'People respect DJs in India'

Powerful words

'People respect DJs in India'

Melissa Reeves, popular known by her stage name DJ Mel, is one of the biggest female DJs to come out of the UK Electronic Dance Music (EDM) circuit.

Recalling her early days, she shares, “I’ve always been into music but while growing up, I never thought that I would be a DJ. It was just a hobby at first. A friend of mine was a DJ and I tried out his decks once. Soon after that, I sold the car that my father had bought me and bought myself a deck. I practiced every single day for a few months and then decided to take it in the clubs and make a career out of it. What I love most is that you can control an entire room as a DJ — you can make people feel happy, sad or even angry if you feel like.”

However, that kind of control isn’t always a good thing. “It’s a powerful feeling behind the console but it’s also quite nerve-racking. Once, I was playing and one of the decks turned off and everyone looked at me like it was my fault. I just smiled and said it was a technical problem. So there’s a lot of pressure as well,” she admits.

Not only is Melissa talented musically but has also been a part of the glamour industry. In fact, she has won titles like ‘Miss Teen World’ and ‘Miss Galaxy England’ in the past. However, she is trying to put the fashion days behind her. “Modelling is something I’ve been doing since I was a child. But DJing comes more naturally to me. It was hard making the transition because people don’t take you seriously,” shares Melissa.

Elaborating the challenges of being a female DJ, she says, “There’s a lot more demand for DJs these days, including female DJs. But we’re not treated as the same as our male counterparts. A lot of hard work is being put in and hopefully, we’ll be treated on a par with DJs like Tiesto someday. People think we can’t DJ because we’re wearing a dress or mini skirt. But after the set, they become nice to you. I’m building a reputation for myself so that people know that I’m a serious DJ.”

Though Melissa was born and raised in Liverpool, London is more of her home now. “I’ve only played in Liverpool twice. There are a few clubs there that are good but it’s not really the crowd I’m playing for. London has got the main party scene,” says Melissa, who enjoys listening to R ‘n’ B and classical music when she’s not behind the console. The 21-year-old has recently started dabbling with production.

Talking about her experience in the City, she says, “People respect DJs in India and appreciate their music whereas in England, they just like to dance but don’t really know your work. I’ve played all over the world but Bangalore on New Year’s Eve at Ice Bar last year was incredible. That was one of my best gigs ever.”

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