J.Phlip is – for lack of a better term – a badass chick. As a member of the renowned Dirtybird Records crew, the Illinois native has been churning out trailblazing house music since the "cash me ousside" gremlin couldn't go a day without losing her baby teeth, let alone sputter her cringey catchphrase. J.Phlip has been a nonstop wrecking ball of gumption since she was 19, when she bought her first set of cheap decks and a mixer. Since then, she has proven herself a formidable talent with a workhouse mentality and imaginative approach to sound design, and an exemplar of ingenuity with an innate need to consistently push her music forward.
Having toured the United States and Europe more than a nerdy Frommer's tour guide, J.Phlip has proliferated her unique brand of music and gained a staunchly loyal following. With a proclivity for producing menacing tech house thumpers like her quirky banger "Coefficient," the house music maven, who to friends is Jessica Phillippe, has carved out quite a niche for herself. A voracious writer and DJ with no fear of crossing genre boundaries, she also exhibits a bubbly and infectiously kooky persona which is an embodiment of her own sonic aesthetic. It's one of the reasons she has become a fan favorite in the international dance scene.
This Saturday J.Phlip is performing at Splash House, a festival in radiant Palm Springs, California that moonlights as a pool party Shangri-la where revelers rage to music as colorful as the flamingo and banana floaties that pervade its waters. The clean percussion patterns and relentless bass lines present in her music are quintessential for the idyllic setting of Splash House, and attendees planning to catch her set are in for a real treat.
Ahead of the festival, J.Phlip put together an absolute flamethrower of an exclusive playlist and chatted with EARMILK about her humble beginnings, the women who inspire her, and the madness that took place on the road to becoming one of Dirtybird's leading ladies.
House music is making a huge comeback right now, thanks in part to you and your Dirtybird crew. How do you plan on capitalizing on this major revival? Any special music up your sleeve?
I’ve been so deep in it for so long now, I have a hard time seeing what house music looks like from the rest of the world’s perspective. Did it ever leave!? (laughs). Many years ago I set a goal to try to pay my bills doing something that I love, DJing. It has more than worked out for me the past several years, to the point where I don’t feel like I deserve this. Barclay [Crenshaw, aka Claude VonStroke] and Aundy [Crenshaw, COO/CMO of Dirtybird and Barclay's wife] used to tell me that I might want to come up with a more ambitious goal. Now that I think about it, I’d still like to own a classic car, open an NAD addiction detox center someday, and possibly crowd surf. So you’re saying now is the time to up my goals and cash in?! Hmm… I’ll think about it. The reality is, I’m still just trying to figure out how to manage my career as it stands today, stay true to myself and my music, do well at my job, and not die. I haven’t reached some of my personal dreams as a producer yet, but that’s something I’m working on again right now, house music revival or not. I made a remix for Walker & Royce that will be coming out on Dirtybird soon. It’s one of the first songs I ever produced that I feel like sounds like me, my style and vibe of dance music that I love.
You started DJing as a freshmen in college and now you've played Coachella… twice. What's your advice to an artist struggling to break out of the bedroom and into the live arena?
There’s no secret formula to breaking out or through or whatever. Just work on your craft and keep doing stuff… maybe get a super cool outgoing personable friend who naturally can talk to anyone that helps you network without having to talk at all about yourself (laughs). However just for the record, I played at The Do-Lab Stage at Coachella three times, but that’s not directly booked by Coachella (rather the Do-Lab). Which is not to downplay The Do-Lab stage, it has been a major highlight of my career and is a crazy special place to play! I would still really like to someday play Coachella’s Yuma Tent though.
"They told me 'we make all this silly fart bass music on a program called Reason.'"