Marijana Milanovic, also known as Melanta and Melanta Althea, is a multifaceted artist and wellness advocate whose journey through music is deeply intertwined with her personal growth, passions, and aspirations. Through her conversation with us, a clear picture emerges of someone who is not only dedicated to her craft as a musician but also deeply connected to the life-changing power of music in various facets of life, profoundly believing in the impact of music on the soul.

At the core of Melanta’s artistic expression is her love for minimal dark techno and other mysterious genres. Her musical quest is deeply personal, reflective of her adventurous spirit, resilience, and growth through life’s challenges.

Beyond music, Melanta’s life is a blend of creative exploration and holistic well-being. She integrates her love for music with her commitment to fitness and health, recognizing the symbiotic relationship between physical vitality and artistic essence.

Looking forward, Melanta continues to grow and explore, fearlessly demonstrating a progressive mindset grounded in seizing opportunities as they arise. Her reluctance to conform to expectations and her willingness to embrace challenges will undoubtedly help her carve her unique path in the music industry.

Hop on board, get to know Melanta better, and gather some powerful advice and inspiring, uplifting thoughts by reading her interview with us!

To begin with, what is your full name, age, and where are you from?

Marijana Milanovic. I’m 37 years old and from Montenegro.

What initially sparked your interest in music?

Music has been my lifelong passion. It became more serious when I got my first computer as a teenager. I started collecting music from various genres, swapping tracks with DJs in my country, and experimenting with different music players. I gathered a variety of programs for burning CDs, editing tracks, and streaming music online.

I enjoyed making “special” CDs for friends and acting as a DJ at our teenage house parties. During these events, which my sister and I hosted, I loved picking out the music or playing the CDs I had crafted beforehand. At one point, I even considered becoming a DJ, a dream I kept to myself. Then, my computer crashed, and I lost all my music, leaving me deeply disappointed.

Around the same time, I was faced with life’s big decisions, pondering my future and maturing. The dream of DJing seemed out of reach, yet I still yearned to feel the thrill of being on stage beside a DJ at a major festival, and that became something on my “bucket list”. When I entered the fitness industry about 15 years ago, music naturally integrated into my daily life, both personally and professionally. Creating playlists for my fitness classes brought me immense joy.

Can you tell us about the moment you decided to start your DJ career? What inspired you to pursue this path?

It all started when I thought I had outgrown my childhood dream. I was a successful businesswoman, a gym owner, working with VIP clients, and enjoying an amazing reputation. DJing was not even understandable for a woman of my reputation at that time in my country. Then, I accepted an offer to work in Saudi Arabia, a move that would unveil a life beyond my wildest dreams. Very quickly, I reached the highest position in my company, and my goal was to focus on making my private life enjoyable as I chose that country as my new home.

Naturally curious and courageous, I quickly connected with many locals, discovered various communities, and found myself immersed in underground parties, surrounded by friends who were DJs. At that time, such parties were illegal, so we kept our gatherings exclusive, focusing solely on the music and our enjoyment. Initially, I was one of only two European girls in our community. My friends, noticing my deep connection with music, often shared their knowledge with me—one taught me about techno subgenres, another about different aspects of music, and so on.

Then, one DJ friend invited me to try my hand at the decks, pressing two buttons and giving me free rein. Initially shocked, I quickly fell in love with the feeling. It awakened something within me. For days, I pondered a promise I had made to myself: to pursue every dream, or at least attempt to. So, I confidently told another DJ friend—one of my best friends—that I wanted to learn DJing. He took me seriously, and soon we were purchasing my first setup. Then, he arranged my very first DJ lessons.

Can you tell us about your DJ debut? Where did it happen and how did it unfold?

It all unfolded in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. A friend who had been giving me lessons called a few days ahead to let me know he’d added me to the lineup for the birthday party of one of our closest friends. I didn’t feel quite prepared, but there was no way I could turn down such friends. So, readiness was the only option. The plan was for a 1-hour set, but as my friends noticed the joy in my eyes and the love I had for the music, they let me play for a full 3 hours. It’s a memory I’ll always cherish and be thankful for.

That same friend hit the record button, and I recently stumbled upon the recording on my laptop. Discovering it felt like receiving the best gift, a reminder of those special moments. At that time, I didn’t even have a DJ name and wasn’t sure what type of music I was playing.

What challenges did you face when you started learning DJing, and how did you overcome them?

For me, challenges were always about the technical stuff. Initially, it was about organizing and categorizing music on my laptop and Rekordbox, handling memory issues, understanding the differences between various USBs and equipment, the different music formats, and which controllers can read which format. I quickly moved from trying to solve these problems on my own to consistently asking friends for help. I accepted that no question is too “stupid” to ask. Being an educator for fitness taught me that in order to grow, one must be open to new information and knowledge. I even reached out to new friends I’ve made through social media in the music scene for advice if I saw that they were doing something great, better than me, or had experience.

I’m grateful that they’re always there to help in any way they can. On my Instagram, I feel like I have a great community, not just “followers”. I believe openness and honesty are key, and people resonate with that. In the end, when I get different answers, I try and find what works best for me.

Besides all that, some people laughed at what I was doing, thinking I had lost my mind by compromising my great reputation and career for something “silly” and not suitable for a successful woman in the fitness and health industry.

Is music your sole occupation, or do you engage in another profession or career alongside it? Furthermore, how do you prefer to unwind and enjoy your free time outside of work commitments?

I am a wellness and health mentor and coach, certified in various health domains including fitness, bodybuilding, nutrition, stress management, and particularly in the human gut microbiome and gut health. Music complements my profession beautifully, as it is a potent tool for enhancing many aspects of health and well-being, including gut health. Wellness, to me, is the holistic integration of physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual well-being, and I strive to nurture all these facets through diverse activities.

I regularly work out, participate in my hometown’s carnival group, performing both locally and internationally, and I’m involved in humanitarian organizations that focus on preserving the tradition and culture of my hometown. Additionally, I care for stray cats, rescuing and feeding them with the help of my sister. I revel in the “miracles of life”, such as watching sunsets and sunrises, enjoying nature and animals, exploring new places, traveling, and seeking new adventures. There’s always something new to discover. Life is beautiful, and I love it incredibly in all its forms and shapes.

Having recently vacated the top position I held in the fitness industry as a manager and educator for a fitness company across Saudi Arabia, I chose to embrace a life with less stress and more freedom. Currently, I am focused on developing my online programs and achieving my dreams.

How did your background in the fitness and health industry influence your approach to music and DJing?

Music has always been a constant in my life, even before I began exploring music for wellness, music therapy training, and other educational avenues that link music with well-being. Learning about music from a health perspective didn’t allow me to limit myself to only one genre, which led to another side of me—Melanta Althea—playing mostly melodic techno and organic house. I also started exploring other musical instruments for wellness, and now I have my own tongue drum and am totally addicted to playing it in my free time.

I used music for different moods before, but now I know exactly what type of music could be perfect for my needs, and I suggest it to my clients as well. I definitely “prescribe” more music now and often send my clients links to music that could be the right choice for their needs.

Additionally, my background in fitness and health made me understand the importance of making mixes (I’m the first one searching for mixes whenever I work out). I’m planning to create different types of music mixes for my clients in fitness and health as well. I am sure this connection will have an even bigger impact on my production in the future.

What is the most significant sacrifice you’ve had to make or continue to make in pursuing your passion for music?

I decided to learn DJing in a country where, at that time, music wasn’t given its rightful place, parties were illegal, and I was a very respectful representative of a foreign company for the whole country. I was in a weird position—worried that my passion, love for music, and the underground life I cherished could negatively affect my reputation and career. I kept everything about music to myself and “my people”. I felt like I was living a double life—different people, different outfits, different types of music in both. But both these worlds were me. I didn’t want one or the other.

During the week, I was very busy with work, dealing with a lot of stress from work overload, achieving work goals, and building my career. On the weekend, I was in my other world—full of music and friends where I was fully accepted for who I truly am, feeling free and getting lost in music. I always wore sunglasses at parties so no one would bother me. I could close my eyes whenever I wanted, not focusing on anything around me but letting the music take me places. Today, I know this is called the “state of flow”. Literally, this was my therapy. My zone of freedom where nothing was important, just the given moment filled with music. I forgot who I was, where I was, and all the problems and stress from work disappeared. I felt so much power from that, and every time I returned to my regular life and work, I felt improved, more energized, positive, and happy.

I thought it was simply not fair that I had to hide some parts of me as if they were wrong. I couldn’t allow myself to play publicly outside of my community, and I didn’t have a DJ name. It was not fair—music and underground techno parties were seen as something bad, full of low-category people with weird clothes and drugs, especially the kind of music I preferred the most. I was in the health and fitness industry, working out, eating healthy, taking care of myself in all ways, and I was there. I felt I needed to stand up for the music, to defend it, to speak loudly about so many things. That made me decide to learn about music for wellness. I could never have imagined the things I learned there. I opened a completely new field that still leaves me speechless whenever I read new information.

I didn’t feel free to fully live my life and reach my full potential. At the same time, the country implemented a law that foreigners couldn’t engage or be allowed to engage in any work except the one they came for. As a person with many interests, I felt like I couldn’t live life fully and reach my full potential, so this was a final sign to me that I needed to leave. I left the job, I left the career, I left the country. I wanted to live freely.

What drew you to minimal dark techno and other mysterious genres? How do these styles reflect your personal moods and emotions?

This might sound unusual, but I’ll be honest in my response. There are two main reasons why I am drawn to minimal dark techno and other mysterious genres.

One of them is part of my personality. My friends used to call me the “mafia” girl because I dare, I take risks, I love adrenaline, and I’m always up for adventures, often getting into trouble because of my curiosity and bravery. With dark music, I feel like I’m calming down that side of my personality, controlling it instead of allowing it to control me, transforming it into art so I am creative instead of a troublemaker.

The second reason is that my life often feels like a movie with all genres combined, signifying the diverse range of incredible, amazing, challenging, and difficult experiences I’ve encountered. Through it all, I maintained a healthy mindset by relying on workouts and music, which helped shape my mental resilience and provided unwavering support during tough times, even when I felt alone. Many of my struggles and triumphs remained hidden, with only a smile on my face and my achievements on display. Everyone has personal stories and experiences kept private; some of mine are quite dark. Although it may sound daunting, I’ve come to realize that every challenging experience in my life has contributed to who I am today, and I wouldn’t change a thing. It took me years to understand, but each dark moment gifted me strength, growth, and improvement. I began to find value in every difficult experience.

Dark music serves as a therapeutic release for me, unearthing deep emotions and allowing me to heal in a profound way. Despite being a positive and energetic person who loves life, I noticed that dark music has a unique way of tapping into my unexpressed emotions and facilitating a cathartic release. I view this connection with dark music as a precious gift, like the icing on the cake. I am grateful for transforming life’s challenges into beautiful gifts and artistic expressions.

How do you differentiate between your two personas, Melanta and Melanta Althea, in terms of musical style and emotional expression?

While I share dark music with the world through Melanta, I see this persona as very personal for all the reasons listed above and many more. Melanta represents my investment in my well-being, serving as “therapy” for the mind and soul. On the other hand, Melanta Althea offers “healing”, uplifting, and calming experiences with her melodic, oriental, and beautiful sounds and vocals. I believe we need both aspects from music. I often call the music I play under Melanta Althea “food for the soul”. I use this kind of music to sing, dance, calm down, motivate myself, or even help me sleep.

Working with people, I know they also have these needs, and music is extremely powerful in meeting them. It was hard for me to combine these two aspects but at the same time make them one, as they are both parts of me. I felt I couldn’t put them under one name, but not even under completely different names. This differentiation came as the perfect solution.

How do you usually prepare before a gig? How much space do you leave for improvisation in your sets?

I prepare meticulously by gathering important information that can assist me. As a visualist, I enjoy visualizing the entire event. I want to understand the message the organizer wants to convey, the vibe they intend to create, the emotions they aim to evoke in people, the venue details, who the other DJs are and what music they will be playing, the energy levels, BPMs, and their expectations of my performance. This preparation doesn’t mean I change myself or my style to fit; rather, it allows me to be authentic while adjusting to the night’s atmosphere and contributing to a synchronized experience that takes the audience on an amazing journey.

Typically, I conceptualize a set in my mind and prepare a playlist accordingly. I always have additional music ready on the side so I can adjust if necessary, while still maintaining my style. Based on my experience, whenever I make a choice, I like to know that I’m making the right one. When it comes to my music, this means I may introduce something new or unexpected, experiment with different elements, but the foundation will always be what people know me for and choose to hear.

What is your standard or most preferred technical setup for the performance?

Thanks to the amazing Pioneer Equipment Music Store in Riyadh and my friends who have a variety of DJ equipment, I’ve had the opportunity to try playing on many different devices, which I found incredibly interesting and enjoyable. Although technology isn’t my strongest suit, spending time with each device and seeing others use them helped me become comfortable performing on them. Since moving to Montenegro, I’ve missed having access to such a wide array of equipment. Currently, I use a small DDJ-400 at home while I wait to purchase something more substantial.

Following my friends’ advice not to let a lack of desired equipment discourage me, I’ve found my DDJ-400 to be surprisingly versatile. It has enabled me to create mixes that have been featured on various radio stations and podcasts, which I’m very proud of. I particularly enjoyed playing on the Xone mixer with CDJs in the past, even though I admit I didn’t fully understand its capabilities at the time. I hope for the opportunity to revisit that setup with a deeper understanding someday.

Looking forward, I have my eye on the Pioneer XDJ-XZ as a device I’d love to have at home. Until then, my setup includes the DDJ-400, my laptop running Recordbox, good professional headphones, and quality Pioneer speakers, which fulfill all my current needs for performances and practice sessions.

What are some of the most memorable performances you’ve had so far, and why?

My most memorable performances were the ones I shared with my friends in Riyadh. Those moments are etched in my memory for their incredible experiences and the memories we created together. Looking back, we didn’t fully realize at the time how special that period was for us. We were growing together musically while our country was undergoing significant historical changes in the music and entertainment industry.

Every time I played alongside my friends, there was something special about the experience. However, the most memorable performance would have to be my last gig in Riyadh with them before I left the country. I had temporarily moved to Jeddah for work, but I made it a priority to return to Riyadh to spend time with my friends. They, being my biggest supporters and motivators (sometimes pushing me when I needed it most!), rented the same chalet where our friendship began. They organized the entire event, created a lineup, and for the first time, I performed a full minimal dark set under my DJ name Melanta. It was a special moment, bringing our friendship full circle from where it all started, amidst the best memories we’ve ever shared.

How do you stay inspired and continue to evolve as an artist?

Firstly, I always remember that God gave me everything for a reason. Even if I’m not always conscious of why I’m being drawn in certain directions, I trust that it will become clear. Thus, I listen closely to my inner voice. There was a time when I disconnected from all devices for a few months. When I returned, I was improved, rejuvenated, and had a clearer understanding of my identity in music and my purpose. A significant factor for me is the reminder that I pursued music initially for my own well-being, and I aim to be among those in the health & fitness industry who positively shift people’s views on techno and music in general. Since music isn’t my main career, I feel more relaxed and free to express myself musically, which I believe positively influences my creativity. My goal, in line with fostering my well-being and mental health, is to express myself through art without the need for approval or followers. I want to be authentic, embracing all the quirky, dark, psychedelic sounds, unconventional set structures, and unexpected mixes that resonate with those who appreciate and accept me for who I am.

What I’ve learned about wellness also applies to music: the truer I am to myself, the more success follows. Some people may drift away, but that’s fine because the genuine ones will arrive. To me, authenticity is the cornerstone of evolution and a solid foundation for growth. The closer I am to my true self, the better my energy, attracting the right people and opportunities. People sense authenticity, and I despise anything fake. This authenticity allows me to embrace my uniqueness without concern for being perceived as different or weird. After all, the world doesn’t need everyone to be the same, and most importantly, I need to be true to myself.

You recently started your own podcast, Dark Diary. Can you share the inspiration and vision behind it?

I am an intensely emotional person at heart. As a teenager, I used to keep diaries, but I stopped for years. I have many incredible life experiences, stories, and emotions that I’ve kept to myself, sharing them only when they hold value and meaning for others. They are like my little dark boxes—some somber, but all cherished for shaping who I am today.

Music gives me the freedom to express myself and remain true to who I am; it’s like my best friend. When creating mixes, I feel compelled to produce them in a specific way, guided by an inner voice. Even if I consider replacing a track, that voice insists it remains. I’ve learned that revisiting mixes the next day often leads to significant changes, reflecting my evolving mood, emotions, or other influences. It feels like I’m expressing myself through these mixes.

Sometimes, a mix turns out very dark, while others vary in BPM or energy. Occasionally, a mix doesn’t fit the guest spot mold, becoming my free zone to share more personal expressions. If I don’t record and publish it, that unique creation is lost forever. Through Dark Diary, I hope to inspire others to express themselves more freely through art. Although it’s early days, I’m not fixated on its pace or reach. Recently, the unexpected interest in guest mixes has brought me immense joy, reinforcing my passion for this creative journey.

Who are some of your biggest artistic influences, both within and outside the music industry? How have they shaped your approach to DJing?

I strive to learn from everyone I encounter, whether through communication, listening to their music, or other means. Krypta stands out as my most significant artistic influence within the music industry. I eagerly anticipate the day I can hear him perform live, and it puzzles me why it hasn’t happened yet. Besides him, my favorites include Lampe, Aphe, Kari, Jokr, and Maksim Dark, who were my top choices even before I started my music profile and discovered more incredible artists in the dark music scene.

Their uniqueness has taught me that being different is not just acceptable, but remarkable, and that blending sounds—be it dark with melodic, dark with psy, or any other mix—is perfectly fine. They inspire me to remain uninhibited in expressing myself in whatever way feels right. I sense that each of them stays true to themselves, which is crucial to me. The list of artists in the music industry who influence me could go on, as I’ve explored and connected with many talented individuals, communicating with many friends on Instagram, learning various things, and ultimately applying what best suits me, thereby crafting my own musical “personality”.

How do you believe music can contribute to relaxation and soul nourishment?

Music is the most thoroughly researched form of art therapy, known to alleviate anxiety, depression, trauma, psychosis, and stress. Listening to music activates the brain’s pleasure centers, releasing dopamine, which fosters relaxation and joy alleviating anxiety and depression. Music also lowers cortisol levels, the hormone linked to stress. Studies indicate that music listening can also diminish blood pressure, and pain, while enhancing sleep quality, mood, mental sharpness, and memory.

Music boosts cognitive function. It also facilitates emotional healing, enabling the expression of grief, fear, or sadness. Music resonates with our soul, often expressing what we cannot say or mirroring our feelings. It strikes a chord that resonates with our heart, mind, and spirit, sometimes making us forget our troubles momentarily and transporting us to another realm.

Music provides spiritual healing, serving as a conduit between the tangible and the ethereal. Music’s ability to calm the soul stems from various mechanisms: it distracts from concerns, engages us in activities, creates meaning and identity, fosters a sense of community, builds social connections, offers a means for wordless emotional expression, and instills a sense of unity.

Music can help you achieve the flow state, which is a mental state of deep satisfaction while being completely absorbed in an activity. You generally lose sense of time, self-consciousness, and anything that doesn’t have to do with the task at hand. In flow, you feel as if you could keep doing whatever you’re doing forever. Priceless experience and feeling.

The list of benefits is incredibly long, enough to fill a book!

Can you share any personal experiences or stories where your music has positively impacted someone’s well-being?

I often share music with those around me, mostly links to mixes that I believe will benefit them. People frequently ask me for recommendations to suit various needs, such as improved sleep, anxiety relief, or workout motivation. I’m confident that I’ve had the most impact on the women I work with at the gym, motivating them with carefully curated playlists and mixes. They leave not just with a great workout but with a full anti-stress experience, connected to both the exercise and the music. Additionally, I’ve recommended music in many situations that have positively influenced well-being. Now, when I’ve already ventured into the music for wellness field, I am sure the best is yet to come as there is so much I can help people with through music.

For instance, one of my gym clients, a woman who had survived a severe illness and lost a part of her body during her battle, struggled with low confidence and self-esteem, lacking support from her loved ones. I’ll never forget that. Rather than receiving congratulations and encouragement, she was met with words that crushed her spirit and confidence. She came to the gym seeking to “fix” herself, not realizing that issues like weight are often rooted in deeper psychological factors rather than a lack of discipline or knowledge, as many think. This understanding led me to expand my expertise to better assist women worldwide. I have a knack for sensing these deeper issues, and women tend to open up to me easily. Concurrently, I was completing a song titled “Hope” for my music for wellness education, which was about expressing emotions through creation. At that time, I was undergoing a significant change in my life, uncertain of what lay ahead. I felt alone, just like her, having no one I could trust to share my emotions with.

Besides working on her confidence, I taught her about the benefits of incorporating music into her life as a way to express emotions and work through them. She was the only one for whom I played my intuitively created music track, intended for a course submission, and it resonated with her. She embraced it as an incredible gift, listening to it whenever she needed a glimmer of hope and motivation to face all challenges and find the strength to leave a place where she wasn’t loved, respected, or appreciated enough.

Can you share a bit about your daily routine and how you maintain your creative and physical well-being?

Workouts and nutritious eating are integral to my daily routine. I embrace these habits knowing that maintaining physical health is crucial for achieving any goal in life. Equally important to me is mental well-being, which I nurture through various activities.

Each day begins with a large glass of water. If I need an alarm, it must wake me gently with a song that infuses positivity or brings a smile to my face. A nutritious breakfast, balanced with proteins, healthy fats, carbs, and fruits or vegetables, sets the tone for my day.

I cherish my morning coffee outdoors in the sunlight, which is essential for my mood, health, and sleep quality. I spend ample time outdoors, exploring, working on my laptop, interacting with animals, attending events, performing at carnivals, or traveling. Day trips with family to Croatia or Bosnia, just a 45-minute drive from home, are frequent.

Currently, I am advancing my education to become a Nutritional Therapist and an Advanced Gut Restoration Nutritional Advisor. I integrate mindfulness practices and breathing techniques into my daily routine, prioritizing activities that bring me joy.

Music is a constant companion throughout my day. I reserve my evenings for creative pursuits such as playing music, recording mixes, experimenting with sounds, or playing my tongue drum to unwind.

Regarding work, I have shifted from regular full-time shifts to online work in both English and my native language, which I balance with my other commitments.

One valuable lesson I’ve learned about maintaining both creative and physical well-being is the importance of downtime. Taking breaks allows me to rest, reset, and return stronger and more focused. Embracing more enjoyment in life reduces stress and anxiety while enhancing creativity and self-awareness.

How do you balance your career in music with your interests and commitments in the fitness and health industry?

I avoid being indoors during the day and reserve that time for outdoor activities. Nights are dedicated to working on music and everything related to it. This approach helps me strike a balance between my career in music and my interests and commitments in the fitness and health industry.

Additionally, I maintain healthy habits and avoid any addictions. When I was younger, I used to go out multiple nights in a row, but now I prefer to choose one night that I feel is worthwhile and give it my full energy. I find this choice has the most significant impact. Furthermore, I am cautious not to schedule events or activities that could negatively affect my energy levels for performances or my overall health.

In your opinion, what are some key elements that make a DJ set memorable and leave a lasting impact on the audience?

Different DJs can play the same tracks, but from my perspective, key elements that leave a lasting impact include adding a personal touch. It’s about knowing yourself, your music, your DJ identity, and integrating these into your sets. It’s not just about delivering songs, but allowing people to feel your emotions and connect with you through the music.

For me, every song in a set has a reason and a feeling behind it, and I want the audience to experience that. Over time, I may discover more elements to enhance this, but for now, this is what resonates with me.

Starting out as a new DJ can be daunting. What advice would you give to other aspiring female artists who are just beginning their journey in DJing?

After everything I’ve been through, the most important lesson I’ve learned is to just do it. Take action even if it’s not the perfect time or you don’t have the perfect equipment. Make the best of what you have because you can’t improve on something that doesn’t exist. Starting out, I lost a lot by being a perfectionist. I’ve come to accept that mistakes are okay and imperfection is part of what makes us unique.

Another piece of advice I’d give is to embrace challenges and step out of your comfort zone. It’s uncomfortable at first, but that’s where growth happens. I remember when I had the opportunity to create my first mix. I wasn’t very confident and didn’t feel fully ready, but I pushed through and did what was necessary to achieve that goal. Now, I’m creating mixes for various radio stations and podcasts, and some of these opportunities seemed like distant dreams at one point. I’ve accepted them and am taking the necessary steps to succeed.

So, my advice to aspiring female artists starting their DJing journey is to accept all opportunities that scare you. There’s no growth in the comfort zone. Take the leap, learn from the experience, and keep pushing forward.

What are your goals and aspirations as an artist?

I once saw a quote that says, “I don’t play music because I think I’m great at it; I play because I think music is great and I want to be part of it.” Additionally, my goal is to break taboos around techno, specifically dark music. When I started playing dark music, people tried to convince me to change my focus to another genre because they believed dark music was misunderstood—a genre associated with the unknown, mystery, and perceived as strange. They often stereotype its listeners as individuals under the influence of substances, dressed in black, which contributes to the small number of women in the genre.

After a short break from playing, I returned with renewed energy and explored all genres, but it became clear to me that dark music is my love, passion, and therapy—it’s something that resonates deeply with me. I listen to dark music with my morning coffee, fall asleep to its rhythms, and play it regularly throughout the day. Despite enjoying colorful dresses, “pinky” nails, and heels, I’ve found a supportive community of female dark music artists on social media who share similar interests in fitness and more.

Looking ahead, I plan to integrate music more into my profession by creating sound seasons, wellness mixes for anxiety and improved sleep, and workshops on using music for well-being.

Given the prevalent advice that successful DJs often produce their own tracks, are you considering delving into music production? How do you feel about this notion, and do you sense a growing urge or push within yourself to explore music production?

Fun fact: About two years ago, I began my journey into music production by acquiring Ableton. At that time, I was balancing my studies in music for wellness, DJing, and advancing my fitness career with various specializations. In my music wellness courses, I often had assignments that required me to produce music expressing different emotions or narratives, which gave me an initial taste of music production using recommended software other than Ableton.

While I started with Ableton and have accessed some excellent video courses from a reputable production school, I’ve taken a break recently to enjoy the outdoors and summer. Being away from my home country for the past three years, I’ve missed the beach life and outdoor activities, which Riyadh’s extreme summer temperatures limit.

Regarding music production, I want my work to complement my artistic expression, so I’m focusing on establishing my identity first. I’m not in a rush to publish or produce music hastily. I may collaborate with friends soon, but my solo projects will wait a few more months as I concentrate on creating mixes, completing my specializations, and enjoying life.

Currently, with the global industry seeing a surge in record labels, I aim to gain a comprehensive understanding before fully diving into production. I’m also actively seeking a mentor within the dark music scene to guide and inspire me as I progress.

Are there any upcoming projects or collaborations that you’re excited about and would like to share with your fans and the audience?

My first upcoming engagement is a gig at the Lila Zina festival in Djerba, Tunisia, with the Boum Boum community on June 22nd. Following that, I have more festivals and events lined up in Montenegro as summer approaches, with details to be announced soon. From September onwards, I am considering traveling to the Middle East, although the specifics are yet to be determined. I’m also open to playing music in interesting countries around the world, whether for occasional gigs, seasonal events, or related to my health and fitness career. Let’s see what opportunities life presents.

For the next few months, I have plans but have decided not to look too far ahead, allowing life to guide me to the best opportunities.

Listen to Melanta's DJ mixes for Plazmatic Sessions