Meli-O in the mix | Hot Damn Vol. 19 Preview | 7.0
Written by DJ Nico Troi on March 3, 2018
A local upcoming artist in Portland, Oregon. Can’t say how awesome this musicians unique style is in his music. Truly an inventory of this musical era. Joshua came to Oregon from Wisconsin starting off in a duo and moving on to a solo project. In Wisconsin there wasn’t much access to CDJ’s and not a big electronic music scene. He came here looking for better horizons which I definitely see he is reaching for now with this mix.
Enjoy this completely original unique set from Meli-O.
Check him out tonight at the Whiskey Bar in Portland, Oregon for this months Hot Damn Event!
I will be doing monthly mixes featuring an artist from the Deaflife Squad! Stay tuned in to this label! You don’t want to miss out! Also check out the monthly event they run at the Whiskey Bar!
Here is the interview I did with Joshua, he has some interesting things to say abut his new music he just released!
Where are you from? Where did you grow up? Tell us a bit about yourself.
I grew up in a small town called Neenah, Wisconsin. I didn’t have a whole lot of friends growing up and was/am pretty introverted for the most part. I spent most of my time playing copious amounts of video games and fiddling around on the guitar and drums. I played in a few bands with my friends and even made a few lo-fi beats in FL Studio, but nothing ever really grabbed my full attention.
What got you into music/production?
Like I said, I played instruments growing up, but nothing ever really struck a chord with me (pun kind of intended). That is, until I attended Summer Set Music Festival with a few close friends of mine in 2013. That was my first real experience with electronic music in such a large setting. As cliché as it sounds, it changed my life forever. From that point forward, I was producing every single day because I had finally found a niche that allowed me to fully express myself without the need for a band.
What are some of your influences?
I grew up listening to a lot of metal and alternative rock, which I think you can hear in a lot of my darker tunes and most of my percussion. I also love jam bands; particularly their ability to improvise and transition seamlessly. Aside from musical influences, I try to take inspiration from my daily life and whatever I’m feeling in the moment. I think that music should be an expression of emotion and life experience. Whether it’s anger, sadness, happiness, or whatever, if your music isn’t derived from a part of you, it doesn’t sound or feel very genuine; which is something that I think people are starting to care about more and more.
What are you trying to portray in your upcoming LP Release?
My upcoming album is definitely the closest representation of my sound/self that I’ve written thus far. It’s an amalgamation of knowledge that I’ve cultivated over the past decade and ultimately my best attempt to show the world who I am and what I’m trying to say.
What do the colors mean?
While the album is color themed, the palette is a little on the darker side, as I was in a darker headspace when I wrote it. Every color is my personal interpretation and holds a direct connection to my emotions/experience at the time.
What is your number one dream for your music?
My number one dream for music is to get to a place where I can sustain a life making the music I want. I want to use my talents to bring people joy; even if it’s just for an hour at one of my shows or just a few minutes listening to my music. I don’t need to be famous or crazy rich, but would love to have a small cult-ish following that appreciates me/my sound and whatever style of music I choose to make.
What is your favorite genre if you could pick one?
It’s hard for me to pick just one, but as far as dance music goes, pretty much all halftime stuff is right in my wheel house. The space between the percussion leaves so much room for creativity/interpretation. I also find that keeping a dance floor moving with halftime material is an added challenge that keeps DJ’ing interesting for me.
What’s your favorite throwback song?
One of my favorites is Killing In The Name – Rage Against The Machine. RATM was incredibly innovative and is undoubtedly one of my biggest influences.
Do you have any advice for people new to the game?
Put in the hours! The only way to get better is to just create and experiment. Force yourself to finish your tracks and share them with the world! No tune will ever be “perfect” and you have to push yourself to release material, despite fear. Another important lesson I’m only recently learning is that you have to learn to enjoy the process. All success will feel normal eventually and there will always be more; you have to enjoy yourself along the way. Also remember that the dance music scene is prone to bubbles. Stay ahead of the curve, and don’t pay too much attention to what others are doing. Carve your own path and produce the stuff that will be popular a year from now.
What is something new you are trying as a producer?
My girlfriend recently bought me a Fender Telecaster so I’ve had a huge drive to play and incorporate guitar back into my tunes or at least use it as a production tool. No date quite yet, but I’m working on adding live guitar into my performances as well.
What sort of tools do you use for production?
I’ve been producing in FL Studio since the beginning of this journey; I’ve tried Ableton and a few other DAW’s but I just really enjoy the workflow in FL. I use my guitar, midi keyboard, and ukulele as external tools for song composition, but most of my sounds are built in VST’s like Sylenth, Serum, Nexus, etc.
What is one of your biggest fears?
One of my biggest fears is no longer being able to make good music; whether that be lack of creativity or physically losing my hearing or other ailment. This is why I do my best to use ear plugs anytime I’m at a show.
What a good tip for other producers out there?
Going along with what I just said, it’s important to understand the purpose of writer’s block. Usually when you’re not feeling creative, it means you’re drained in another part of your life or there’s something you’ve been ignoring that isn’t allowing your creative brain to flourish. Take some time to balance yourself and soak up life; you’ll return to the studio feeling rejuvenated and the writing is usually effortless.
What is one thing you love and hate about the music industry?
With the current state of the industry, I love how easy it is to share music with the world, but I also hate how saturated the market has become because of it. It has literally never been easier to make and share your art, which is amazing that so many people are now able to express themselves. On the flip side, there’s a lot of people producing uninspiring music just to be famous/rich and it’s muddying up the scene.
What should we be expecting from you in the next coming months, and What are your plans for the future?
As always, expect a pretty steady stream of music from me. I’m already working on my next EP and have plenty of remixes on the way! This will be a bit more in the future, but like I mentioned earlier, I’m working on incorporating guitar into my live performance so keep your ears peeled.
Where can we find your stuff plus hear you live?
My entire discography is on Soundcloud at the moment, but starting with this ‘Bleeding Hues’ LP, I’ll be on Spotify, iTunes, Pandora, etc. You can catch me playing all over PDX at places like Paris Theater, Whiskey Bar, etc. I’ve played a few shows in other cities/states like Salem and L.A. and would like to continue booking outside of PDX.
CHECK OUT MELI-O HERE:
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