Andrew Meller is a Serbian artist who is hot on the scene right now and a real fixture on many a line-up across the world. With a recent EP on Matador’s Rukus imprint “Pulling Me Apart” we spoke to him to discuss how the EP came to be, and what life is like for him right now over in Serbia…

Hey Andrew, how are you, what’s good and bad in your world right now?

Hi guys, nice to e-meet you. There are many things happening right now, mostly good. The bad one I won’t mention but it is like ying yang as always. I am really happy that this season for me started with a bang from June, I have never been busy like this. Many special gigs happened but I will mention just a few of my highlights. The one with Gavin (Matador) in full packed Barutana and the vibe was so good! Then Amnesia Ibiza and BSH events in Croatia and EXIT Festival where I did b2b with amazing Magdalena, it was a great synergy. Also to mention a release on Rukus and finally I have sorted everything for my own label which will be launched in the next month or two.

Tell us about your route into dance music and how you got to where you are?

Huh, I will try to shorten this one because it was like ‘98 or ‘99 when I had my first encounter with psychedelic trance and techno from that period. One of my brothers got me into this (it was a tape cassette period). I was only a raver until 2005. when I started playing and learning to make my own beats. It took me like 4 years of crafting before my first release. I had a few collaboration projects (REWIRE DJS, Depth Perception, Beat And Juice) before I started the Andrew Meller project. The base for me was always house music with all subgenres. The Andrew Meller project is like freedom to me. I do what I like without any boundaries. I don’t have patterns and that kind of stuff. Every track is a different story and that is also how I name the tracks. My first releases came out in 2014. but nothing special happened until I have done a rework of iconic Born Slippy. Firstly I did a bootleg for myself to play it, but when I have sent it to a few names (Nakadia, Nicole Moudaber etc) they have spread it into the word and in a period of half a year after many big names asked for a track. 2 years later I have decided to do a cover version and with big help from Kevin McKay from Glasgow Underground we did it and released it in 2018. and it hit #1 spot overall on beatport for over 50 days. Also with other releases at the end of that year I was on #3 top sellers on beatport and then some other releases came out. Later after that came releases on Saved, Toolroom, Sola etc which helped a lot to spread my sound. So basically I am a workaholic who now has 3 albums and 80 tracks on stock waiting to be released (or just played) and for me it is all about creative freedom and really hard work. Whoever makes his own music knows how many hours daily you need to spend to make an idea and that depends on mood, weather and other stuff, at least for me it’s like that.

What is life in Serbia like, is there much of a music scene?

Well from my perspective it is very chilled but also a struggle. Yeah I know I sound the opposite but you would have to see that with your own eyes everything and nothing is possible. The scene is not that big but there is a quality in sound. Here we have many great producers and DJs and also pure ravers. If you ask any name that came and played in Serbia they would like to come back because of the atmosphere, hospitality, venues, vibe etc. Also festivals like EXIT Festival and Lovefest keeps our culture on a higher level and I wanna thank them for that. I would suggest anyone who has a chance to come to Serbia and have some fun, you won’t regret it.

Have you partied or DJed since lockdown ended? How was it?

Yes, it started really strong for me. A bit shocking because at one point you are at home for too long and suddenly you are at the sold out party with people who you didn’t see for some time. A HUGE amount of energy was there at every party, never felt like that before.

Do you want things to be in anyway different after the pandemic? Smaller parties, more local DJs, more egalitarian entry prices and DJ fees?

For now as I can see nothing has changed except some prices. What I would like is to see is for clubs to work more than big parties, because in the club you educate people about new and different music. Just a bit more balance in the local scene.

How did you come to hook up with Rukus and Matador?

It happened at a gig that we did together with the Timecode crew. I was playing before Gavin and when we finished we chatted in the backstage and I didn’t know he listened to my set haha. I was surprised because usually there is not much time to listen to the DJ before. He asked me for one track, explained and I figured out it is my track that he liked, an unreleased one. So we have exchanged contacts and I sent to him that track with few others to complete EP.

Did the label give you any direction or feedback on the sounds or did you have free rein?

For “Pulling me apart” track there were no changes but for “Floating” Gavin guided me that there is some small details missing for that track and it took me some time to find it and yeah he was right about that now it is complete and a really great track.

What inspired or influenced the new EP?

“Pulling me apart” I made last year and it is connected with my biggest state of depression. We were closed then in June then opened and then shut us down on June 21. It is like rollercoaster for my brain, feelings and it definitely reflected on my music. With talk and everything that goes with that I pulled myself out of that state but there is the track that marked one period of my life. That bassline is anger and everything that goes with it.

“Floating” is totally different. I made that bassline on my phone while I was on the river and I put it away and forgot about it. So a few months later I pulled out what I have played and started working on the track. I have transferred my mind to that time and river and finished the track.

What hopes and goals do you have for the rest of the year now lockdown is over?

I hope that the governments won’t close us down during the winter. Winter by itself is depressing for me and if you add this it will not be good. It is not good for people who feed their families from this industry and for guests who need parties to relax. That is my hopes and my goals to release as much as I can and to travel as much as I can but that is related to my hopes (no lockdown). Spreading music and hanging out with people is what it is all about.

What else you working on/looking forward to?

Well I have prepared 2 full albums and the third one is in the making so I’m looking forward to releasing one album before the end of the year. Also I’m starting with my new label REWLER Records and already have 4 EP’s incoming from myself and some unknown artists and I am really excited about that.

Andrew Meller EP “Pulling Me Apart” released on RUKUS is out now

Grab it here

 

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Photo Credit – Marko Edge