In:Focus / Mella Dee

“It’s been a wild year,” tells Mella Dee. That’s putting it lightly. After a number of years working away in the studio the Doncaster-born DJ and producer has royally blown up in 2018. He’s compiled an Essential Mix, played to 5000 people on a beach in Ibiza, has travelled the world and has made some pretty belting tracks along the way.  

It was 2017’s ‘TECHNO DISCO TOOL’ that propelled Mella Dee to the stage he’s at today. The Sister Sledge sampling, club shaking record may be simple in its production but it most definitely soundtracked some of the finest moments of the festival circuit this year. Now, before he appears at In:Motion on NYD alongside The Black Madonna, Hunee, Jayda G and many more, we look back at the year that was with Mella Dee. Enjoy.

Has this year been weird? I know you’ve been a DJ and producer for some time, is it weird that this year has blown up? And are you enjoying it?

Yeah. It doesn’t feel weird at all because I’ve been working at it and doing it for so long anyway and it just means I get to do more gigs, better gigs, get more people playing my music, if anything it’s more fun. It’s heavy work but I’m heavy to do it.

Where are some of the bigger spots you’ve been playing this year?

Radio 1 in Ibiza. Playing to 5000 people on a beach was mad.

Do you have a favourite day to DJ? Boxing Day or NYD?

NYD’s a good party. You get all the silliness of NYE out the way where people just get smashed, then the real ravers come out on NYD, but aside from that if there’s a good Sunday party that’s where I’m at.

NYD does have a similar vibe to a really good Sunday party.

Totally. The programming is a bit different and the people who’re out are the people who would save themselves for NYD. Make a good, proper day of it.

The NYE, mad alcohol dash at 6pm, get too drunk by midnight then home for 1am. But anyway, would you say it was ‘TECHNO DISCO TOOL’ that changed a lot of things for you?

Yeah, definitely. Everyone knows my name from that tune. I was lucky in that I already had fans backing me so it’s not like I made ‘TECHNO DISCO TOOL’ and all of a sudden I’ve got nothing now. The label [Warehouse Music] is what really started it all, being able to put stuff out and not worry too much is great. What I put out is what I want to put out.

I guess you’ve already got the experiences of making music and DJing out instead of releasing a big track immediately, being placed into that world and you’re just like ‘…fuck’.

It’s like I’ve been knocking on the door for nine years then I decided to boot it in. Now I’ve taken full advantage of it, I’m making music and enjoying it.

You’ve recently recorded your Essential Mix…how do you even begin to compile a track selection for something like that?

I knew I never wanted to present it as any old DJ mix. I started getting a bunch of music together then set myself some time in the studio to do it…but I realised I didn’t set myself enough time to do it. I probably put together around 200 to 300 tracks and I didn’t even realise. It was something that I wanted to listen back to over time and not have it sound any different, like it was still relevant.

I read that you heard one of your tracks playing in a random shop recently…

Yeah. I was in Aberdeen and I walked into a shop and they were playing ‘TECHNO DISCO TOOL’. The funny thing is the guy who was in the shop at the time was like ‘the guy who’s playing this track is playing in town tonight’, I just laughed.

Is that the weirdest place you’ve heard one of your tracks?

Maybe…my mum tells me she’s heard it coming out of people’s cars and she tells people ‘that’s my son’. My mum and dad have always supported me having a proper crack at this. They’ve never wanted me to be a mardy bastard for all of my life…

Mella Dee joins us for our In:Motion NYD closing party: