With the ‘Ruff Cut’ EP dropping on September 10, it’s a good time to catch up with Mella Dee. He also produces as half of the hyped bassline/garage duo Mista Men, but saves the more experimental side of his sound for the solo project. Watch out for the Mella Dee EP on Forefront Recordings next week, and be sure to grab ‘Bashy’ below the interview.
- Hi, can you please introduce yourself to our readers and say a bit about what you do besides making music and DJing?
I’m Mella Dee – 1 half of the Mista Men, From Doncaster in South Yorkshire. Well I work fitting roller shutters, nothing glamourous. Aside from that spending time with my girlfriend and skating outside of music sums it up like.
- How does your solo material compare to what you make as Mista Men? Would you say Mista Men is more fitting of the Sheffield bassline scene perhaps?
Yeah that’s part of it, I try to make sure the solo stuff and Mista Men work doesn’t get confused. Mella Dee stuff is basically a bit of whatever I feel like making at any given time, there’s no exact set idea of what sound I want to have, just make music I enjoy making!
- Can you give us a few artists from that scene that we should be keeping an eye on?
Bassline wise, the standard guys like DJ Q and TS7 are still doing big stuff. Newer names gotta be Checan, he’s a don at that sound. Outside of Bassline vibes though, Squarehead is the top boy for me right now, he’s got some serious fire and we are just finishing up a collaboration EP.
- Do you do much DJing as Mella Dee? If so, does your solo DJ-ing style differ from yours as Mista Men too?
Have done lots around Leeds before, but there’s a large focus on Mista Men sets recently, hopefully will be more Mella Dee sets after some more releases etc. Possibly tend to stick more to the garage/ 4×4 sound on Mista Men sets, so i guess main thing is with a Mella Dee set i’ll chuck anything in there, house, garage, bassline, grime whatever works.
- Favourite few releases of the year so far?
South London Ordnance – ‘Sanctuary’/'Roofy’ thats got to be in there, such a banging release. DJ Q – ‘Dibby Dibby Sound’ aswell, perfect example of how good bassline can be.
- Your next release, ‘The Ruffcut EP,’ is out in August. What was the idea behind it, and why is Forefront Records a suitable label?
I just wanted to try something different with those tracks. I’d never tried going down to 115 BPM on a track, so was interesting to play with that. The speed gave me space to try some different stuff, i wanted to add influences from faster sounds, like bassline, grime etc in there, jungle kind of percussion, just see how it all worked, hence the ‘Ruff Cut’ title. And in regards to Forefront, just knowing Rich and sending him stuff, he really thought it was something that could work, and I was more than happy to run with him as the stuff he’d been putting out was top notch!
- A quick word on ‘Bashy,’ your Get Some Introducing exclusive.
Not much to say about exactly, its on the same vibe as the Forefront EP, its one that i was really happy with, trying to bring that rough, bit harsher vibe to a house template. And adding in the sample from the Ghetto Vs Bashy clash, just to make sure it had that edge to it.
- Finally, please complete the following sentence: Get Some…
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