When moving on takes you to a promised land of healing.
Hailing from Toronto, Ontario, Melanie Sutherland creates an atmosphere where crowds get lost in the deep grooves of her sonic experience, compelling bodies to move and time to slip away. Her sexy underground sound has led to several DJ residencies including Northbound Leather's Fetish Fridays, Harlem, Hot Springs and Genesis parties. This foxy DJ is most loved for her positive energy and creation of an inclusive environment with eclectic mixes, including world sounds, R&B, hip-hop, house, and reggae. (courtesy of Melanie Sutherland)
Soulivity's own Sharon Angela Lee spent some time with Melanie to find out how she began her journey as a successful music DJ. Enjoy!
SL: Melanie, I know you started DJing about eight years ago, how did you get started?
DJ Melanie Sutherland: Would you believe all it took was a random suggestion from a complete stranger that led me to where I am today. A DJ from Israel named David Rafael persisted that I should give it a try since he knew of my love for music. He told me female DJ's are the future. After figuring "why not?", I reached out to a friend of mine Dave Lawrence to arrange a few lessons, and I fell absolutely in love with it. For the next three months, I practiced at a studio with turntables every Sunday playing 45's.
SL: I know you had many accomplishments such as a fundraiser with Music is the Answer and Doctors without Borders, raising over $100,000. That is amazing. What other accomplishments have you had since you flourished your career?
DJ Melanie Sutherland: One of my most significant career accomplishments, aside from the Music is the Answer fundraising event, is my album that I launched, That Vibe featuring Trew, available via Spotify, iTunes, and other online music stores. The collection features a blend of tracks: hip-hop vocals mixed with soulful house music, as well as, some original sounds I produced myself. I enjoyed and loved working with Trew. He's a very talented and humble artist from Virginia. I look forward to collaborating with him again in the future because he keeps me creatively motivated.
SL: What inspires you to produce or to create a new mix each time?
DJ Melanie Sutherland: My strongest creative flow come from within myself, my positive energy and universal love. I use that energy flow to become inspired. I believe when I am in the most positive state of mind, the creativity naturally pours from me allowing me to communicate through my music. I'm very grateful for the experience of collaborating with so many amazing people who have similar energies and talents
SL: We always ask our guests two essential questions. The first one is what does passion mean to you?
DJ Melanie Sutherland: Passion is putting your heart and soul into something that you enjoy doing because you love it. The greatest reward is knowing my music can inspire others and ignite a passion within them too. I do what I love, and I love what I do! So, I do it passionately, always.
SL: The second one, what does the word purpose mean to you?
DJ Melanie Sutherland: I feel purpose is knowing what you're meant to do with your life. Your mission, the reason you're here. I realized after having my son, my life's purpose is being a mom. My purpose as an artist is to continue to create music and inspire others to take up DJ'ing and production.
SL: Are there any words of encouragement you can offer your listeners in regards to accomplishing your dreams?
DJ Melanie Sutherland: The words of encouragement I would have for anyone interested in accomplishing dreams is never to give up. Put blinders on to everything going on around you; and, be an original, your true authentic self. Dream big, set goals and accomplish them.
Sharon Angela Lee is an empowered, inspired writer from the blog, YAIMSHARON.COM. She says, "I truly believe we all have dreams, whether people believe it will happen or not, it does not matter because it all starts with YOU. We pave our paths to create our destiny and what differentiates us from the rest is we NEVER stop BELIEVING. YOU are the reason to why I wake up and continue to blog. So that we can all grow to love ourselves that much more."
Make sure you read her blog and stay in touch via social media!