10 Questions with Mella Dee, As He Releases His New EP ‘Whistle Posse Spangled in the Corner’
No one can light up a club quite like Mella Dee can. Seriously. If you’ve not been in the crowd as he flicks between fist-pumping Mariah Carey edits and classic mid-noughts club classics by the likes of T2 or H Two O without so much as breaking a sweat, check your pulse, because you certainly haven’t lived yet.
The Doncaster-helming DJ has been spinning the greatest underground tunes since he was just 18 years old, bringing a heady mix of jungle, hardcore, garage, dubstep and old school bassline to warehouses and raves across the country. Having shot to prominence off the back of the ultimate festival tune, “Techno Disco Tool”, back in 2017, Dee has since become a staple of the UK music scene and a favourite of university freshers and club veterans alike.
Joining us for 10 questions today, we delve into the artist’s latest EP, an ode to the resurgence of UK rave culture that taps into its pinger-fuelled origins whilst also mapping out its future. No doubt filling a huge void left by lockdown’s anti-club legislature, a year out on the sub’s bench encouraged the DJ to turn back the clock and immerse himself in the dancefloors of the ’80s and ’90s.
The resultant mix looks to an experimental soundscape that fuses strung out breakbeats, squelchy acid house and the stirring emotions of trance, all whilst boasting hopeful titles like “Ethereal Chugger” and “A Little Longer”. Might it be the DJ’s most personal work yet? We’ll leave it down to him to answer that one. But as long as you can dance AND cry to it, you’re surely on to a winner.
1. Hello Mella Dee – we’ve missed you on the dancefloor! What have you been up to this past year?
“Writing new music, painting a bit and moving home and studio, generally keeping as busy as possible.”
2. How did you initially get into DJing?
“Basically some friends had turntables and that sparked my interest into actually doing it myself once I realised it was possible. It was the love of music that spurred me on to get my own and see what happened.”
3. Proudest career milestone?
“I think it’s all just one big milestone in a way, I was happy enough the first time someone showed love to a piece of music I’d written so everything on top of that has just been a huge bonus and a buzz. Starting my own label ‘Warehouse Music’ and being able to take control of releasing my records.”
4. If you could play the wedding of anyone, dead or alive, who would it be?
“All of my friends’ weddings, I’ve done it a couple of times already and it’s a buzz. Creating a proper party to celebrate the love of your friends will never grow old, peoples’ grandparents kicking off to some rowdy tunes and that. Love it.”
5. Give us your three best rammers that always get the crowd going?
“Techno Disco Tool”, I’m going with that from the start, it’s my track and it still kicks off. T2 – “Heartbroken”, should actually be the national anthem, never fails. Mariah Carey – “Fantasy (Def Club Mix)”, an insane remix of a Mariah classic, there’s a point after a break down section what seems to make people lose their minds.”
6. What’s been your favourite moment of post-pandemic bliss so far?
“Probably the Fabric Opening weekend, I danced for 8 hours straight. It was a huge reminder of everything we’d missed and how important time spent in clubs actually is to me.”
7. How would you say Doncaster, and the North as an extension of that, has influenced your sound?
“My sound is designed to be fun and for dancing, you wanna go out and lose yourself on a weekend after a week of work and that’s the energy you get up north. I think that’s probably one of biggest things about growing up in Doncaster, people like things a bit more direct and to the point because no one wants to waste their time out on a weekend after grafting all week waiting for the music to kick in.”
8. If you built your own club, what are five things you’d be sure to put inside?
“A bad boy sound system, a proper low end rattler one. One light so that the DJ can see what they’re doing. Security that know what the crack is. A serious drinks menu, proper cocktails and that. Somewhere comfortable for a sit down because it’s 100 percent going to be open all weekend so you’ll wanna take the weight off for a minute at some point.”
9. Give us a sentence on the last decade of clubbing…
“Big, bad and heavy.”
10. …and what about the next decade?
“Big, bad and heavier.”
Photography by Ewan Spencer. Mella Dee’s ‘Whistle Posse Spangled in the Corner‘ EP is available on all platforms now.