records, finding cool samples etc. Just because you haven’t made a track doesn’t necessary mean it’s time wasted. I can’t really make music on planes or trains. A lot of the stuff I make is made using outboard so it makes it quite difficult. I can do edits or maybe get little ideas down but never anything more than that really. I prefer being in a studio where I have speakers.

You will also kick off your Liverpool residency Melé presents Club Bad at the end of November. Tell us a bit about the concept?
Well I’ve had a night running in Liverpool for the past two years or so, and I really just started it as a place where me and my friends could hang out, drink and listen to music to be honest. But with Club Bad I wanted to step the levels up really, have more of a “look” to the night, have it very colourful and just fun party music. I invite my favourite DJ’s along to play with me and resident Andrew Hill. For the launch party in a few weeks i have DJ Haus which is going to be sick.

Why is Buyers Club the right venue for this night?
Well I used to do my nights in a small basement of a pub called the Shipping Forecast, which could fit around 200 people at a push. But Buyers Club has everything that is great about them small clubs but with just a slightly bigger capacity. It’s quite a long room with a high ceiling but still feels very intimate. It’s always such a great vibe in there.

How do you gauge Liverpool’s current nightlife landscape? What are its strengths? What do you see needs improvement?
I think Liverpool nightlife is the best it’s ever been to be honest, certainly since I started going out. When I first started clubbing when I was 16/17, there was only really Circus & Chibuku, which where great and are still going strong, but now there seems to be so many small nights too with all different types of electronic music. I think it’s in a really good place.

In the remaining two months of 2017, what have you considered to be the highlight of your year, and what do you hope to accomplish in the upcoming year?
There has been a lot as this year has been such a crazy year for me. Elrow Barcelona back in April is one that sticks out, I’ve since done a lot of parties for them guys and will be doing a lot more in 2018 which I’m really excited about. Just really want to step it up next year, more releases, hopefully get over to America and play to people I haven’t played in front of. Just to be able to do this job is pretty amazing so hopefully it continues for a long time.

“Atlantic” is now available on Edible BUY

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About The Author

Steve comes to Amsterdam by way of Brooklyn, Connecticut, Mumbai, and Tokyo. He researches media culture at UvA, while already holding degrees from UCONN (CT) and The New School (NYC). Aside from DHA, Steve is the Senior Editor for cinema platform IndieNYC.com, and writes on issues relating to film, culture, politics & electronic music. Every so often he also dabbles in photography and filmmaking.