When did it happen? When did DJs become celebrities or when did I become a celebrity DJ?" sighs Honey Dijon when we meet in a studio in East London. "I think a lot of people have a very different perception of me to the perception I have of myself." She’s anti the concept of personality DJs and reckons the only difference between her and someone at the party is a set of decks. "Once you become more important than the music, then you’re finished," she says, referencing an old Frankie Knuckles quote, "and I live by that."
If you’re not familiar with Honey Dijon, she’s major. Capital letters kind of major. She’s had top billing at every club worth mentioning, been on party invitations from Balenciaga to Givenchy and played at photographers Mert and Marcus’ summer party in Ibiza recently. She has scored the music for a fashion movie, written about nightlife, given talks on club culture and is a transgender spokesperson. "DJing is still how I make my bread and butter," she says. "I’ve always wanted to live a creative life so everything I do I enjoy but, you know, I’m a house head and that’s what I get excited about – the art and craft of DJing – discovering new music and playing at clubs."
Growing up in Chicago, she used to creep out of the house to go clubbing – with her parents’ consent – so long as she kept herself at the top of her class. "I was born there but I like to say that I grew up in New York," she says. How old was she when she first moved? "That is not going to be public knowledge!" She now splits her time between there and Berlin, "New York is a city for the rich, it’s not a fun city any more, which is unfortunate." Dijon has been going back and forth for the last ten years but has decided to make it more of a permanent base. "I’m a Gemini so having extreme differences works for me. New York has taught me an awful lot of things – it teaches you to be resourceful, how to hustle and manifest your dreams, because everyone who goes there wants to be a star." And Berlin? "It reminds me a little of California because it’s chilled and laid-back and you can be as healthy or as decadent as you want. There’s a huge music community there, so every international artist comes through town."
Musically she’s known as eclectic, but she’s not keen on labels, personally or musically: "I don’t believe in them. Labels are for ingredients, but what I do like to listen to at home is a lot of jazz, R&B soul and Seventies rock, for me it’s important to listen to music with a lot of musicality to it. A lot of electronic music can feel very robotic. I need to hear singers and horns and brass, I need to hear the music, you know?"
Dijon may be friends with designers such as Dior’s Kim Jones, Vuitton’s Virgil Abloh and Burberry’s Riccardo Tisci, but she doesn’t follow trends. "I don’t like fashion, I like style," she says. "I’ve always been influenced by cultural movements that are attached to clothing." She’s drawn to the Seventies because of the women’s social liberation movement, the civil rights movement and the gay rights movement. "We haven’t had a social revolution in a very long time. And we’re ready for one. One of the great things about the viability of trans people is that they’re breaking down gender norms and sexuality norms and that always influences fashion and art and music, so I’m really interested in seeing what comes out of that." Her perfect day off? "Listening to a lot of jazz, smoking a lot of weed and hopefully having a lot of sex. All at the same time." See? Major.
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