Meet The Model: Melvo Baptiste
29th May 2019
Your bio states that you were born into a family of dancers and record collectors – please discuss.
My dad was a dancer on the London club scene, soul boy through & through and big record collector. Growing up, a normal Saturday night in my house involved my dad stood in the living room, selecting records and retelling stories on famous dance offs! In addition to this, my uncle, Norman Jay MBE gave me so much guidance, direction and support.
First track that took you to another place?
Inner Life – I’m Caught Up. Even until today, this brings up all kinds of emotions. This is and will forever be one of my all-time favourite songs. One of Jocelyn Browns finest moments and of course a nod to Leroy Burgess & Patrick Adams, Pioneers of the disco movement.
A DJ deck/station can look pretty intricate and intimidating – how was it for you learning the trade?
I guess I practiced a lot at home first, then got some more experience in small bars before I stepped into some of the super clubs. To be honest, once you’ve been in one, they’re pretty much all the same. Even if you ignored all of the knobs, faders, spinny things and lights, the goal remains the same; make the people dance!
What was your first or defining DJ gig/moment?
My first…Notting Hill Carnival springs to mind. The family sound system, Good Times was the largest plot at Europe’s largest street festival. For 10 years I worked the bar, then finally I was asked to play from the top of the double decker bus. I was nervous, but played well and never forgot that moment. More recently, I played the Theatre at Hi Ibiza for Glitterbox; 7000 people looking back at you is pretty intimidating, there’s no feeling like it when it all works though!
You’re now a resident for Glitterbox – introduce us to all that sparkles in this!
GB is more than a club night, it’s turned itself into a lifestyle for so many people. “A safe & happy place, leave your cares & worries at the door”. A beautifully diverse and inclusive following. Our DJ’s include legends, new & upcoming talent, alongside the elite of drags, queens, voguers and dancers the world has to offer.
What could we expect from a Glitterbox gig?
True party vibes from start to finish, anthems alongside underground energy. Expect plenty of moments throughout the night! For me, clubbing became quite one dimensional, if it wasn’t deep and underground it wasn’t cool. GB changed that; we can enjoy uplifting songs at peak time in a club environment.
Best location you’ve performed at, and any spot on your wishlist?
Ibiza still carries so much magic, it’s always so special playing out there. I played a gig in Baja California in Mexico earlier this year, at the most unbelievable resort under the stars, I have to say that stands out too! Later this year I’m DJ’ing in a cave in Europe too, so wish me luck!
How has London club culture changed during your time, and where do you see it heading?
Previously there wasn’t space in a club for a DJ who wanted to play ‘songs’, everything was deep, dark and tracky. I travel a lot, everywhere I go I see more and more kids who are thirsty simply for great music. There’s a dope movement of underground DJ’s playing African Disco, it’s so beautiful to see kids lapping this up, music that actually inspires dance and movement.
Festival season is on its way – what’s your best live music memory, and most epic story too?
Hands down, Paul Trouble Anderson at Suncebeat 2017. We sadly lost Trouble earlier this year, he is my favourite DJ of all time and this was the last time I got to see him, in good health, destroying a dance floor. RIP PTA.
Who would be on your dream line-up, even if it’s impossible/fictional?
See above, Paul Trouble Anderson, of course. Derrick Carter is up there, he is most DJ’s favourite DJ! I’d have Frankie Knuckles headlining though, the godfather!
You’ve got a slick style to match your musical mood – how would you sum it up?
Don’t make me blush 😉 I guess it depends what day you catch me on, it’s important to feel good in what you’re wearing. I if I had one word, understated would be it.
We recently invited you to Superdry on Regent Street, and loved having you for that matter. What did you pick out?
Loved every second of it too! I’ve been in my army print bomber jacket non-stop. I have some dope trucker hats that I wear for a bunch of my gigs. Also grabbed a killah grey hoody that I’m rocking a lot!
FOLLOW MELVO BAPTISTE ON INSTAGRAM HERE!