Rarely do you come across a globally heralded, multi-award winning female veteran of the music industry who continues to be a ground-breaking, ceiling-shattering revolutionary in all she does for three decades, and counting. But such is the case for Canadian electronic music scene queen Melleefresh as she toasts her landmark and visionary 25-year tenure helming Play Records — and even longer as a veritable artistic force to be reckoned with in her own right.
Deemed “one of the pivotal figures in North American dance music” by Clash Magazine, the Toronto-based EDM dynamo has been a prominent avant-garde performance artist for the last 30 years. As president and founder of the Play Records, she discovered and signed deadmau5, and collaborated with him as freshmau5 on many tracks, including the 2008 Juno-nominated release After Hours. Melleefresh has also collaborated with Dirty 30 (Alixander III), Billy Newton-Davis, Calvertron, Hoxton Whores, 40oz Profits, Gettoblasters, Jerome Robins, dj genderfluid and more. She is an inimitable reference point for the cut-throat, competitive intersection that is music, business, and being a woman in the thick of it all.
“I had begun writing and singing my own music, and decided at one point I wanted to do more,” she recalls. “But what I really wanted was to be able to control my own music, and maybe form a label. One of my first labels, Nepotism Records, had a motto of ‘Family, Friends, or F*** Off,’” she continues. “I guess I do continue to work more with people I know, but I have not had any major f*** offs! That said, it’s been a lot of ups and downs,” she continues. “There have been some battles … Some ridiculous lawsuits … And also some amazing collaborations and performances.
“To this day, I find the constant search for new talent to work with has always been so exciting! That, and to develop new genres of music. I am continually evolving as an artist, and always trying out new vocals and musical styles with every different artist I work with. It’s been such a great discovery process, both creatively and from a business perspective … I love the evolution of it all!”
Mellefresh’s extensive credits, accolades, and rungs on her resume continue to soar sky-high; never idle, she releases new music frequently — including her latest LP Invincible, and a special series of Redux re-issues slated for this celebratory year. She is also the co-founder of Play Deep, a state-of-the-art recording studio in London, England, with DJ Spydabrown (Zachary Spider Brown-Smith). There, they have hosted recording sessions for the likes of The Spice Girls, Ellie Goulding, Rita Ora, Chance the Rapper, Childish Gambino, Nadia Rose, DJ Jazzy Jeff, Gigs, Offset and more.