MELON is a Dutch masked DJ and producer whose mission is to build an international brand that not only releases fun and feel-good party music, but also empowers and motivates people. Making a strong entrance, MELON takes the industry by storm, as his debut album This Is MELON, Vol. 1 (Dance) continues to climb global charts. We caught up with MELON to find out more about his latest project and plans for the future!
EDM Nations: Welcome to EDM Nations, MELON! What’s happening in your world?
MELON: Thanks for having me! Right now, I’m in the midst of the promotion of my debut album, dropping visualizers, posting and creating all kinds of content, but also, I’m dedicatedly working on new material, as the goal is to continue with the flow and not just disappear off the radar after one release.
Apart from that, in the Netherlands, we also just put the clock one hour later because of the Summer Time, so this means the “longer” days are on their way, more sunlight hours, higher temperatures over here, which all go hand in hand with outside events starting to take place again and everyone being more energetic and happy. I hope with my debut album, people can find some of their soundtracks for the upcoming summer, that would be amazing to see and hear!
EDM Nations: We’re here to talk about This Is MELON, Vol. 1 (Dance), how’s the release going so far?
MELON: The album is charting in the top 10 Billboard Dance/Electronic album chart for four consecutive weeks now, which is insane!! I’m so happy and proud of this and the entire team. Also, from the release until now, the album received over a 100 million streams. These are some serious milestones I don’t and will never take for granted and we all are absolutely on cloud nine. It’s amazing to see how the project is being received and I’m grateful for everyone who’s taken a moment to check out the songs, save them, mention the songs online and/or offline, sent messages, looked up my story, decided to follow this journey via my socials, all to become part of this insanely beautiful journey.
EDM Nations: Mapping out the album concept began when?
MELON: To take it all back to the start, the idea of MELON and being a masked artist started around four years ago. The concept was super rough back then and lots of elements were missing to properly be able to present it to the world. The team and I kept on focusing on the project and around two years ago, things started to connect and make sense. Basically, that was the moment it became possible to start thinking of an actual album concept. My vision has always been to not be just another guy with a helmet, but to be and represent something meaningful for people and make everything, including my appearance, look spectacular. Adding value is key for me, as I don’t do this for personal fame, hence me wanting to keep my identity anonymous. I want to speak to people’s imagination, while also spreading positivity, support and inspire people that sometimes things may look impossible, while it actually is possible.
Regarding the album concept, creating a big project of 51 tracks requires quite some time, patience, dedication, energy, creativity, passion and love. I couldn’t have done this all without my amazing team of collaborators and members of the Dance Fruits artist collective, as well as the Fruits Music team and their partners. I wanted to offer the listeners enough material all at once so they can choose their favorites themselves, instead of sharing it piece by piece, like some traditional releases do with single one, single two, the album. I’m happy the entire plan worked out and that it’s out there for everyone to listen to and hopefully enjoy.
EDM Nations: How tricky was selecting what records to include?
MELON: “Tricky” might not be the right word, although, I was very careful and considerate regarding which songs to include. It’s a process of checking multiple things: which songs would the fans want, which songs would be a valuable addition to the world, what sounds would fit per track, what songs would I like to do, are there songs some members of the team are really hyped about?
Also, I love to add some hidden gems within the project that either people forgot about but do recognize the minute they hear it or for people that aren’t familiar with them yet, so they get the chance to get introduced to these songs. The combination of working on covers of classic older nostalgic songs and newer hits was very interesting, exciting and refreshing. I always do my absolute best to do the original justice. Also, I’m happy to be able to say I honestly love all the 51 songs on the album, which I also think is crucial, as in my opinion it’s key to make music you fully stand behind and can be proud of.
A personal favorite is ‘Don’t You Worry Child’; the original song felt like a turning point in electronic dance music for me. The way the heartfelt and storytelling lyrics get combined with the euphoric vocals and the huge and energetic dance production is just next level. It was important for me to capture this as well and I’m really proud of the end result.
I also love myself some proper party songs, like ‘Pon de Replay’ (with Steve Void), 90s classic ‘Waiting For Tonight’ (with DMNDS), other 90s earworm ‘I Love You Always Forever’ (with Robin Tayger), festival anthem ‘L’Amour Toujours’ (with RobxDan), emotional rave banger ‘You’ve Got The Love’ (with Sleepwalkrs), ‘Tom’s Diner’ & ‘The Rhythm of the Night’ (with Rezidential); there are so many tracks I could highlight, but for every mood and occasion, there are songs on the album. ?
EDM Nations: Are you planning a series of other albums, around the same overall concept?
MELON: I don’t want to give too much information away already, but what I can say is that I enjoyed working on such a big project and am happy the fans and listeners got the chance to discover this entire project on their own way and were provided with lots of material to be able to select their own favorites out of the diverse dance sounds and tracks that are included on the album (DnB, Future Rave, UK House, Tech House, Bass House just to name a few).
On one hand, the listener gets the chance to find songs they are (un)consciously looking for and/or will probably like based on their music taste, but also, they are able to be (re)introduced to certain songs which they might have forgotten about or didn’t know at all, as well as getting in contact with new (sub)genres of (dance) music and/or new artists they weren’t familiar with before. Instead of releasing 1 single and be gone for a while, the focus was on creating a big, unique and diverse body of work that everyone can consume however, whenever and wherever they want. I hope the listeners are able to hear and feel the enthusiasm, excitement, passion and love that was put into every single song and, let me put it this way, I would love to do it over again for a new project.
EDM Nations: With This Is MELON, Vol. 1 (Dance) covering multiple genres, how would you describe its overall sound?
MELON: I’m happy you’re not asking me to summarize it in one word haha, considering it’s so diverse, yet it all is electronic dance music and during the creation, the selection of tracks, the selection of collaborators, the selection of sounds per song, I always focused on creating a body of work that is not the same sound x the amount of tracks on the project, but instead, bringing something new each time. Within the track listing, I also tried to include sorts of storylines, for example:
One track on the album is titled “Moonlight”, and as you know, the moon can be seen at nighttime, followed by “Gimme! (3X) (A Man After Midnight)“, so this time, it’s after midnight. You absolutely “can’t wait for The Weekend to begin”, as you’ll bring “SexyBack” and “Kissed A Girl” and liked it, though we all know sometimes at parties or nights out, you may do some stuff you regret later on and thus feel like you need to “Leave This Town,” possibly run up that hill and make “A Deal With God“, where it might be cold “Sweater Weather” and you come to the conclusion something might be “In The Air Tonight“, though it might be “Not So Bad” at all, and you continue with the party.
To describe the “MELON sound”, some words that directly come to mind are “Energetic” due to the uplifting and positive character of my music, “Unpredictable” because of the unique collaborations and diverse sounds, and “Disruptive”, considering my goal is to innovate and combine nostalgic and fresh sounds, followed by taking the world by storm.
EDM Nations: Lastly, are there plans to take the album on the road too, with MELON live performances?
MELON: That would be something amazing, right?! That’s on my wishlist for sure, though before doing that, I would like to continue spending some more time in the current creative flow and headspace first, as 51 tracks isn’t enough for me yet haha!
I had such an amazing time working with so many talented musicians and working on so many different projects at the same time and seeing how everything comes together and also sharing it with the entire world; it’s such an incredible feeling that I can’t properly describe. It includes feelings such as excitement (of the actual fact to share it with the world, the release preparations and actual rollout), joy (of having finished such a big and cool project, knowing it’s finally out there for people to enjoy, hopefully make them feel something, maybe even help + inspire people with the material), being proud (of the material and the entire team), also being a bit scared (to share it with the world, not being able to tweak things anymore and receive reactions that could come from anyone and anywhere), a sense of being relieved even (as an album, its creation and preparations require lots of time and patience too and it’s finally finished), so it’s such a unique mix of emotions and feelings, which I’m not done with yet. In the future, I’d love to take this / these project(s) on the road and I can’t wait to actually see people enjoying it together, all at the same place & at the same time and being in direct contact with everyone. It’s a big dream, but it’s okay to dream big; then you know what you can and still have to work towards to. Thank you for your time and this chat, I loved it and thank you all for your support so far. If you’d like to continue following and joining me on this journey, please make sure to keep an eye out and follow me on socials!