Photo: Maxwell Schiano (DJ Minx)
Taking a close look at a DJ’s selection can tell you a lot about them as a music fan – but also much more. DJ Minx rightfully describes her mix for our Groove podcast energetic as herself, and it’s easy to hear how the music corresponds with the person who mixed it. A glance at the set’s track list may even reveal a deeper truth that is woven into unconsciously: most of those tracks were created in collaboration, and also that seems only fitting – after all, the Women On Wax founder has always sought to work with others, building connections and communities along the way. Get ready for an hour of joyful, spirited and, yes, energetic music from one of Detroit’s most important movers and shakers.
First off, how have you been doing this past year? Just in 2019, you had made music your full-time job before the pandemic brought the entire dance music industry to a grinding halt.
I’m doing well so far this year. I left my job with hopes of traveling and playing out more, but the pandemic put it all on hold. Because of that, I am deeper into production and I’m thankful for it.
With Behind The Grüv, you have recently opened an online store through which you sell Women On Wax merchandise as well as for example KDJ shirts and other clothing. What was your motivation to start this company?
I originally pursued a brick and mortar in downtown Detroit, where I could sell clothing and music in the same space. I was very close to signing the contract, when the realization of the upkeep set in. Also, I would have to be there all the time! I would have had no time to actually work on music, travel and keep the label running, so I decided to create the store online. That I can manage from anywhere in the world!
You’re releasing a new EP on your own Women On Wax Recordings next month, a split single with Gari Romalis. How did you end up working together on this release?
Gari is a great producer who doesn’t mind sharing his experiences and knowledge of the music business. We chat quite a bit and he has helped me understand some of the do’s and dont’s of the production world. After listening to a few of his tracks, and him listening to mine, I asked if he wanted to do a compilation. We worked on putting together the same flow of deep tracks and “Tronic D” was born!
The Women On Wax label turns 20 years old in 2021. What would you say does the label stand for – what are your goals with it currently?
I was recently talking with a friend about the 20 year anniversary! My label is a platform for local and global artists to create music rooted in the rhythm of Detroit, and is for everyone – not just women. I would like to work with more artists of all genres of music this year.
Women On Wax was born out of an initiative founded in 1996 with the aim to organise and promote female DJs from in and around Detroit. Looking back, what do you think have been your greatest achievements and what still needs to be done, in Detroit and beyond?
The fact that everyone I have helped has remembered me continues to make me proud. There needs to be more support worldwide. If the sharing of knowledge and support was provided by everyone in the business, there would be less people wondering what to do next. Share what you know!
Also musically, you have been using your platform for political statements such as “Blind Amerikkka,” a track featuring vocalist E-Man that was released when Donald Trump was superseded by Joe Biden as the president of the United States. What potential do you see from an artist’s perspective in speaking about social and political issues through music?
Using one’s platform to speak about political and social justice is a great idea, especially since most people have a phone that they listen to music through. Instead of reading in a classroom setting, you can get your message out though one of your bomb ass tracks! People would listen more intently, while thrusting around to your music.
In a recent interview for his Groove mix, Eddie Fowlkes said that in Detroit “there’s not too many people pushing the envelope […] because you gotta have a culture that the music comes from,” that “with gentrification you won’t get that funk and soul or deep soulful techno.” What do you think about this? Does the city indeed lack the infrastructure or culture that Fowlkes speaks of for young artists to thrive?
Detroit is not what it used to be in terms of the people that live here. Young people aren’t being educated on the origin of techno music, so they may have no clue where it came from. With the change that has happened in the city, there are not as many blacks in some areas. People that listen to electronic music tend to know of Tiësto, Calvin Harris, and other high-profile DJs. They are, what the youth see, the creators of the music. If there’s no one to pass it on to – then how will it continue to grow? I feel Fowlkes’ message.
What was the idea behind your mix for our Groove podcast?
I put together an hour of music that will showcase my style. The mix is just as energetic as I am, and it’s a thumper!
Last but not least: What are your plans for the future?
I have a release coming out on !K7, Tresor Records’ new TRESOR 30 compilation, my own imprint, and I am working with Carl Craig on some goodies as well as a couple more sweet things that I have under my hat!
Stream: DJ Minx – Groove Podcast 293
01. Bernard Badie – Vicious Cycle
02. Soulsearcher – Feelin’ Love (Mattei & Omich Extended Remix)
03. DJ Minx – Do It All Night (C2 Edit)
04. Hot Since 82 & Rudimental – Be Strong
05. Moon Rocket, Re-Tide & LauMii – Chocolate (Mattei & Omich Remix)
06. Saison feat. Dominique Fils-Aimé – Show Me (Waajeed’s Black Messiah Remix)
07. Justin Jay – 824 Curson Ave.
08. Adri Block & Chris Marina – We Got the Real Thing
09. Crazibiza – Soul Cool
10. Ben Delay – Freedom (Sebb Junior Remix)
11. Gianni Ruocco & Le Roi Carmona – Catnip
12. DJ Sneak – The Difference
13. Brokenears – Keep On
14. Crakazat – Alfa
15. Honey Dijon – La Femme Fantastique (Kink & KEi Extended Remix)
16. Joseph Capriati with Louie Vega – Spirit Brothers