In this exclusive EQ Music interview, we delve into the musical influences that have shaped Melleefresh’s remarkable career in Electronic Dance music. From Studio 54’s disco era to contemporary K-Pop and innovative artists like Doja Cat; Melleefresh shares how a diverse range of genres and experiences have left their mark on her unique sound. Join us as we explore the evolution of her musical style and the exciting directions she’s eager to explore in the future.
Hello Mellefresh! How are you?
Just back from the UK, and feeling FRESH and energized.
What was your first musical experience that inspired you to pursue a career in Electronic Dance Music?
Going to the opening of Studio 54 in the late 70s, and hanging out for the next few years every weekend! Dancing to amazing underground, soulful, funky, decadent, Disco Dance tracks like CHIC’s ‘Le Freak’, Donna Summer’s ‘I Feel Love’, and Vicki Sue Robinson’s ‘Turn the Beat Around’. I loved dancing, but I also thought maybe I could sing songs like these, or write my own.
Early on, were there any artists or genres outside of Electronic Music that you found yourself exploring?
Because of my acting life, doing voices for cartoons and radio plays, performing on stage, in plays and musicals, Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers, Betty Boop, ridiculous big band music was a big passion of mine. My first record, Cartoons, with John Henry Nyenhuis, was that kind of music. And the big Busby Berkley musicals in old films, for me, this style of music, has since then turned into glitch hop swing, which I continue to make with my DJ friends The SpekrFreaks. What goes around comes around.
Now that you are collaborating and producing your own music, are there any specific artists that you find particularly influential and inspiring?
Doja Cat. Her style of mashing up old songs with hip-hop rhymes. Her latest, Paint the Town Red, sampling Dionne Warwick’s ‘Walk On By’, is very inventive and totally inspiring.
Would you say that your musical influences have evolved as your own style as a Producer and Artist has developed? If so, how?
Totally. Given the fact that we now have computers, and unlimited amounts of software, and tools that allow you to do phenomenal things with your voice, from pitch shifting to Melodyne and autotune. Stepping into a recording studio is always a new and exciting vocal adventure for me.
Have there been any live events over the years that have been particularly inspiring for you? If so, could you share with us a few?
Peaches’ live event at the O2 in the UK was an orgasmic experience. She crawled through a giant condom dressed in an outfit of multiple boobs and then proceeded to crowd surf. She’s wonderful!
Last New Years, I was in Mexico City with my friends ALIXXXIMENA (CONTROLLA.) I went with them to their gig at the Japan Club, a packed underground Techno club with fabulous she-male go-go dancers. So fun, sweaty and hot! They played my track alongside Dirty 30, ‘Your my Bitch’.
One of my more risqué adventures was attending a party under a bridge in Toronto. So random. My DJ pal Callum Magnum played at midnight. We were greeted by 1000 people, all dressed up and dancing to banging Techno Psy Trance. Callum played my tracks with Genderfluid, ‘Better Off Alone’, ‘Bitches n’ Whores’, ‘I Want you,’ ‘Be My Lover Tonight’, and ‘Love and Kisses’. People were singing along and screaming. I felt so happy to hear my tracks being played.
What are your top favourite songs currently? Do you find that these change often?
I’m loving ‘Fine Day’ by Ansifa, MKLA‘s lastest track with John Summit ‘Fade Out’, and the Ableheart track ‘Whisper’. I found him on TikTok – I love his manic energy and the song is super sexy and I love Fisher and Aatig’s new song ‘Take it Off’, specially the lyrics, so simple and memorable, and of course my favorites change on a monthly basis
What are some of your favourite artists outside of Electronic Music?
I’m loving K-Pop girl and boy bands. I find the group vibe totally fascinating and bizarre.
How do you think that your influences have shaped your sound? Do your productions have specific characteristics that directly correlate to some of your inspirations?
Everytime I collaborate with a new producer, my sound changes. Depending on what voice I use and the character that comes out in my vocal, I will get a different vibe and that usually has to do with what I’m singing about. For example, A.D.I.D.A.S., my collab with Kardano, is very soft and whispery and has a bedroom feel about it, while Candy Cane, my Xmas track from a few years back, has a Eurotrash vibe.
Are there any genres that you enjoy listening to that you have yet to experiment with in your own sound?
I’ve done a lot of different genres and styles of music, and there are many more to explore. I’d love to do Dance music with a symphonic orchestra or mash-up Punk with House, or Country and House, all done Melleefresh style.
As your style continues to evolve, do you find yourself gravitating back towards your earlier influences or are you constantly search for new inspiration?
Always. In fact, I’m putting together an album of cover songs of tracks that have influenced me or that I value, like Banarama’s ‘Venus’, Donna Summer’s ‘Love to Love You’, and INXS’ ‘Need You Tonight’. That’ll be out in 2024.
As Melleefresh’s musical journey continues to evolve, it’s clear that her passion for exploring new sounds and genres knows no bounds. For her, it’s all about finding inspiration from a rich sonic landscape of musical influences, from Disco to K-Pop, while this allows her to keep her music fresh, vibrant, and always captivating. We look forward to her upcoming exciting endeavors in the world of Electronic Dance music and beyond, as she continues to push her own boundaries and redefine her signature sound. Stay tuned for more musical adventures from this dynamic artist.