REAL TALK WITH MELISSA D’LIMA

By Jessie Wilson

Congratulations on the release of your latest track ‘We Don’t Talk When We’re Sober’ on new label, UNCONFINED. What has it been like to be part of the first compilation to be released from the label? 

Thank you so much. I was really excited when I got invited. I always am whenever I get invited to any VA; I remember times when I was first starting out and dreaming of getting the chance to work alongside other artists in such ways. Also, i have really enjoyed all of the contact I have had with the people at UNCONFINED, they have been particularly lovely with me. 

The track encapsulates your style so well: fast, hard and heavy. What would you say your sound’s biggest influences are? 

My biggest influences come from Hard Techno, Industrial Techno, Melodic Techno and more recently a hint of trance. I get very inspired by the work of other artists as well. Above all my biggest influence is my own emotion, I am trying to express myself in each track, so really everything depends on how I am feeling. I am always open to new influences and I don’t like to limit myself. 

You’re such a diverse DJ and producer with a sound that spans from Industrial to Acid techno with sets that range from 155 to 165 bpm. How would you describe your sound to a new listener? 

Thank you so much. I would describe my sound as hard and industrial drums combined with emotional, almost trance like, melodies. Also of course, the high BPM is also a defining part. 

Can you give us a taste of what’s next in terms of releases? 

I have many releases to come on various VA compilations such as SINDEX, STROBERLOAD, and more. During the lock down I had nothing to do other than produce, so the result was many tracks. Also, I am looking forward to my Next solo EP which I hope will be before the end of the year. 

You’ve been really busy over the last few months releasing tracks on labels like Hardest Soft and Embuscade Recordings. You’ve also featured on some amazing podcasts for The Nacht, Phase podcast and more. How have you been able to stay so creative this year? 

Thank you. As I say, the lock down has helped massively with this as it has given me a lot of time that i would not have had otherwise. Also, on a personal level, I have been experiencing a tough time, so this has without doubt aided my creativity and my desire to express emotion through music. 

As a Jaded London resident and part of the Normative Techno Collective, how much are you missing being able to play live? 

Aw I miss it so, so much. I miss how it makes me feel. I miss connecting with the people.I miss the feeling afterwards when things have gone well. I miss everything about it. I am counting down the days until we can safely start partying again. 

As a young DJ and producer who has already made a formidable mark on some of the most formidable dancefloors around the world, what can we expect to see from Melissa D’Lima in the next 12 months? 

Over the next 12 months I really hope to get back to playing. I want to continue to engage with my residencies and the collectives that i work closely with. Also, I was just starting to play on a more international level so i really hope that can continue. Also, I have a strong desire to release on vinyl. So I will set this as my goal for the next year, to have a release on vinyl. 

Were there any challenges you faced when you first started breaking into London’s underground scene? 

I found it hard because I had not long been in the scene even as a raver. So people didn’t know me on a personal level and therefore I didn’t know that many people. They got to know me as a DJ, and then afterwards as a person. Also I guess because I’m very young, maybe people didn’t take me so seriously at the start. 

What’s been the biggest highlight of your DJ career so far? 

The biggest highlight of my career was playing in Rotte Sonne in Munich. It was absolutely amazing to see how much the people love their techno. It was insane. The passion and the energy. I had never felt it before. I could also play as hard as I wanted, without the fear that it would be too much. I felt my sound really worked there. I loved it so much. 

Where are you most looking forward to playing when live shows fire back up? 

Of course the place i am most looking forward to be back at is my beloved Jaded. I have my residency there and I was so so happy and grateful with the amount of opportunities i had been afforded there. I just love the techno community in London, so to see them all again, in Jaded, will be amazing. I can’t wait.

What is the craziest thing you have seen from behind the decks? 

I haven’t actually seen that many crazy things. It may not be crazy to some other DJ’s but for me I always find it so crazy when people chant for me to play more at the end of a set or when they hold up their phones with messages of affection. It’s really crazy to me all of the support I get. I am so grateful and I hope the people know how much it means to me.

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