UK artist @MrMelta Interview
Firstly thanks for taking time to do this exclusive interview for http://www.HipHop4Days.com. Let’s start at the beginning. How did you get into making music and when would you say your career started?
My pleasure, thanks for the interview! Well, the very first track I made was in like 2006 or something mad like that, but that was just a little thing in my mates bedroom, my first proper tracks where when I recorded ‘Meltdown Vol 1’ in 2009, which I would say was the start of my Hip Hop career. Id previously been involved in the Drum and Bass scene, and still am, but Vol 1 was the start of my Hip Hop career definatley.
From when you started to now, what do you consider to be your biggest tracks or releases?
My biggest track has been ‘Let Me Know’ off the Light Em Up E.P, with the right support and promo that could’ve been a big track, and im still considering re-releasing the e.p with proper promo behind it. My biggest release is definitely this mixtape ‘Meltdown vol 2’ as I am releasing this with Park Street PR and UK Runnings, and Tricksta is really getting behind the project, and promoting me all over the place!
How would you describe the music that you make?
Its just me really, what im feeling at the time, and who I am as a person. I like to party and have fun, but I also have a serious side, and go through the same shit that everyone else does, so I guess I make music that people can relate to, but as well as that theres the slightly cocky side, you know, the showing off with the wordplay etc, although I am generally very humble. I can’t stand egotistical people!
Have you done many collaborations, if so who have you worked with and what was your most memorable experience?
I have done a few, mostly with local artists, ive done tracks with Simbad Fresh, Slang Immaculate, Dubble G, Dillah (from B-illa), Kosh, Offcut, Zed-I, and collaborated with producers Phreaq, Mr Avocado (Dirty Dikes production alias), Super Merrio, Robott and Remulack. I think the most memorable one was doing some tracks with Simbad Fresh for his mixtapes, as this was early in my recording career, and I remember how hyped I was listening back to the tracks, me and Sim just grinning like lunatics bouncing around this tiny studio!
Hip-Hop is changing all the time. How do you feel about Hip-Hop in 2011, who are you feeling and how is the game treating you?
Im actually really loving UK Hip Hop at the moment! The free mixtape circuit is really buzzing, and its allowing a lot of artists who may not have the money for big promo campaigns to get themselves heard, and as a result, im constantly finding new artists! Right now im feeling Supar Novar massively, every mixtape I have of his is just sick, they could all be albums! Im also really rating my boy Slang Immaculate from Cambridge, who should have an album out soon, he guests on my mixtape on the track ‘That’s That’. I also recently downloaded Locksmyths mixtape ‘Urban Legend’ which is sick! The game its self is treating me well, im really surprised at the love I am getting from people in the scene, but at the same time I am feeling a little under whelmed by the support im being shown by some people in my area. Mostly its positive though, and I am receiving really good feedback and support in general!
Tell me about the label you’re with, even if it’s your own label. Tell us who is involved and how many people behind the scenes are helping you?
Well im not with a label as such, but have just started working with park street PR, and am hoping to release future projects through them. As far as behind the scenes, my boy Stirleng has been an absolutely massive help, ive used his studio to record all of Meltdown Vol 2, and hes mixed it down and everything for me. Im hoping to continue working with him, as he’s a very dedicated guy.
The music industry is changing from CD’s & Vinyl over to MP3, stores are getting closed and on-line shops are starting up. Do you think CD’s are dead or do you think it depends on the genre & artist?
Well I still like the feeling of having a hard copy, and I would definatley like to make hard copies of my future releases, it’s a good promotional tool for handing out at shows, or selling in the street and at events, and people do still want them. I think it’s the price that puts people off, like an album on CD will be £12-£15, wheras the digital release would be like £6-£8, so that’s like half price! I think a lot of artists don’t even bother with CD’s anymore, as they’re more expensive to get done, and they can reach a wider audience on line any way.
So where are you from exactly and have you ever done any local gigs?
Im from Cambridge, which isn’t really known for Hip Hop, so the scene round here isn’t great as far as Hip Hop nights and events. When the Delegates of Culture where more active around here we did have a few nights, but those have petered out now, due to a lack of support. I haven’t done any local gigs in a Hip Hop capacity, but I have performed as a Drum and Bass MC at a few local nights, Warning being the biggest. I do have a little set at a showcase event called Rap In Da Box, on 18th of August, at the Great Northern, in Cambridge. This is being put on by my boys B-iLLA, and is an excellent opportunity for local artists to showcase their talent, Supar Novar, Terra Slim, Wordsmiff and Big Dutty Deeze will be there, as well as Inja hosting and Tricksta DJing, so should be a good night!
Have you done any big gigs or played live with any big artists? If so tell us what is was like and what playing live means to you.
As I say, I haven’t done any gigs in a Hip Hop capacity really, that’s all to come, but I have MC’d at Warning (the uk’s longest running Drum and Bass event), which was kinda a big deal for me, as I used to go every time when I was younger. I had the pleasure of MCing with DJ Barrington, one of the original Warning DJ’s, which was a big deal for me, as he is one of the originators of the Cambridge DnB scene
Hip-Hop is sometime viewed as negative music and in the media often gets a raw deal. Do you think that Hip-Hop should be more positive and that artists have a responsibility to the youth?
I think it’s a balance really. The media tars us all with the same brush, and really doesn’t take the time to go below the surface and see that there is such a diverse range of music coming out of the scene. However, the ‘Road Rap’ scene could definitely be viewed as negative music, as it really is just about drugs and violence, and also that is what is becoming known as UK Rap. I think because it is controversial, it catches the medias attention, so they forget about all the positive music coming from our scene. I mean we have the Peoples Army, Akala, Rodney P, Mystro, to name just a few, who all spit positive lyrics, and I myself try to be as real as I can be, and I often speak about the dangers of glamorizing negative lifestyles. I think artists do have a responsibility to a degree, but at the end of the day, everyone is responsible for their own actions, and it’s the age old thing, there is a lot more graphic and visual violence in movies and computer games than there is in music. I think there will always be issues surrounding the content in our music, but ultimately, it is a form of expression, and that should not be censored.
Interview by Ethan Wilkinson