with HONEY DIJON
The super DJ likes a dance-floor that’s dark and intimate
Interview: OWEN MYERS
Photography: TIMO WIRSCHING
Owen Myers: Hi Honey, how’s it going?
Honey Dijon: Hi Owen. I’m very well, thank you.
OM: I saw your set with The Black Madonna in Brooklyn the other week and it was the most fun I’ve had all year.
HD: Oh great! It was super fun.
OM: The atmosphere was amazing. How much does lighting help to create an ambience when you perform?
HD: You know, I like it dark. For me, the absence of light is actually quite beautiful. I tend to like my rooms bathed in warm erotic colours like reds, oranges or yellows, where it feels very sensual. It can cultivate a sexual energy in the room.
OM: Is there a tendency to over-light clubs?
HD: Yes. I come from a clubbing experience where it wasn't so much about the light show. Clubbing has gone from an underground community gathered in a subcultural way, to entertainment. Now, it's more about the spectacle of the party than the music itself. I wish that the focus could be more on people with each other and the music itself.
OM: You grew up in Chicago, going to legendary house clubs like Club LaRay and the Muzic Box. What was that like?
HD: Well, as with any movement, you don't know that they’re legendary! I was very young. Back then, since it was predominantly a gay black experience, it wasn't policed. I was 12 or 13 and I could get a fake ID saying I was 16 or 17. So it was quite amazing. My love of clubbing was my love of music – that grew out of being in those kinds of spaces. Looking back, it was my homework for what I'm doing today.
OM: What was the ambiance like in, say, the Muzic Box?
HD: It was pretty rough. Cracked tile floors, cheap mirrored walls, and the sound wasn't great. It was basically the size of a closet. But the energy, and the people, the way they dressed and moved, and the music...you know, this was a culture created for marginalised people, and this is how they connected, and celebrated themselves. So, for me, it was great to watch art being born from marginalisation and pain.
OM: Were clubs like the Muzic Box pretty dark?
HD: People don't realise, but I come from just a black room with a red light. Maybe there was a light from the booth going out to the dance floor, but it was minimal. Most of the time, you couldn't even see the DJ.
OM: What do you think about spaces like Panorama Bar, in Berlin, which let in natural light?
HD: It's sort of a mark of achievement for most DJs if you can get the shutters up there. It’s beautiful. My favourite sets are sometimes when you open the room, and dawn has broken. And it's also fun to play when it turns dark.
OM: How does it feel to enter a club when it's dark and leave when it's light?
HD: Sounds like heaven to me. I guess the best way I could describe it is anticipation. At three o'clock, when it's dark and you're entering a club: it's like foreplay.
OM: And what's the climax?
HD: Ooh. Well, it depends on how many you can have in the course of a night!
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