High fashion and House Music used to go together like vodka and vermouth, and for Honey Dijon, they still do. From Chicago, Miss Dijon (facebook, twitter, soundcloud) got her groove on as a DJ and producer in New York City, and will be taking her Taste of Honey tour to SmartBar this Friday, April 22nd alongside hometown heroes Diz and Juano.
We had a brief chat ahead of her upcoming rendezvous – on getting started in DJing, her label Digital Disco and a few fashion blogs that have caught her eye…
You’ve got such a unique sense of fashion. It’s interesting to me because House Music used to be nearly synonymous with couture (maybe in some places it still is, but overall I think we’re a bit… grimier… than we used to be).
I’m obsessed with fashion. Always have been. I’ve been able to penetrate the fashion world through my love of music. Growing up, people were able to tell you if you were “House” by the way you dressed. Fashion and music were definitely a big part of dance culture at one point. Not so much now. That’s why I try to combine the two.
Your own blog is devoted almost entirely to fashion. I know that a lot of the old print media has been supplanted by fashion blogs, so are there any you read on a regular basis?
My God, I spend most of my mornings reading fashion and music blogs. The ones I read the most are The Sartorialist and Tommy Ton. They both have such incredible eyes and simplicity that I find very chic.
The “brain drain” from Chicago – the people who leave here and really hit their groove after they leave – has always interested me. Did you ever DJ when you lived here? or did you really pick it up in New York?
I didn’t pick up DJing until I moved to New York City. The one thing about House Music in Chicago is that it included all types of music as long as it rocked the party. In NYC, it was very segregated. If you liked Tribal House, you went to this club; if you liked Techno, you went to that club.
I decided to start DJing because I wanted to bring the musical education I got in Chicago to New York. I played everything from Disco to Techno to Soulful House in one set which is how it’s always been done in the Windy City.
You know what? I’ve been getting Digital Disco promos forever and I had no idea it was your label. You cover a lot of eclectic sounds but the common thread seems to be that it’s very high energy. What’s your philosophy for A&R? Is there a reason why there are few of your own remixes/releases on the label?
Well, I have always been inspired by what Classic Records did with their releases. It was eclectic, but always innovative. And they took risks. I’ve never put out my own music on Digital Disco because it was never about being a vanity project. That will change soon though, LOL!
A Taste of Honey was released almost a year ago. I’ve heard that full-length music releases – comps or LPs – really don’t sell anymore, but here you’ve been touring on it for 10 months so I suspect you might have something to say about that?
Well, you’re right. The internet has totally changed the game when it comes to CD mix comps. The new mix comps are now podcasts and Soundcloud. Any project an artist puts out now is really a business card to get more live shows, because everyone file shares these days. So you can’t make any money from records.
What can we look forward to seeing you at SmartBar? It’s been awhile since you’ve been in Chicago to play?
I always love playing in my hometown. People are so educated about House Music, since it’s basically a part of the cultural landscape of the city. Expect a Chicago sound, more updated for today’s dancefloor. But I believe in the element of surprise, so def look for that!