Bygbaby.com Mindspill

As you know, last weekend, I covered the Detroit Electronic Music Festival for the Detroit Fashion Pages.

My job was to capture the spirit of the festival in all its glory (I think I did a fucking great job of that) to tell a photographic story for DFPs readers.

As the event drew closer, DFP needed a feature story & I was able to step up to the plate & arrange an interview with DJ Minx.

Anyway, enough of my shameless self-promotion & bullshit, read on.
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Detroit Fashion Pages: Inside Look: DJ Minx | 5/29/09
Interview by: Nick Degel

To those who attended Paxahua’s Movement 2009, Monday’s line up at the Vitamin Water stage should have been a reminder of why this festival belongs to Detroit. Kevin Saunderson and Derrick May’s back-to-back DJ sets capped off the night on a stage that had also featured Carl Craig, Los Hermanos, Quentin Harris and Luke Hess.

On the day prior, the largest of the four stages set in Hart Plaza received its shotgun start from another Detroit original. DJ Minx’s upbeat set that afternoon welcomed the diehards and early – if 2 pm on a Sunday can be considered early – risers to another day of sun and beats.

To refer to Minx as established falls directly in the category of “understatement.” She has shared the stage with colleagues and friends who list like a who’s who of electronic music. She also formed the collective-turned-label Women On Wax, co presenter of the “Powerhouse” afterparty at Premium Resto Lounge the night of her Movement set, and is world renowned for her infectious brand of house.

Sunny and approachable with an instant sense of humor, it’s no wonder “Mama” Minx is seen as a mentor to many female DJs developing their own careers. The humidity of the festival’s first day finally seemed to be breaking when we sat down in the press area to chat

Just a few short minutes of small talk revealed that her life, in many ways, is a very Detroit story. Her day job is with GM and her successful career as a DJ began in the same city – the same club – where many discovered the music.

DFP: How did you get started as a DJ?

Minx: I used to go to the Music Institute downtown and I used to see Derrick May playing and watch him, going, “Look at how he’s making these people dance like crazy!” I’d go up into the booth and watch him and one day he asked, “What are you looking at?” I said “I can do that” and he was like, “Really? OK, well I want to see you do it.” I went back the next weekend and he looked at me and said, “Are you doing this yet?” and I said “no,” (and he said) “Well don’t come back until you doing it.” I was like, “Oh my God, he is mean!” I went and told my mentor and he said, “What do you think that means?” I said, “I think it means Derrick is crazy!” He said, “No. It means you have to start doing it.” … (Once I got better) I wouldn’t say anything to anybody about spinning or anything, but people started finding out that it was a lady doing this and started booking me.

DFP: Was it somewhat of a boy’s club?

Minx: Oh my goodness. It was so deterring. People would just stare at me and go, “Is this really a lady?” Really! One guy thought I was a man disguised as a woman. I was so offended. I was hurt more than I was offended because there was nothing I could do (about it). … They’re looking at my neck. Seriously, looking for Adam’s Apples. It was crazy! I was really really shy too. I would just wear jeans and T shirts and stuff like that. Then I started dressing up and that would really make them scared, but it would also make them dance harder too.

DFP: How much has the festival changed in your opinion?

Minx: Beside the fact that it was free the first year and it was packed wall to wall and cracks and crevices? That was beautiful. And then it was kind of different, it fluctuated for the next few years, and then when Paxahua took it over it changed in a different way because they had mostly the Techno, Tech-House and things like that. I can play both forms of music. I can do the Tech-House and I can do the Soulful, Vocal and the Deep House so however they booked artists I worked with them accordingly.

DFP: Is it a case where the scene has changed so the festival has changed with it?

Minx: Yeah, I know that’s the case. It’s like Techno’s taken over the festival itself. Period. It got really Techy for years and we Soulful House and Vocal House artists felt left out. That’s all I do on my label, Vocal House and Deep House. We felt kind of left out for a long time. It’s good that they were accommodating the masses by bringing in the Techno artists because you had all the people listening to Techno on the daily coming down to Detroit. They kept it flowing, they stuck with the trends. I’m just happy that this year they have a variety of music and artists. That’s really impressive to me. Especially the line and the days in which they have the Detroit stage, that’s appreciative. Not mention that next year Carl Craig is going to be the creative director. That’s good news too.

DFP: Is there a big difference when you’re playing overseas?

Minx: Are you kidding me? (Laughs). First of all, when you’re getting picked up in a limousine to get taken to the club, you’ve got 20 people dying to carry your records. They’re giving me jewels and made me bracelets and things. …You’re a star, I’m telling you. It’s crazy different. People are so loving. They don’t even talk English but they know how to show you they love you. You know the show MTV Cribs? They have a German version of it and they followed me around like the whole day. … They’re at your every beck and call. But when you’re at home, it’s nothing. (It’s like) Whatever.