Ever since Melanie was young, she knew she was destined for a life with an endless soundtrack and DJing was the fruition of a lifelong love affair with music.
Ultra-Mel started DJing professionally in 2009 and she has been serving up dessert to dance floors ever since. She began with private parties and was soon offered a residency at Gin in Greenside. All the while refining what worked to get people dancing, she could be seen playing at Town Hall and was a regular feature at the gritty underground club in Braamfontein known as Kitcheners. There she played alongside the likes of Andrew the DJ and Felix Laband.
With her ability to mix genres and eras she was soon a known name on the wedding circuit and also appeared at various corporate functions (FNB, PG Bison, Magna Carta, Steinhoff, Cartier etc.) and many private functions. She has become a preferred supplier for Katy’s Palace Bar and Sir James van der Merwe in Kramerville and can be spotted behind the decks at the jam packed open bar events. A major career highlight was playing to over 1400 white clad revelers at Johannesburg’s first Diner en Blanc (an exclusive international event), appearing after Flash Republic. She had the honour of being asked to play at the second Diner en Blanc event in 2014 to a crowd of 2000 people.
Mel started at the very bottom rung of the entertainment ladder and worked her way up through word of mouth alone. She has gone through the trials and tribulations of a start-up DJ and now runs a highly successful one-lady show and is booked up to a year in advance. She has been flown country wide for various functions and has developed a highly professional and respectable reputation in the industry, working regularly with various events companies and private clients.
As the head of RISE’s DJ school, Melanie shares the type of knowledge that can usually only be gained through experience. These days there are many DJ programs and there is a lot equipment that can assist a DJ with skills such as beat matching and synching. What is missing is a space in which to learn how to build sets, read crowds and create frenzied dance floors, as this requires more than basic technology and can only be taught through human creativity and inspiration. Melanie, using her own experience, shows our young DJs what the industry is all about and how a successful career as a DJ can be achieved. Our aspiring DJs are very lucky to have this self-made professional as their guide to owning their space in the music industry.