Thursday… Hitting Miami Music Week on one of the busiest days of the event was never going to be easy. We hit the ground-running with what could easily be described as ‘an aggressive schedule’…
1pm: Dim Mak pool party, Nikki Beach
Programmed to party until 5am, this is Dim Mak’s longest and biggest party. Nikki Beach is the perfect venue: plenty of room to dance in the sand or take it easy in the cabana, and the music makes it easy to have a good time. We caught up with two of the label’s artists Australian speaker-shredder UberJak’d and 19-year-old newcomer Max Styler, to get their take on the days ahead.
Max Styler: “It’s my first time here, it’s incredible. I met Waka Flocka last night, which was awesome!”
UberJak’d: “This is my second time. Last year I did the Dim Mak party too which was awesome. Just being here and catching up with everyone is great, especially being from Australia. It’s the one place that everyone from around the world comes to meet and hangout.”
4pm: Surfcomber Hotel with Laidback Luke
Loaded on Dim Mak madness, we battle the traffic to the other side of South Beach to arrive just in time for an interview with EDM legend Laidback Luke, just moments after he’s been interviewed by Pete Tong. No pressure.
Laidback Luke: “I’ve been coming to Miami Music Week since 2001 so I’m basically a veteran. I used to come as a fan, and then slowly my career grew and my first breakthrough was at Robbie Rivera’s beach party, which used to be the hot spot back in the day. I remember the Swedish House Mafia and I trying to get into this party and we couldn’t get in!
“What I really like about Miami is that I get the time to catch up with my fellow DJs and we actually get to listen to each other’s music. Usually we’re rushing from stage to stage and saying hi in passing. It’s really important to get a preview of the sounds and the DJs that will come up this year…
“Just like last year with future house, now this year I’m predicting a huge year for jungle terror.”
After we’re done, we dive deep into the crowds to enjoy the party. Kygo is on and the Miami vibes couldn’t be more palpable with Firestone playing through the speakers like an ocean breeze, swaying the crowds as they sang along.”
7pm: Sirius XM Electro @ The W Hotel
A girl greets us as we enter and asks if we want Alesso tattoos as he’s about to go on. The venue is much smaller than the others, but in an intimate way that makes you feel like you’re part of a backyard party – that happens to be equipped with one amazing sound system. We take a break to sit near the pool and chat with other guests when suddenly the party’s abuzz – Martin Garrix arrived. He and Alesso play a joint-set and the two appeared to just be good friends having fun spinning a set together. This is exactly the type of situations you could only experience during Miami Music Week.
Amidst the beats we grab five minutes of Prince Fox’s time…
Prince Fox: “This week I’m most excited to be playing with Porter Robinson, Duke Dumont and Audien. I’ve been a fan of all those guys for a while so it’s crazy to be billed on the same line up as them.
“I’m also just really excited to meet everyone I’ve been speaking to online; internet friends. The craziest person I’ve met impressive-wise was Flux Pavilion, because he’s so much taller than I expected. Everyone’s been really cool; I honestly haven’t had a negative experience meeting someone yet.”
9pm: Hotel pit stop with Charlie Darker
We return to our hotel room to get ready for the evening when Charlie Darker arrives to chat with us about his new projects, including a single called D2B coming out with Dim Mak’s Max Styler, who we had happened to talk to earlier. He tells us over champagne that he’s also working on a new project quite unlike his current work. He can’t expose too many details right now, but did grant us a preview – let’s just say we’re dying that we can’t say more.
Charlie Darker: “This is my third time at Miami Music Week. I was here last year for Wolfgang Gartner’s pool party, which was great. The year before that I just came as a fan to Ultra… But I would never do that again!
“This year is definitely a different experience from the first time I came. The thing about Miami is it’s a constant memory. What would be one night in your home city is happening 500 times in one night in Miami. You get to see all these people, even your Internet friends, you feel like you’ve known them for years but you’ve never actually met the person. Even the people I’m staying with I’ve never met but I’ve known for years. It’s awesome to put a face to the names.”
11pm: Smog VS Firepower
Night time is the right time for some heavy bass action: We arrive at Mekka and are instantly immersed in Grabbitz and Kayzo aggressive set that jumps between pure bass and hardstyle. Grabbitz, who has a new EP coming out in April, has been to Miami Music Week before, but this is his first year coming to Miami as an artist.
Grabbitz: “Miami is the ultimate social hub – if you’re talking about DJ-ing, music, having fun, and going out at night – which is what this whole industry is, it’s Miami.”
As we’re inundated with impeccable sets from the likes of 12th Planet, Datsik, Andy C and Stooki Sound, the first night of our Miami explorations comes to a hazy conclusion…
If there’s one thing we can take away from our first day, it’s that Miami is not to be taken too seriously. Sure, we’re all busy and everyone is here to make progress on their paths and profiles, but we’re here to take a vacation from the daily hustle and bustle to hang out with industry friends, make new ones, and simply, have a really good time.
Stay tuned for more Miami madness tomorrow!