BIOGRAPHY

Club DJ and Producer

PlayPlay is an NYC-based DJ, producer, educator and curator, by way of NC, who combines their penchant for percussion and bass with nostalgic samples in both their DJ sets & music production.

As a DJ, their voice and vision for the perfect dancefloor moves effortlessly from taut techno to punishing club tracks on to proper house classics, spinning mixes together as impressive in execution as they are compelling in breadth and depth. Their encyclopedic sets are inspired by the sounds they grew up dancing to – 90s club anthems, jungle, breakbeat hardcore, industrial, classic house, techno and old school hip-hop.

They have played at venues such as Good Room, Elsewhere, Jupiter Disco, MOMA PS1, and Bossa Nova Civic Club and at festivals such as Brooklyn Mag Festival and Moogfest. In Durham, NC, they have held a decade-long residency at The Pinhook, and have been a long time member and booker for the underground club collective and party series, Party Illegal.

Over the past decade, they’ve had the privilege of playing alongside artists such as Big Freedia, TT the Artist, Le1f, Sudan Archives, Sylvan Esso, MikeQ, UNIIQU3, Nadus, Jubilee and Darude, releasing guest mixes on The Lot Radio, Rinse FM, WIDE Radio, JEROME Worldwide and more.

With production releases out on labels such as Sorry Records, Worst Behavior, Juke Bounce Werk, FPE Records and Knightwerk, PlayPlay has been slowly and steadily amassing a thumping discography. Their music has premiered on Mixmag, Insert, Crude Berlin, Suprematic Sounds, Untitled 909, and has been played on BBC Radio 1, NTS Radio and The Lot radio.

Most recently, they have released their Maneuvers EP with Brooklyn-based label Sorry Records, which DJ Mag described as an EP with “three springing, two-step-inspired club tracks” and Untitled 909 as “euphoric and joyous, including the vibrant two-step influenced ‘Blue’ where the glistening synths envelope you in an embrace of kaleidoscopic colours.”

PlayPlay also loves to collaborate, remixing music from artists such as Bored Lord and Big Dipper and and having their music remixed by Suzi Analogue, Jasmine Infiniti, Bored Lord, James Bangura, Scottie B, Escaflowne and more. Last year, PlayPlay and fellow queer southern producer C Powers released their collaborative, slow cooked breakbeat EP Breaking Capacity under the moniker PowerPlay on Sorry Records. This year, PlayPlay is planning collaborations with JiaLing, KOOXLA, and more to be revealead.

 

Music scholar and Educator

Jess also has an extensive background in music education. They have been an artist/educator with NYC-based Building Beats for the past 5 years, and most recently became the head of the Education and Curriculum Department. Before joining Building Beats, Jess taught The Art and Culture of the DJ through the University of North Carolina Department of Music as a DJ professor. They have also guest lectured at universities such as Duke University, Rider University, The University of Groningen and ARoS Museum (Denmark).

Jess loves to share their skills with as many people as they can, and has a particular investment in mentoring women, trans/non-binary artists and others who are marginalized in the DJ and music production industry.

In February of 2020 (exactly one month before the pandemic hit worldwide), PlayPlay served as an artist-educator through the Next Level Hip Hop diplomacy program in Peru. They have since continued their work from a distance, teaching music production for Building Beats, Next Level, and In Session digitally.

As a music scholar, Jess’s main interests are in local music scenes, dance floor dynamics, queer theory, and media studies. Formerly the editor-in-chief for the International Association for the Study of Popular Music website (iaspm-us.net) and currently the head of content at Building Beats, PlayPlay has also published in Oxford University Press Handbook of Hip Hop Music and  has an article forthcoming in their Handbook of Electronic Music.

PlayPlay has held a 3 year residency at Flux Factory, a Queens-based art gallery, where in 2018, they presented their first solo exhibition – a sonic tribute to the queer histories of club music. In 2022, they co-curated their first group show, Pink Flamingo: Clubs in Flux at the cell theatre in Chelsea. This show included a series of temporary club exhibitions that came and went in the span of one week, as well as a living archive of NYC nightclub ephemera.

GO TO MUSIC