When you think about house music, you immediately think of Defected. Founded by Simon Dunmore almost two entire decades ago, the label has a rich history of house heritage running through its veins.
Now hosting a summer residency at Eden in San Antonio, Defected continues its role as the recognised leader within house music – a statement very few can disagree with.
One individual who couldn’t agree more with this is Melé. Having appeared for the globally respect brand no fewer than six times in Ibiza as well as the likes of London and Croatia, the connection between both parties has grown stronger and stronger in recent years.
However, there are a select few features which distinguish the Merseysider’s sound from what you’d typically expect from the Defected imprint. Heavily influenced by the likes of Erick Morillo and The Neptunes, the 25-year-old has always been infatuated with his tribal and Latin percussion.
Stepping up to the plate for this year’s Defected In The House two-part compilation, Melé’s efforts were recorded live detailing his obsession with deconstructing tracks as well as echoing his DJ’ing technique using multiple decks, looping percussion and piano parts over each other for a uniquely layered effect.
Equipped with an impeccable ability and flair, Melé provided us with an elevating sunset performance down for Defected at Cafe Mambo filled with plenty of infectious energy and epic rolling house moments.
We caught up with Krissy down at Cafe Mambo following his set and discussed Defected in San Antonio, his two-part compilation mix and the importance of live streams for DJs.
We’re sat here at Cafe Mambo where you’ve just performed a live stream ahead of Defected tonight. What is so special to you about Mambo and why?
It’s only the second time I have played here. You hear so much good stuff about the place. It’s a place where many artists dream to play, but that iconic sunset defines the experience for me.
Do you have any fond memories from Cafe Mambo when you were younger?
Not really to be fair. I never came to Ibiza as a punter when I was younger. I started learning to mix when I was younger so my first experiences of the island was when I was beginning to play gigs at the age of 17. I never got to experience it outside of when I was DJ’ing.
Where were the first place you started playing on the island?
It used to be places like Ibiza Rocks, a lot of places in San Antonio. That was my initial journey on the island.
How did you prepare for this sunset performance? What track did you choose to capture the sunset moment and why?
Certainly. For a sunset performance, you can’t really venture that deep. You have to play to the crowd and the environment you’re in and roll with it. It was only an hour set as well, so it is difficult to capture everything you want to play within that given time slot. It’s hard, but I just opted to play some real bangers.
What tracks did you choose to capture the sunset moment and why?
On the plane on the way over, I did an Edit of Kenny Dope’s ‘The Bomb’. It was pretty cool, I played that earlier and it was quite well received considering I only made it on the plane on the way over.
This was of course recorded as part of a live stream, an essential aspect in today’s industry. How important are live streams for you as an artist?
I’ve never really thought about it to be honest. You can reach a lot more people I suppose because social media is such a massive thing right now. Sometimes you may be playing in front of 20 people but online you are playing in front of thousands, so it is important to build it correctly. Sometimes, when I know that I am playing a live stream and more people are watching online, I approach it differently.
When it comes to playing a live stream, you have two lots of audiences – those at the venue and those online. How does this affect your preparation/track selection?
I try not to analyse it too much because when I do that, I start overthinking it. You’ve just got to go with the flow and enjoy it.
Defected has made some real waves since moving to Eden last summer, what kind of an impact do you feel it has had on San Antonio since moving here?
It’s been amazing you know, Defected is hands down the best party on the island right now in my opinion. In terms of the crowd, what you can play and get away with, everyone is just there for the music.
What do you enjoy the most about playing for Defected and why?
I think its mainly the crowd. They attend the event because they want to go for the music, it’s not a trend or a cliquey thing, people go simply because they love house music.
Speaking of Defected, you were recently approached to do the Defected In The House compilation. Tell us more about your compilation and what inspired you during the track selection process…
It actually took quite a long time to put together, maybe nine months in total. I’m pretty busy as it is in terms of all other aspects of being a DJ, it was quite difficult to fit this two hour mix in with everything else I had going on throughout this year.
I just wanted it to represent me as a DJ as much as possible and for it to be different to anything else.
What qualities of yourself do you feel the mix has captured perfectly?
I’m not your typical sort of house DJ. On the CD, I’ve included the likes of Primal Scream, the Stone Roses, there is all sorts of artists on there. It is mixed in with tribal stuff, techno stuff… I’ve made it as eclectic as possible.
When putting this compilation together, how did you balance this alongside other aspects of life as a DJ like touring and producing?
It was quite hard. At first, the initial draft I did was on a plane trip going to Mexico back in January or February. But that’s probably why it took so long to do, it is because I am constantly touring and it is difficult to find the spare time to sit down and do a mix.
Do you get much time to chill with such a constantly busy schedule on your hands?
I get bits of downtime, something I’ve started focusing on a little more recently. It’s not good for your health in the long run. I do love what I do, but it can be hard work sometimes.
Finally, what are your plans for the rest of 2018?
I’m starting up my own label, Club Bad. This is my own night which I run in Liverpool. I will be focusing more on that and building my night at home. It’s a good little party at the minute. I’ve locked in the first lot of releases for the label so that’s pretty ready to go. I want to see how it develops organically and can’t wait to see how it evolves next year.
You can listen to and purchase ‘Defected Presents Melé In The House’ here.
Photo Credit By: Sam Neill