After a decade of doing mashups, Scott Melker AKA The Melker Project rose to online stardom via the blogoshphere – with a crazy ass mix featuring Jay-Z and Lana Del Rey. Scott is no rookie when it comes Djing, and he has been around the world a few times blessing the crowd with some of the most creative blends known to man. Last week, we had a chance to get a few questions in whith Scott and below are the results.
What type of music were you playing before you decided to concentrate on doing Mash Ups?
For 15 years I’ve worked every kind of event that you can imagine – from concerts in stadiums to celebrity and corporate events. I literally played everything. My true loves were always classic r&B, soul, new jack swing and 90s hip-hop. That’s where my musical passion resides. Only recently did I decide to focus solely on my live remix and mashup show, “The Melker Project.”
I’m really feeling the Skeetwood Mac project. I want to know who created the sick album cover and where did the inspiration come from the create the EP?
The album art was my idea, but was executed by the mad genius Matthew Lafferty (www.matthewlafferty.com). He also composed the artwork for “The Melker Project 2,” which was remarkable. The concept for Skeetwood Mac was conceived at the Russian And Turkish Bath House in NYC during a hilarious conversation between myself and my good friend Elan Dobbs. We were literally spit firing out funny rap names, and the first that I threw out was Skeetwood Mac, which he followed up with Skeevie Tricks. From there, I realized that the concept of a Fleetwood Mac EP really made sense for me – I am a huge fan of the band, and also truly enjoy the challenge of left field remix projects… I love pairing classic songs with newer elements and making them my own – so this was right up my alley.
Who are some Dj’s that influenced your style?
The first DJ who really inspired me to learn to scratch and quick mix was DJ Jazzy Jeff. I was fortunate enough to hone my chops in the last 90s in Philadelphia, where DJs were phenomenal. From house and jungle to hip hop and turntablism, no city rivaled Philly in that era.
I saw Jeff play frequently, and was fortunate enough to DJ with him on a number of occasions. He still blows my mind. DJ AM was also a huge inspiration. He took the idea of live mashups and open format DJing to a whole new level. Playing with him really opened my eyes to the wide breadth of material that could be made accessible if put together correctly.
What is the most memorable show you have ever done?
That’s a tough question… in 2006 I toured Japan alongside Toshi Kubota, arguably the most famous artist ever in that country. I played in huge stadiums across Japan. Each and every one of those gigs was incredible. Perhaps the most memorable was on the Summer Haze Tour in 2007, at Red Rocks in Colorado. The weather was terrible, so much so that I didn’t think I would be able to set up my equipment for the show. About 10 minutes before I was supposed to go on, the skies cleared and I was able to play – for a sold out crowd. That venue is unmatched anywhere in the world, in my opinion. When I dropped Sunday Bloody Sunday, the crowd went haywire.
Why do you think the Jay-Z and Lana Del Rey mash-up was so successful.
Great timing and a lot of luck. That was really the first track that I composed that went viral via the Hype Machine, and right at a time when their technology started tracking soundcloud listens. Lana Del Rey was buzzing like crazy, and a classic Jay-Z a cappella almost always works. The combination was magic. Perhaps more importantly, I was fortunate to never receive a copyright infringement notice or cease and desist. I actually have “more popular” tracks than that one, but most of them have been removed from the internet, like my Biggie Vs. Gotye remix, which hit number 1 on hypem within 5 hours of being posted, and remained there for the entirety of it’s allotted time.
Do you really spin Vinyl?
Not anymore, no. However, I started doing live mashups nearly a decade ago, in an era where guys like Z Trip and DJ P were really pushing the envelope with vinyl – mixing a cappella and instrumental tracks live. When I first made a name for myself in that space, it was all on vinyl. I have never used a CDJ in my life… I went straight from vinyl to Serato, which is still what I use today. My show is still structured in a manner where I am playing as if it was with live vinyl, while leveraging the advantages of the newer technology. I will never give up on using 2 Technics 1200s.
What are some of the biggest changes that you have witnessed in the industry since you began 16 years ago?
The technology has made DJing accessible to the masses. When I started, there were major barriers to entry for DJs – you had to purchase expensive equipment, be able to move it around, and spend a TON of cash buying vinyl. Now every jack ass can dump their friends music library on to their computer and be a “DJ.”