- Words Aimee Phillips
Honey Dijon on facilitating celebration and joy through music, her happy place, and upcoming Pandora's Box show in London this May.
The word ‘icon’ gets thrown around a lot these days, but no one wears the title better than Honey Dijon.
A DJ, producer, and musician, Honey Dijon has left an indelible mark on the electronic music scene after decades of spinning house, disco, techno, and other feasts for the ears. Born in Chicago, Honey started her disc jockey career spinning tunes at her parents’ basement parties, regularly scouring for tracks in the city’s record stores. In one such store, she met DJ and record producer, Derrick Carter, who introduced her to the underground Chicago club scene, where she was exposed to jacking house and Detroit techno.
Honey later moved to New York City, where she now splits her time with electronic music mecca, Berlin. To date, Honey has played some of the biggest and most legendary clubs around the world, from Space in Ibiza to Panorama Bar in Berlin, Sub Club in Glasgow, The Block in Tel Aviv, Output in NYC, The Warehouse Project in Manchester, and Smart Bar in Chicago, as well as tons of festivals. Later this month, Honey Dijon brings her signature sound to London.
Notion caught up with Honey ahead of her Pandora’s Box show at the newly refurbished KOKO on 19th May to hear about her insatiable love for books, the rising DJs she’s excited about, and what she wants her legacy to be.
Many would call you an icon of the dance and electronic music circuit, but how do you define success and quantify it on your own terms?
I would define my success as just being a working artist. I don’t get too caught in compliments, be it positive or negative. Of course, it’s nice to hear nice things about my work, but I just focus on bringing joy to people through my music, DJing and being good at my craft. Also just surviving in the world as a trans woman of colour in music, fashion, and on a daily basis, is a success within itself.
You’re set to play an immersive show called Pandora’s Box at the renovated London venue KOKO on 19th May. How did the show all come together? What can people expect?
I love London! It’s a place where I can express myself fully. When I found out KOKO had been refurbished, I loved the thought of combining its legendary reputation with the journey into the unknown within a new venue.
We love to see Pxssy Palace on the line-up. What is your relationship like with the collective? How did you come across them?
I love what they are doing. This is the second time we’ve worked together. House music has always been deeply sexual but less so nowadays. I admire what Pxssy Palace brings to the party and the inclusive community they have built.
Having played sets around the world at some of the most renowned clubs, can you tell us about a show that will always stand out for you?
I am a proponent of joy, so it’s not so much the venue but the people inside of it. Clubs have always been a place for people to lose their inhibitions and leave their troubles at the door even if it’s for a couple of hours. If I am a facilitator of celebration and happiness through music then that’s what always stands out for me. I am so lucky to have this as a career.
Who are some new names in the electronic scene that you’re excited about?
Sippin T / Ash Lauren / Yung Liberaci.
After decades in the industry, what is one of the most significant things you’ve learned?
Stay hungry and curious. I never rest on my laurels and I approach every gig as my first. Above all, if people leave the party feeling uplifted and a bit better than when they entered, it was a good night.
What do you want your legacy to be?
That I contributed to the world of art, music, and fashion and that I was a mirror of affirmation and role possibility for those who have felt invisible or oppressed for simply being who they are.
Finally, where is your happy place?
Book shops! It’s like sex for me. I love to research culture and art and I am insatiable.