Mr. Melanin: Local DJ

Posted: October 19th, 2012

Mr. Melanin is a DJ/sound selector and has a studio on MLK in the Hilltop neighborhood of Tacoma. Originally from the South Puget Sound area, he described himself as, “authentic, genuine, and fresh.” His background extends from a long lineage of musicians; Mr. Melanin’s great grandfather, Hubert Sumlin, is a Blues legend. Sumlin played with the “Howlin’ Wolf, Muddy Waters, etc. “Music was always around when I was growing up,” Mr. Melanin commented.

Mr. Melanin started being a DJ on the radio in 2003, but his mission has always been to spread love across the dance floors. Mr. Melanin expressed, “I’m always trying to take people on different journeys, trying to hip them to something they’re not familiar with.

I love to play/share all sorts of different types of music for people — people always ask me “What type of music do you play?” which is a tough question…. I really only believe there are two types of music that exist: Good and Bad…. And I only play good music. The types of music I play are: classic music, timeless music, progressive music, and soulful music. I play music that takes risks, music that pushes the envelope, music that breaks out of the box, and music that is revolutionary. If any of that fits in those categories, I’m with it.”

When asked the best thing about his career and why, Mr. Melanin replied, “What’s great about being in control of the sounds/vibes of a club, is I get to help facilitate people to have a good time, relax and enjoy themselves and best of all – move their bodies. It’s stress relief. After a long week, people need that and I’m happy to play a part in that.”

Mr. Melanin unleashed what many people may not about his career, “I’ll spend over 10 hours picking out records for a two hour DJ set.”

In 2012, the Weekly Volcano named Mr. Melanin as the “Best DJ of Tacoma.” Aside from that accomplishment, Mr. Melanin feels that anytime he can “spin a party where people walk away feeling good, he feels his mission is complete.”

When asked what motivated him, Mr. Melanin replied, “I want Tacoma to be known for the progressive arts scene that we have here, that’s a lot of rad stuff and cool people that live/work in this city, so I’m just happy to be a part of this environment and contribute in my own way.”

His long-term and short-term career goals include more parties! Mr. Melanin commented: “I’m always interested in ways to get people together and create a community. Besides that, I’ve actually been toying around with the idea of doing some production and remix for some of the records that I enjoy and spin regularly.”

Mr. Melanin’s upcoming event, “I’ll be playing a party called “Midnight Snack” at the New Frontier Lounge on Friday, October 19, 2012. You can hit my website for all the details!”

I’m always down to connect with like-minded people who want to make something happen in this city. If you get an idea, let’s grab a drink and connect!” Mr. Melanin concluded.

By: Carly Calabrese, staff for


1 Comment

  1. Olalla Bob, 5 years ago

    Great work Carly on the personal profile series. People generally have interesting lives and stories to tell. Additionally you learn more about the area and what’s out there as well.