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Hailing from the Detroit Techno scene, DJ Minx is a reputable producer, party thrower, and Women on Wax collective founder. For decades, she has helped shape the roots of the underground electronic music industry in the metro Detroit area, while also influencing the Canadian radio waves in the 1990’s. Toronto’s Electric Island has announced that DJ Minx will be joining this year’s main stage for the season opener on May 19th. We had the chance to ask her a few questions about her techno journey and her thoughts about Electric Island…
You’ve been in the music industry for over three decades. What are your views on the recent resurrection of electronic dance music? Do you think it is easier or harder to become a successful DJ/producer in this current day?
I’ve seen the slow down, change in sounds and the support of people in droves at certain soiree’s. The music has always been alive in my eyes. There are DJs and producers in every corner of the earth, but there has to be something that sets them apart from the rest, if they want to see success. There are a lot of gimmicks out there these days, and people are showing love for it. In order to become successful, there has to be something about you that people want to see or hear. Keep in mind that there are THOUSANDS of DJs out there. You’ve got to be confident, work hard, stay current and be consistent.
In today’s society women are becoming more and more accepted in competitive industries such as music. What other minorities does your collective embrace and how does ‘Women On Wax’ stay strong as a family during these shifting times?
The W.O.W. family has a love of music and of people. It doesn’t matter the person’s origin, I am just focused on good talent. Music unites everyone. Regarding the family, communication is key. Any and everything is up for discussion and if an issue arises, we handle it and keep it moving.
I’ve experienced the “shift” yes. I have done all of the above in one set before. I’ve promoted a party that I was actually DJing, set up ticket sales and played music that I’ve produced during my set. If you’re a promoter and a DJ and want to throw a party, then you could save by just doing most of the work without hiring people. I feel the demand will come from the talent itself, in the way of what the artist can bring to the table. I don’t see promoters asking artists to promote their parties any more than they do now. Nothing stays the same, so it may change.
You have been named one of the “20 Women who shaped the History of Dance Music” by Mixmag and one of the “Best house music DJs of all time” by Timeout New York. How do you keep your techniques and content fresh in order to stay on top? Where do you go when looking for new music?
My DJ sets and the music I spin are energetic and banging. When I play, I want to feel the dancers responses. I feed off of their energy. I “talk” to the crowd and give them doses of what I call musical orgasms. When looking for some good good (say that twice, haha) beats, I get music from Detroit Threads, Beatport, Traxsource, Juno and from local producers in the D, but there is good music everywhere!
Electric Island is comparable to Detroit’s Movement Festival, taking place on Toronto Island four weekends every summer and playing the best of techno and house. What can fans expect to hear from your set and what expectations do you have for Toronto’s scene?