Cramming more than enough onto his music CV before he’s even shook off his teens is Liverpool-based DJ and producer Melé. A rising star at the forefront of the ‘intelligent grime house’ genre, Wonderland caught up with Melé to talk about his unusual collab with Sir Elton and his new single with his own hero, Kano.
How did you get into the music industry?
It was just sending tracks to my favourite DJs on Myspace and just hustling it as much as I could. It was hard being from where I grew up because no one really cared about the music I listened too.
Do you prefer to DJ or produce tracks for other DJs to play?
It’s a hard one because I enjoy DJing but i love getting in the studio all day and just playing around. There’s nothing like making a new track and it getting a good reaction when you play it out for the first time.
You were crowned as one of the ‘DJ Stars of 2012’ in Time Out magazine, alongside Maya Jane Cole. How much of your time is dedicated to your craft?
I listen to a lot of music so it just came naturally. I’m always thinking about how I can get new tracks into my sets that i have downloaded or rediscovered. Now I dedicate a lot more time to it as I’m playing somewhere every week, which is nice because it gets a lot easier to plan my sets!
How does the scene compare up north in comparison to the south?
There is definitely much more of a scene for more forward-thinking music. I recommend a night called Abandon Silence which is really special, they have had people like Julio Bashmore and James Blake play there. I don’t think people in Liverpool would have warmed to it before but it’s doing really well. When I started going to clubs it was going to nights like Circus & Chibuku, which are still going. They where the places I properly got into club music.
Your new single is a collaboration with grime king Kano. What can we expect?
I remember going to see him live as a fan so it’s still kind of a bit surreal. When I made the beat I just knew it would be perfect for him and he smashed it! It’s a big club tune, which is somewhere between a lot of the southern rap stuff I used to listen too and things like Swedish House Mafia, which is a guilty pleasure.
How did the remix for Sir Elton John come about?
We were approached by his label to do the remix which was crazy. I never thought I’d be doing something like that. It was awesome though because it was something so different for me and i really like new challenges so it was fun. I did a kind of slow throwback piano house thing on it which has been working kind of well!
You’ve also worked on a track for the new Annie Mac compilation, we hear…
I don’t know how much I can say but I just finished the track today with Terri Walker, who is such an amazing vocalist. Again, it’s kind of something different for me but it’s definitely the type of stuff I want to carry on doing.
What else are you going to be up too in 2012?
I’ve also got lots of summer festivals including Bestival and Creamfields which I’m really excited about. I’m just finishing off a new mix which I’ll be releasing soon.
Words: Shane Hawkins