London-based Mellah aka Liam Ramsden is showing no sign of slowing down as he has taken 2020 by storm.
Following a string of releases, Mellah is back with 'Hitchin' an anthemic garage punk and infused indie-pop that delves into immersive new worlds.
From his infectious melodies to tackling the world as he sees through a candid approach; Vibez Music caught up with multi-instrumentalist about breaking into the music scene, life of 2020 and everything in between.
Firstly, how are you and is there anything special you are up to at the moment?
Currently, locked down at home like everyone else, nothing particularly special, going on just writing and recording a lot.
Recently you released your latest single 'Hitchin', could you give us a little more detail about how it came together and what's the meaning behind it?
I wrote it a long time ago, about 6 or 7 years ago while I was driving around Nepal on a little bike called Puj. It’s about realising that that thing you’re always looking for and feel like is missing in your life and try to fill with sensation is in your back pocket and always has been.
You started in music since the age of 14 when you were part of a band and then started writing at the age of 16 - what inspired you to pursue music?
I started playing the guitar when I was about 14 but, I started on drums at about 12, when I found out my school had a shed with a drum kit in it. Spent pretty much every lunchtime in thereafter I found that out, and before then I had always drummed and tapped on everything constantly which I still do, drums are my main instrument. I don’t think anything particular inspired me to pursue music it’s just what I seemed to do. I always thought in rhythm and still do. If I’m walking or reading or eating or cleaning everything, I do has a rhythm to it. It’s just always been like that for me so, drumming was a big release for me as it made me feel at peace. As for writing and releasing my own songs that only really started to happen after my dad died, I had a very, strong urge to make my own songs for some reason after he died.
With such a distinctive sound to your name, how would you explain your process in making a song?
I don’t really have a process as such. It’s just about getting the ball rolling, once it’s going it kind of just makes itself, feels like it’s out of my hands. But yeah, the hard bit is getting the ball rolling, or starting the initial spark. It can start with a simple rhythm idea or a chord or even just a sound I like. Some days I can spend the whole day just trying to get the initial spark, but once it’s there and the mood of it is right, the whole song builds itself usually and happens intuitively.
Throughout 2020, you have released a series of singles but, what has been your favourite so far?
That’s like asking which is my favourite child. I love them all equally and for different reasons. But it felt good to get 'Habit' out in the world as that song was extra special to me.
In the past, you have had quite the adventures from working with James Ford to building your own studio. But what has been your standout moment?
Still, the biggest highlight for me is getting messages from people saying that the music has helped them through something or given them something they otherwise wouldn’t have had if the song didn’t exist. That’s the reason I started putting out my own music as music has always been the one thing that’s helped me through the hardest, points in my life.
Based in London, what are your favourite rising stars that you think we should be listening to?
Tiña, M.T.Hadley, Barnaby Keen, Gary Lover, Jessica Winter, Pet Grotesque.
With your headline gig at London's Scala to look forward to - how much are you missing live performances and what can fans expect from the concert?
If I’m honest, the time out of preparing for live shows has actually been quite useful. I write and record mostly on my own so getting a band together and learning a whole set is quite an undertaking. Saying that I do miss the feeling when you’re all in a room sharing the same moment and emotion together, it can’t be matched, in any recording. As for what to expect, over the last year, I’ve put together pretty much an entirely new band. I just reached out to some of my favourite musicians and tried my luck and, they all responded saying they’d love to play in the band. Which I wasn’t expecting at all, so you can expect (in my opinion) some of the best musicians you’ve ever heard all performing together on one stage ha.
As 2020 is coming to an end, what has been your favourite moment so far and was there any moments you found challenging?
Are there any moments in 2020 I’ve found challenging… yes? In short. I don’t think there’s a living person on this planet who hasn’t found 2020 a challenge. I do strongly feel like things will start to move in a hopeful direction soon though. It seems like the world is such an ugly place now, but that’s only because all the ugly things have a light shone on them now. They’ve always been there just they’ve been pushed to the fringes of society or lurk in the shadows, now they’re out in the light and, we have the opportunity to change them and move toward a more open and equal society.
Finally, what plans do you have up your sleeve for 2021?
I’m currently working on a body of music that will be ready hopefully by early next year.