Picture the lifestyle of a DJ and, chances are, you’ll imagine a jet-setting routine of partying with fans until the sun comes up before doing it all again in the next city. The festival-hopping IG feed of Miss Melera, aka Kim de Lange, shows the Dutch DJ and music producer is no stranger to airports and big crowds, but it’s not always glitz, glamour, and spinning discs.
“I’d love to see more of parties but you have to sleep in between gigs – especially when you have to catch a flight the day after,” she told Young Post ahead of her debut Hong Kong show at the Landmark Mandarin Oriental in Central last month. Since the death of Swedish DJ Avicii in April, there’s been greater focus within the dance community on artists taking care of themselves, De Lange revealed.
“There’s more discussion. People are more open and talking about it … it’s sad what happened. You can always say no to gigs if it’s too much for you – but it’s easy to say and difficult to do, I guess.”
Despite her gruelling schedules, the 33-year-old has had some incredible experiences during her 16 year career, and she has performed at large-scale events and intimate club gigs in every corner of the world. Whether the show is big or small, De Lange embraces them all.
“You have more contact with people when it’s intimate, which is something I find really nice,” she said. “I love the difference [between large and small gigs]. I try to read the crowd, because it’s important to feel what’s going on. It takes practice: I started years ago and grew into it slowly. I’m better at seeing what the audience wants nowadays than before.”
For six years, De Lange has uploaded a monthly podcast called Colourizon through SoundCloud – a platform that has helped her cultivate a global fan base. “When I visit countries, people will tell me they listen to it, which is nice to hear,” she said.
Music is just one of several creative outlets De Lange has tried. She studied interior design, fashion, and photography before finding her niche in the beats and developing her distinctive techno-meets-deep house electronica.
“Sure, you can design and make a new chair or sofa, but I prefer music because it’s new and explorational.”
While De Lange’s parents have always been supportive of her decision to pursue music, they also made sure she was passionate about her choice before she committed. “When I told them I wanted to buy turntables they said, ‘If you really want that, save some money and show us you really want it.’ And I did.”
That isn’t to say it was all smooth sailing for the Amsterdam-based musician, who has had to overcome stage fright and a fear of flying to become an international performer. Her view is: “Sometimes you just have to do things, and I did it because of the music. The best thing to do is to try and explore and experience it all for yourself.”
Fast-forward to 2018, and Miss Melera is busier than ever, playing on all-day boat parties, organising Colourizon events in Amsterdam, and looking for record labels to release two new original tracks.
For anyone out there who is hoping to become a DJ, De Lange shared the advice she would have like to have received when she had been starting out.
“Only be a DJ if you like music so much [that you] want to share that with others. That’s what’s most important,” she said. “If you’re true to that, you can go further and further, and see how it goes. Stay true to yourself and do it because it’s your passion – that’s how I started.”
Keep up with Miss Melera’s latest music and podcast at Soundcloud.com/missmelera.