- Words Isabelle Cassidy
DJ/producer Melle Brown on her new single, getting support from Sir Elton John, how she's gearing up for festival season, and an exclusive mix.
Fearlessly crossing genres like neo-soul, jazz and mid-tempo house alongside contemporary melodies, London based DJ/Producer Melle Brown is a rising artist to be reckoned with. Originally capturing attention with her EP ‘Intersection’, featuring the likes of Tiana Major9 and Oli Hannaford, Melle has built an impressive musical repertoire ever since.
Amongst her busy schedule, Melle is a Reprezent radio presenter, hosts Apple Music’s Creative Studios interviewing artists like Nile Rodgers and Fraser T Smith, and is one of the 10 women in production on Universal Music’s ‘She is The Music‘ programme. She’s opened for The Gorillaz, performed at major festivals, and curated her own night at Pop Brixton.
Melle’s latest release “One More Chance” is a pitch-perfect summer track ready to get you dancing in a field. With a tranquil and steady house beat, the artist has described it her “favourite blend of deep & soulful house”. Explaining how the title: “comes at a poignant time in my life and how I feel about the world around me; almost a reflection on everything that needs to be put right in humanity’s existence, giving us one more chance to share love and peace.” With her previous singles receiving praise from the likes of Elton John, Julie Adenuga and Maya Jama, this upbeat offering looks set to make waves.
Melle’s made Notion a mix ready for the summer heatwave, full of big basslines and classic samples. Dive in!
Hey Melle, congratulations on your new single, “One More Chance”! Has this track been a long time in the making?
Hey! Thanks so much, super happy it’s out in the world. This one was made randomly out of a spark of inspiration when I came across the vocal sample. It was a free and fun process, I think that’s what comes through also in the instrumentation.
“One More Chance” definitely has a summery feel ready for festival season, where do you imagine it being played?
It’s funny you say that, I have envisioned it played at festivals, I love the idea of it being played at Glastonbury, or on a beach at Defected Croatia or Suncebeat, but the place I dream of most is in Ibiza – Café Mambo specifically in someone’s sunset set… maybe one day it’ll be my set!
Who are some of your musical inspirations and did they come into play when you made this track?
Is there a track of yours that you’re most proud of, or that you’d point people to if you wanted them to understand where you’re coming from musically?
That’s a really hard question as each of my releases have touched different parts of who I am musically. I’d probably say most proud of are “Background Noise Ft. Oli Hannaford” and also “Brown Eyes (Golden) Ft. Angelina and fromLondon”, as they represent my journey not only as a producer but also as a person. Made in two polar opposites of my career, the first as the lead single of my ‘Intersection EP’, which reached heights I never expected… supported by Sir Elton John and had a Radio 1 playlist addition, and then Covid19 hit and life was turned upside down.I found it really hard to make music at that time, although the advice from outsiders was to keep momentum going, and release music, but I just had nothing left to give… and decided to just exist. “Brown Eyes (Golden)”, was the song that reminded me who I was through Angelina’s beautifully written lyrics and vocals, alongside the fun studio sessions with From London. We wanted people to be able to hear that song and bring them a new sense of confidence, a reminder that you’re ‘golden’, it also features a special recording of a conversation between my Nan and myself. I also had an incredible support team, especially in my manager Jamila; who helped me strip everything back and focus on just the music, encouraging me to step out into my developed sound after almost 2 years. For all these reasons and more I am proud of these two most!
You’ve formally worked with the likes of Tiana Major9, do you enjoy the collaborative process? And does it come into play with most of your musical output?
Yes, massive love to Tiana Major9 every time. It’s amazing to see her reaping all she deserves! I love collaboration, I work a lot with other musicians on my tracks and most enjoy creating my own melody lines and getting them replayed live in the studio. Collaboration also comes from the artists I work with, I’m constantly looking for new voices/talent to write with, it keeps things exciting!
Is there anyone you’d love to work with, or who you feel is really smashing it at the minute?
I really love P-rallel, his new project, ‘Forward’, is incredible and I love the way he fuses house elements into his music. Loie is also a new artist I love, her latest single “Hide My Feels” showcases her sublime vocals perfectly!
You were mentored by Fred again.. and Kamille as one of 10 women in production on Universal Music’s ‘She is The Music’ programme, could you tell me a bit about this experience, it must’ve been a great learning opportunity…
How do you usually go about making a track? Do you start with a particular element, or an emotion, or with an idea of what you want people to take away?
You’ve got a big summer of festivals lined up, anything you’re particularly looking forward to?
And finally, talk us through your mix for Notion, what was the inspiration behind it? How did you choose which tracks made the cut?