October 1st, I attended Urban Development’s All Dayer Industry Take Over. As I sat in the audience listening and feeling empowered by the Powered By Girls I Rate panel, I came out of the seminar with a new lease to life, ready to tackle my own goals head-on. The panel included inspirational talks from powerful women from across the UK music industry.
I was particularly inspired and touched by Melody Kane’s story, the path she chose against all odds, the choices she made, her work ethic and her story on how she became a successful DJ. Today she is a successful global DJ in a very male dominated industry, and she is winning! Which makes me extremely happy! I had to get her thoughts and opinions on a few things, to both encourage and inspire the youth of today.
Growing up, what was life like? Life struggles before the success? (To give our audience a real perspective of what it takes to be successful)
Like most kids of mixed parentage, there were ups & downs. I grew up in a pretty white neighbourhood, so came across all the usual stupid racism. I never really understood why people treated me & my brother differently. So I think we both turned to music for escapism. He’s a few years older than me & was a proper B-Boy, so I grew up listening to 90’s Hip Hop & Reggae. My love for music seemed to overtake everything else & I found it a great way to block out all the negativities around me, so as soon as I was old enough, I went to my first rave, which was a UKG party with EZ DJing…….that was a definite turning point in my life, I knew this is what I wanted to be.
What kept you going through your toughest times? (still managing to build your platform and succeed)
It sounds a bit cheesy, but I never tried to focus on the tough times. I have a ‘half full’ personality and never been afraid of hard work. So I just stayed focused on the positive elements & soon all the negative parts started to become easier. I still work like this today. I’m a massive believer in Karma, and that if you put the work in, you’ll get the results.
As a successful female global DJ, In the beginning of your career what was the reception like towards you from other DJ’s towards? (In such a Male dominated field)
First thing I did, was to start DJing publicly when I was ready. And not just when I thought I was ready. I would ask established DJ’s to watch me and give me honest feedback about my skills. When my peers said I was ready, that gave me the confidence to start to play out. When I first started playing, I used to get the comment ‘She’s a good DJ for a Girl’ a lot……..and to be honest, although it bugged me, I took this as a challenge. So I kept practicing and worked on my performance as well as technical ability. I haven’t heard that comment for a few years now & that makes me happy.
Do you have any advice for someone trying to get into the music industry? (challenges to expect)
The music business is a big bad intense industry full of amazing highs and terrible lows. The best advice I would give, would be to firstly, be amazing at what you do & listen to the advice of your peers. If you can’t take constructive criticism this is not the industry for you. Secondly, surround yourself with a good team that you trust & want to see you grow. And thirdly, if you’re not prepared to grind harder than you ever had, then don’t even bother trying to get in the business. It all looks exciting and glamourous, but I can assure everyone, that behind each gig, tour or even each Insta pic, there’s a team working hard to make it look like that.
Are you inspired by the current UK Urban music scene?
I’ve been playing homegrown music for years, so I love how now it’s crept into the mainstream. I can finally see some of my industry friends grown to the full potential that I always knew they had. I think it’s awesome how artists don’t have to stick to specific genres in the UK, in my opinion it’s what makes our music the best in the world. So I welcome all the collaborations, remixes etc. I love how the world is watching us.
What has been the most innovative way you have received music?
It’s fun when you’re at a festival and you get given a USB stick with music on – I don’t get many CD’s any more, I do kind of miss that. A private link to your own listening party is pretty dope. I went to a pre-release album launch party of a major artist & we all listened to the music via the ‘Silent Disco’ set up – that was sick.
How do you feel about the current climate of music in the UK?
Like I said before, I’m very proud that the UK street scene is getting mad love right now, and I think that we produce some of the best dance music in the world. We have huge artists like Adele running things internationally and the UK’s Festivals are amazing. I feel blessed to be part of this movement.
We appreciate Melody for taking time out of her busy schedule to talk to us, which included a trip to the USA doing her thing as the Extraordinary DJ she is.