Meet CULTRAVIBE, Latvia’s most eclectic underground music platform
CULTRAVIBE is a music based platform in Latvia. They make beautiful, eclectic mixes with influences from Europe’s electronic scene, the United States’ Hip Hop and Alternative RnB scene, and South America’s Baile scene. We caught up with CULTRAVIBE’s lead man, Meloshake, in his home to discuss music, artistry and global culture. Here’s our discussion:
Listen to CULTRAVIBE Episode 41, featuring a guest mix by DJ Complexion:
Keakie: How and why did you start CULTRAVIBE?
MS: Well, it all started as an idea to share the music that we love! I remember my friend KB put me onto the local electronic music scene and introduced me to a lot of artists and different sounds, and we ended up going to an event hosted by Dirty Deal Audio (DDA). DDA is one of the pioneers of Latvian underground electronic music, and his event was an incredible local electronic hip hop party that brought together some of the most exciting underground names in the European DJ community. The music blew me away, and I saw what the guys were doing and the energy they were bringing to people, and I said I wanted to do this too and create something like what they had done. So we Cultravibe started as a basic music platform, and our focus is all about sharing love through music.
Keakie: How did you settle on your sound?
MS: We looked at a lot of sounds that we loved from people like Soulection, Dirty Deal Audio, BLVNT Records, BEAST KOAST and FunknVibe. They inspired us a lot. The sound, the visuals, the marketing, the identity and so on. That really inspired us to build on the sound blueprint that they had laid out. We’re also greatly influenced by local musicians, and soon after we launched, we started to generate an audience. Recently we just launched DJ Complexion on our platform, which was a really special moment for us. And from this moment on I hope we’ll be able to deliver more music, more mixes and more guests.
Keakie: What does CULTRAVIBE stand for?
MS: CULTRAVIBE is really about two things: it’s cultures, and it’s vibes. Music is a strong force that we use to unite together all kinds of cultures and races. Everyone is equally welcome to be part of this project, and everyone can connect and share their views. We want to be a forward thinking music platform that could shed some spotlight on Europe and underground artists from all around the world. We aren’t focused on pop or mainstream charts. It’s our goal to support the work of underground artists, and share their work with people. As a result we are very selective. And in the end we are just trying to deliver the best quality out there.
Keakie: What’s the vibe like in terms of Latvian music and culture. Does it fit with your style?
MS: We definitely look to do things differently. We aren’t only focusing on DJ mixes. We also want to help get guests on the platform and release music compilations with artists that we really believe could go out there and be massive. At the moment, we are working with a streetwear shop and hope to present a tape at the end of May. It will be a good collaboration and from there we’ll express ourselves to the local scene.
As for Latvia, we’re underground. Most people don’t really know what the scene is about. Most people don’t know but when they hear their music, they love it and keep coming to us and ask questions about the names of the artists and the songs. In terms of the local scene, we look to put them outside of Latvia into Europe and other regions. It’s tough, but we do what we love and that’s what it’s all about.
Keakie: Have you met any of the other guys from the underground Alternative Hip Hop / Electronic community?
MS: Yeah we have. This summer, I was playing at a festival and met everyone from ASAP Mob to, Jarreau Vandal and got a chance to hang with them. It was surreal because they’ve got a lot of media exposure, but at the same time, we found that they were a lot like us. I met Joe Kay back in 2016 in Estonia, and it was great to talk. This October I had the chance to meet Complexion. We linked up, and we decided to collaborate over a guest mix. He was interested and it was a true blessing to have these kind of guys on our platform. Kronika’s selections have inspired us a lot recently too, and I have been thinking about putting out some more RnB mixes. Of course, it would be great to meet some of the guys from Darker Than Wax and First Ear radio and collaborate more, and that’s what we are going to work to do. It’s all about the mutual respect and love that we share. We really love what they’re doing, and it would be really nice to connect.
Keakie: What’s next for CULTRAVIBE?
MS: We had this idea that we want to put out some merchandise. We’re still thinking about the designs and the way we want to do it. We just all love streetwear and clothing in general. It’s very interesting. It would be basic at the beginning. At the same time, we’d look to put something very interesting into that product, and that would be really fun. We’ll see how that goes. Right now we’re focusing on the music, expanding our brand, adding more people to our roster, and helping everyone get their great music out there.