Mello Music Group

Mello Music Group is a Phoenix-based record label for hip hop music, founded in 2008 by Michael Tolle (aka Mello), specializing in hip hop. While studying at the University of Arizona Michael Tolle already created mixtapes under the name Mello Mixes and performed as a DJ at after hour parties. After his degree he started teaching literature and creative writing. But soon he missed making music so much that he decided to found his own label. The first release was So Good on which Kenn Starr was over-dubbing a beat by Kev Brown and cuts by Rob Swift. Soon after that release he met Dudley Perkins and Georgia Anne Muldrow who helped him with getting in touch with the right people and a distribution company. In those days Oddisee became a permanent member of the label as well. In 2008 the label’s first album, 101 by Oddisee was released. Since then Mello Music Group is releasing »music for the soul, from the heart of the American culture«, »opening the realm of the intelligent Hip-hop experience through melodic evocations, beats that corroborate the truth, and voices that roar above the rising void and impose order on the terrible & triumphant moments of everyday life«, as Michael Tolle explained the philosophy behind his label. The secret seems to be that Mello Music Group handles every release like a challenge and like a piece of art that has to be treated carefully. Also the design of the artworks is done thoughtfully: Illustrators and artists including ear One, Tokio, Gene Pendon of HVW8, Goldi Gold, Flux Wanda and Aniekan Udofia designed record sleeves for Mello Music Group.