Blisspop had the pleasure of catching up with Dirtybird darling Jessica Phillippe, better known as J.Phlip. After what she considers her best year yet as a producer, we talked managing dancefloor expectations, pets (both the label and the little furry ones) and what’s in store for 2012.
Blisspop: You played U Street Music Hall back in September. How’d it go? What were your impressions of the club, crowd, vibe, etc.?
J.Phlip: Well I definitely won’t be complaining about the sound system there!!! ;) Which is the most important aspect of a party to me. I HATE PLAYING ON SHIT SOUND! The people seemed educated about my music and ready to rave! Really great vibes on the dancefloor…people screaming my name in the breakdowns ‘n shit. Nuts. Plus they have good beers on tap and really neat poster designs and a super rad staff.
You definitely don’t appear to be a slave to the typical house and techno 4/4. Where does your eclectic music taste come from, and how do you find a balance between that and more expected, straightforward dance music in your sets?
My eclectic music taste comes from the fact that I don’t like to be BORING!!! I just like to dig and find music that other people don’t have and I spend a lot of time figuring out how my tracks fit together like a big puzzle. My tastes have just been shaped by years of being a huge music freak. I don’t know how exactly I got this way. I just feel the music or I don’t. It’s funny too because a lot of people send me music and say “I think you will love this” and over half the time they are way off. I’m very particular in what I like and don’t like, but I can’t really explain or generalize my taste.
You were picked up by Dirtybird a few years ago. Did that feel like a pretty big moment in your career? How did you link up with Barclay (Claude VonStroke) and company? And how has that relationship evolved since?
HUGE moment!!! Not just in my career but in my life! Doesn’t everybody know this story by now? [laughs]
I met Justin Martin in Chicago at Smartbar while he was on tour with Ben Watt just after he put out “The Sad Piano.” He was just a fuckin’ awesome dood…and dirtybird only had a couple releases at that time but I thought it was some of the most fun dance music I had ever heard. So I tracked them down at WMC in Miami after that…met the whole crew…ran around to some parties with them. Barclay was Justin’s manager then and didn’t even have the [Claude] VonStroke moniker yet. [laughs] I just totally clicked with all of them.
They kinda just kept me around as their side kick homegirl from Illinois. I dunno why? Over time they started having me out to SF to DJ and eventually after signing “Rumble Rumble” in 2008 they put me through dirtybird boot camp and made me an the official member of the crew. They must be pretty happy with this decision because they haven’t kicked me out yet! It’s the only love story of my life that has had a happy ending so far.
Looks like in 2011 another relationship blossomed, this time with Cats N’ Dogs, as you had a release on their (relatively new) Pets Recordings label. Your music seems like the perfect fit for their catalogue, but how did that all come about? Any future releases for them in the works?
Yessssss!!! I love Voitek and Greg. Voitek was my roommate for 6 months when I first moved to Berlin. We just got along really well…and then later I wrote “Fever” and sent it over to him just to see what he thought. Not necessarily for Pets or anything. He was just so into it! And it definitely was not a dirtybird track. I contemplated shopping the track around, as Pets was just gaining momentum around this time. But then I thought about it, and how lovely my career has been working with people who I know and love. I thought…why send this off to some labels where I don’t really know the people behind them or whether they’re the kinda people I want to work with and whatnot? I should just keep it in the fam…yes, for sure…I want this to come out on Pets! And I couldn’t be happier with that decision.
I plan on doing another EP for them this year! Just need to finish it someday!
2012 is relatively young, but I’m sure a lot of people are starting to abandon their New Year’s resolution to go to the gym more. Did you make any goals for the coming year, either professional or personal, that you’d care to let us in on?
Nothing too crazy actually. I just want to up my production game a bit more. 2011 was my best year for producing so far, and I was really happy with the music I wrote but I want to dig deeper into myself and my own sounds.
And I wanted to finally try to be a tad bit more responsible this year [laughs] and adopt a kitty. I guess it was meant to be because my friend recently found a starving stray kitty outside of San Francisco. I’m in love with her so it looks like Muschi will be coming with me to Berlin! (PS look up what muschi means in German)
Other than that I was just way to busy making people dance and worrying about sets and when I might get some sleep to really think much about myself or the upcoming year. Shit, I can’t believe we are already a month in…what happened???
How happy are you that, until now, we haven’t asked one gender-related question in this interview?
Thank you….YOU KNOW this makes me SOOOOOOOOO HAPPY!!! The dreaded female DJ questions…ugh…I will bring you a huge awesome hug this weekend!!!