Dee Montero: I've always liked to be versatile with tastes

Today we are pleased to welcome a longstanding artist of the melodic scene, Belfast-born Dee Montero. Founder of the Futurescope imprint, Dee Montero's name has been built with standout releases on the likes of Diynamic, All Day I Dream, Anjunadeep, Knee Deep In Sound and more. Earlier this month, the former Mambo Ibiza resident made a welcomed return to UK label Renaissance Records, delivering the summer inspired 'Solena / Origins', featuring a remix from London's fast-rising Henri Bergmann and a collaboration with label regular Loew. We spoke with Dee to find out more about the release, enjoy!
Hello Dee, it's a pleasure to have you with us today. How are things with you and whereabouts are you chatting to us from right now?
— I'm good thanks. I'm currently on tour in India where I've just played Dehli, Pune and Hyderabad. I'm chatting to you from my hotel room in Kolkata where I'll be playing this weekend to finish off the tour.
How is the music scene doing there now following the effects of the pandemic?
— India's scene is exploding right now and the crowd have a strong passion for melodic house and techno which has grown immensely over the years since I've been playing here. This is my 2nd tour after the pandemic so they don't waste time getting back to doing what they love. Such a great energy here.
It sounds great. We're very pleased to be chatting with you around your release 'Solena / Origins' on the UK imprint Renaissance Records. Congratulations on this one! How did the release come to find its home on Renaissance?
— Thank you. My last e.p 'Odisea' on Renaissance was released during lockdown a few years ago so it felt the right time for a follow up now that things have opened up. I made 'Solena' while living in Bali last year inspired by those epic sunsets with warm piano overtones and an exotic vocal sample so it made sense for a summer release.
The release features a collaboration with another familiar name on the Renaissance roster, Loew. How inspired you two to come together for the track 'Origins'?
— I've been working with Loew since early 2000's in Belfast and we had multiple releases on Renaissance during that time. We thought it would be cool to do something new after a long hiatus and produce a nostaglic track which harks back to that special era we grew up in. Loew comes from a breakbeat approach but we both love that uplifting piano and melancholic 90's rave sound which transported us back to those halcyon days.
What was it like working together with Loew?
— It was very inspiring. I had just finished my album 'Artifacts' so it was just what I needed after a few years working in solitude. It's amazing to see the track already in the Beatport Electronica Top 10… maybe we should collaborate more often!
London's fast rising Henri Bergmann delivers a wonderful remix of Solena. What were your initial reactions like when you first heard her remix?
— I fell in love with Henri's remix on first listen. She's created a unique version which in my opinion crosses all genres covering deep house, organic, melodic and techno. Henri is an exciting talent to watch!
We often like to ask our guests what it was that first inspired them to follow their path in music, what was it that did this for you?
— My childhood was throughout the 80's so I grew up listening to that synth pop sound which was my introduction into electronic music. I got into rave culture and DJing on vinyl in the early 90's which had a huge impact on what I do today. I've always liked to be versatile with tastes and take inspiration from an eclectic and wide range of styles which keeps things interesting for me.
What styles of music or which artists had the biggest impact on you during your formative years?
—80's bands such as Eurythumics, Depeche Mode and New Order had an impact early on pre-rave days. The early 90's cemented my life long obsession with electronic music as I started DJing and going to raves in Belfast listening to the heavy sounds of Carl Cox, Grooverider and Colin Dale. Things went more progressive and melodic for me in the mid-90s when Sasha and Digweed regularly came to play a club called Lush in the North Coast of Ireland so I would say all these different styles of dance, disco, house, techno and jungle have had an effect on my sound today.
Thank you for chatting with us today Dee and congrats again on the release. To round things off, is there anything else upcoming from yourself that you would like to share with us?
—Thank you for having me. I've another collaboration with Newman (I Love) which is coming out soon on Eelke Kliens Days Like Nights label. We've made 2 summery organic tracks 'Shanti' and 'Celeste' which have been going down very well so far. I've also an e.p coming out on Do Not Sit On The Furniture which features a collaboration with Warung so plenty of music on the horizon.