It would be difficult to find a duo who define the Shoulder To Shoulder spirit better than Norman Jay MBE and Melvo Baptiste. The uncle and nephew pair headlined our Monkey Shoulder x Mixmag house party last month, and in an exclusive interview - that is available to watch now - discussed how the music scene can go Shoulder To Shoulder in supporting inclusivity.
Our Monkey Shoulder x Mixmag house party concept was curated in an effort to showcase talented young DJs alongside established trailblazers, playing Shoulder To Shoulder, giving them a much-deserved platform to energise the experience for partygoers. By doing so, we wanted to give the crowd the opportunity to rewrite the night, and give us their own ideas on how to best push the dance scene forward. Teaming up with Monkey Shoulder, the 100% malt whisky made for mixing, we're creating a movement to uplift the industry together - and throw the ultimate house parties. To kick things off we threw our first event in Leeds with a massive Shoulder To Shoulder between Jayda G and Ruby Savage before travelling down to London for another incredible evening with Norman Jay MBE and Melvo Baptiste.
After playing a formidable set Shoulder To Shoulder at our final house party, Norman Jay MBE and Melvo Baptiste joined us to talk about how the dance music community can rewrite the night. With Norman being one of UK dance music's true pioneers, he and his Good Times soundsystem has acted as a driving force behind Notting Hill Carnival and gave London's Black underground music scene a voice via his work on Kiss FM, the BBC and - more recently - Soho Radio. His nephew, Melvo, has followed in his uncle's footsteps by pushing a forward-thinking soul into the modern underground sphere in his work with Glitterbox.
“I thought it was fantastic, especially playing with my nephew,” Norman Jay tells us adding: “He demonstrated to me, yet again, what he’s learnt from his uncle and moved it on a step. He read my mind. I read his mind. We didn’t have to plan.” The pair laugh as they both reflect on the special evening.
Watch Norman Jay MBE and Melvo Baptiste go Shoulder To Shoulder in conversation below.