This Wednesday, EDM enthusiasts from around the world head to the white-sand beaches of St. Martin for the second annual SXM Festival. The festival, in it's second year, was founded by Canadian-born DJ and entrepreneur Julian Prince, who says it was his DJ-intuition that helped him pick St. Martin as the home of the event. "DJ's always have the birds eye view. [The] first time I came to St. Martin and went around the island I noticed 35 of the world's most beautiful beaches, friendly lush jungles, countless beach clubs [and] the multiple night clubs."
In addition to its astonishing island setting, the festival prides itself by bringing together "the very best talent in underground electronic music." This year's lineup does just that, boasting over 100 artists from the Grammy-award winning duo Bob Moses to NYC-favorite, Honey Dijon. We talked to Dijon about her favorite cities to perform in, spinning clubs vs. festivals and what she's most looking forward to this week at SXM.
Does playing in St. Martin affect how you compose your set? Does it affect the tone or mood—like trying to add more Island vibes, vacation vibes?
Not really. I may vary the tempo so it's a bit more sensual because it's not a club environment, but I will pretty much stick to what I do. I am a very versatile DJ and I find playing outdoors you can be a bit more experimental and not so banging.
You've been traveling a lot--what are some of your favorite destinations and cities you've played recently?
Berlin is always a favorite. There is still no place like Berghain. Paris is also coming back around and Tel Aviv is always a pleasure.
Do you have an ultimate dream gig/venue—a city you're dying to play in, a festival, or a particular event?
I've been itching to play Dekmantel. I was supposed to play last summer but the date didn't work. De School in Amsterdam is also on my wish list.
Do you prefer playing club sets or festivals? Are more intimate spaces better, or do you get pumped up by the huge crowds?
I am more of a club DJ for sure. I love intimate environments more because the interaction with the crowd is more immediate. Depending on the festival all you see is bobbing heads and it's hard to gauge their reaction to the music. I like to see people dancing also instead of facing me. Go have a good time and stop videotaping the DJ, lol!
You're playing both SXM and Coachella this year (CONGRATS!) alongside so many other amazing artists— do you have any artists or producers you'd love to work with in the future?
Thank you. I have an album coming out this year with collabs with both Sam Sparro and Cakes da Killa that I'm excited about. However, it would be an honor to work with Grace Jones or Cory Daye or Fonda Rae. I have always worshipped at the temple of disco.
What are you listening to right now? Who's inspiring you now and why?
Grace Jones and Solange. Grace has always been such an icon to me and Solange's album, A Seat At The Table, was just perfection. I don't listen to any dance music when I'm at home, mostly R&B and jazz.
Can't wait to see you on the Island! Are you more of a beach or pool person?
Neither. I actually hate the beach. All that sand and shit. I'm a city gal through and through.