For the past couple of years, Melvo Baptiste has been steadily building an impressive presence on the international dance scene, regularly spinning records at all the best spots the UK has to offer, not to mention his frequent stints in Ibiza and Croatia. Not confined to the usual house and techno thumpers, you're more likely to hear an Isley Brothers deep cut than the typical 4x4 pool party thumpers.
Melvo got his first big chance when Kiss FM founder Gordon Mac made his return to the world of radio with Mi-Soul. The broadcasting impresario recruited Melvo as one of the station's first DJs, giving him his own weekly slot on Saturday mornings until just last year. Now, he finds himself front and centre at Defected Radio's Glitterbox Radio, where he's been host since 2017. The rising DJ has played an integral part in the station's meteoric rise and subsequent syndication on over 40 stations globally, while still finding time to educate ravers across the globe as to the finer points of funk, soul and Motown's interlocking histories.
Get your groove on below, and catch Melvo Baptiste at Glitterbox, Hï Ibiza, on August 25 and October 6.
Tell us a bit about your selections in this mix.
I've taken this opportunity to play some of the music I don't often to get to play in clubs; pre-disco, early 1970s, all 7" vinyl. For me, this is the funkiest music has ever been and it naturally inspires dance.
What was the one track you absolutely had to include?
James Brown's "Soul Power", but I could have picked a number of JB records. He was instrumental in taking this sound to the mainstream and creating a path for other black artists of the time to follow. He was a pioneer, a maverick, an incredible showman and the funkiest man to ever live.
Any tracks that narrowly missed the cut?
Loads! Willie Henderson's "Gangsta Boogie Bump", Fatback Band's "Are You Ready?" and "Wicky Wacky", JB's "Body Heat"... I could go on. Maybe we can do a part 2 soon!
What's the first single or album you ever bought?
I would love to say it was some legendary or iconic album, but unfortunately it wasn't. My older brother was a big UK garage fan and actually owned a pair of decks before I did. The first time I went to the record shop with him, I picked up a bunch of garage classics; 24Hour Experience's "Together", Wookie's "Battle", Monster Boy's "Sorry", and more like that. I still have all of them! It's rare they get a spin these days, though.
What's the last physical record you bought?
I recently picked up the new Daphni record, Sizzling. It's a proper club banger. Love it! I also ordered a Roy Ayers track, "Turn Me Loose", which is an oldie but such a groover.
What do you want to see happen musically over the next 12 months?
I can't speak for all genres of music, but for me, I just want producers taking time to write and produce music that will live on and prove the test of time. Great music usually takes a team, each experts in their area. Dance music download sites are full of 'bedroom producer' releases that lack feel; it's here today/gone tomorrow disposable music.
What trend or scene absolutely needs to die right now?
Trend? Negativity on social media! If you don't have anything positive to say, then shut up!
1. The Kay-Gees – Get Down
2. Banbarra – Shack Up
3. James Brown – Soul Power Pt. 1
4. Lynn Collins – Rock Me Again
5. Reuben Wilson – Got to Get Your Own
6. Alt One – Tom The Peeper
7. Rufus Thomas – The Funky Bird
8. The Undisputed Truth – Mama I Got A Brand New Thing
9. Peggy Lee - Sitting On The Dock Of The Bay
10. Tony Camillo's Bazuka – Dynomite
11. Little Beaver – Party Down
12. Aretha Franklin – Rock Steady
13. BT Express – Express
14. David Ruffin – Walk Away From Love
15. Faith, Hope & Charity – To Each His Own