Although fresh on stage, Mel Clarke aka M E L is one of the most coveted newcomers. She was also nominated for best track, best artwork and best newcomer at the Drum& Bass arena awards, so don't forget to leave your vote there. Luckily for us, we managed to catch her in a brief intrusion to find out more about the person behind the supernova launched on UKF.
Q: I already know you are from UK but tell us more about your hometown and how love for music made its presence felt.
R: I'm originally from a very small not-so-great town in a place called Kent which is in the South East of the UK, just under London. The music scene was non existent so you had to go further a field to places like London to really get some culture in you, growing up I would spend a lot of time around Camden and listening to Rock and Metal which I think explains my love for hard hitting Drum & Bass!
Q: How do you prepare your stunning Dj sets for the shows? How do you choose and combine the tracks?
R: I put a lot of time and effort into each set I do, no matter how big or small the show is. Sometimes I know exactly what track I want to start and end with and work my way from A to B or I just spend time playing around with different tracks, seeing what ones really compliment each other and create that energy and build from there. I make a conscience effort to dig deep by playing some old classics, smaller artists and 'forgotten about' tracks and to not just play what is right in front of me on a commercial Spotify playlist - I think It's important as a DJ to show your knowledge of the music you're playing.
Q: What other hobbies do you have in your free time? Also tell us your favorite color.
R: At the moment a lot of my spare time has been taken up by writing and creating tunes and ideas but when I need to take a break from all things music, I'm a bit of a nerd - I like going to quiz nights, playing video games, watching classic episodes of the Simpsons, getting stuck into a true crime documentary and listening to podcasts. I also think it's really important to keep your body and mind fit, so I make sure I go to the gym at least a few days a week. I like purple and blue.
Q: Now the question awaited is about the supernova that launched you on UKF. “Protagonist” by M E L has made some waves among DnB fans. Where came the inspiration for the melodic line and the chosen sounds? How was the road to UKF paved?
R: Ah thank you! The music I play as a DJ is very high energy so when it came to making my own music I wanted to create something that matched that same vibe. I spent a huge amount of time and patience looking for the right samples - if you start with great samples the end result Is always going to be even better.
I was experimenting with plug ins like Massive and Serum and all different wave tables and drew a lot of inspiration from 2005 - 2007 Pendulum and 2013 Loadstar. I added the '3,2,1' and the 'street fighter' style sounds in to really give it some character and make it fun, that’s when I started to envision the video game theme. I sent it to UKF, thinking I wouldn't hear anything back but they were mega keen on the track, which was wicked!
They gave me a lot of creative control when it came to artwork too which is important to me. Funnily enough a lot of other labels said no to Protagonist - so if any young producers are reading this, stick to your guns and keep going, what is right for you will fit perfectly.
Q: Can you tell us a few words behind the scene related to some new tracks you’re working on?
R: Yes! I've just finished my next track and I aim to get an EP finished before the new year. Expect big and expect bangers.
Q: If you would reincarnate in food, what would it be?
R: Hmm I think I'd have to go with a slice of Pizza or a Burger - Yum!