J. Phlip Talks Dirtybird, Ghettotech, and Partying Worldwide
But among the Dirtybird boys -- Justin and Christian Martin, Claude VonStroke, Worthy, etc. -- one character stands out because of an X chromosome: J. Phlip (AKA Jessica Phillipe), the sole lady on the roster.
But just like rest of the crew, she's a slayer when it comes to banging out slick tracks in the studio and making booties bounce in the club. Go find out on Saturday when she rattles the speakers at Treehouse with LINK Miami and Miami Rebels alongside the Clink label's Tim Xavier.
-J. Phlip in Six Best Parties on South Beach This Weekend
-Dirtybird BBQ: Claude VonStroke, Justin Martin, and Crew at Villa 221 in Miami
-Justin Martin on Dirtybird and New Album: "Always Been About Bass and Ass-Clapping"
Crossfade: How did you first get drawn to electronic music and when did you get into DJing and production? Were there many raves or parties happening where you grew up in the Midwest?
J. Phlip: I really started to get into it when I was 17. I got a fake ID and started going to a couple of the clubs in Champaign, Illinois that had electronic music. I was mesmerized by it all: the DJs, the lights, the music, the whole culture of the nightlife. Most of all, I just loved to dance for hours and hours. Around the same time, I found out about these house parties going on in Urbana, in the basements of these grimy college houses. I was so sucked in.
I had originally been really into hip-hop, well I still was, but at these basement parties was where I really solidified my love for house music. A friend of mine who lived near my dorm showed me how to match beats on his Technics, and mixing instantly became my obsession. I bought some belt drives and hardly left my room. I kinda missed the rave scene. Unfortunately, it died before I really got into dance music. Either that or I was too busy being a nerd.
The DJing thing started going really well for me after a few years, and I was really curious about production but I just didn't have the time for it until finishing college. I had made the decision that music was my true passion but I also had already gotten so far through my engineering degree at the University of Illinois and it hadn't been easy. I wanted to earn that super important college education first. [Laughs] Yeah, that degree that I haven't used at all. Hmmm...
But it's all good. As soon as I got that diploma, I packed up and moved to Chicago, and San Francisco a year later, and just started teaching myself Reason and Ableton on the biggest piece-of-shit computer, and just bartended on the side to pay them bills.
How did you first hook up with the Dirtybird crew?
I was at Smartbar for the Ben Watt show in 2004 and this Justin [Martin] kid came up and started dancing with me. He was this total goofball wearing a Harley-Davidson t-shirt with the sleeves cut off and a baseball cap that said "fingerbang". Turned out I had a few of his tunes and he had just started this Dirtybird thang with his homies in SF. A few months later at the WMC, I found him again ... and the rest of the silly Dirtybirds ... and somehow just like ended up partying with them the whole time. This was way back in the beginning, before Barclay [Crenshaw] was even Claude [VonStroke] yet. I guess I tagged along with them enough times that they finally started to invite me to come DJ. Something like that.Iit was just meant to be.
Claude, Justin and the rest of the guys come across as so approachable and down-to-earth, and there's a definite sense of family or clique there. How does it feel being part of it and what are your favorite things about it?
They are the best people. All of them. And somehow when new people get signed, they usually end up really fitting in personality-wise too. It's the best thing in the world for me to be a part of Dirtybird. My favorite thing is when we all get to play or hang out together. I try to cherish the moments because everyone is so busy these days -- and all over the place!
It's super special when we all get to be together! And it has been really cool to have been along for the ride for so long and to watch how we have grown. We share this excitement when we feel that we have pushed ourselves further, either as a crew or for each other as individual artists. For instance, when we have a great party, sometimes there are moments when we look at each other and we're like "is this really happening? Ah!