ARTIST INTERVIEW: Jessica Audiffred

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Photo by Christiaan Almazan

As EDM has gained mainstream popularity, more female DJs have become recognized in a field stereotypically reserved for men. Among them is Jessica Audiffred, a Mexico City-based DJ who also has her own label, A-Records, and hosts Lunchbox, the first bass music radio show in Mexico. 

Her story provides an inspiring example of an artist who got excited about her genre and just threw herself into it head-first. AudioFemme talked to Audiffred about the EDM scene and how she got where she is.

Suzannah Weiss for AudioFemme: How did you first get into DJing?

Jessica Audiffred: That was about five or six years ago, when I finished my psychology degree and I started to hang out with a lot of cool DJ friends. I’ve always liked electronic music ever since I was a little girl, so it was a really organic step to me, just to ask them, “please give me some DJ classes.” So I went to their houses, and I was there for about six to eight hours every day for about five months, and they started to put me in their parties, and I haven’t stopped.

What do you love about it?

It’s just a different feeling. Other than just making music in your house, you’re sharing that with the public, and just watching the reaction of every tune you have — you can control their feelings and their emotions. You’re just there throwing a good (or bad) time for them.

How is the EDM scene different in the US and Mexico?

In Mexico, we’re not at that point where you just can throw bass parties. You have to go there to play big commercial stuff and artists like me or like many DJs I know who play bass music or dubstep or whatever, we have a hard time playing there because people are not ready yet. There’s not much of a problem in the festival scene because you can play whatever you want, but in the club scene, it’s difficult for us who don’t play commercial big-room stuff.

Why is it harder to play less mainstream stuff in Mexico?

There’s not much of a culture around electronic music in general. They just want to go see the main big EDM acts. They just go to be like “I know him and that’s what I want to see. I don’t want to see anyone else. I don’t care about anyone else. I just want to take a video and a picture of me singing that famous song and that’s it.” It’s really sad for us because there’s not much of a scene there. But it doesn’t matter. I think that all of the people who are playing bass music and something different, we’re managing to get into a really cool group where we’re opening the doors in Mexico for that genre.

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Photo by Christiaan Almazan

What DJs do you think people need to pay more attention to right now?

There’s a lot of OWSLA guys. They should have more spotlight on them, like Vindata. I love them so much.There’s this Jersey girl Uniiqu3 who makes really awesome Jersey club.

It seems like there’s a scarcity of female DJs at clubs and festivals. Are there fewer of you, or does it just seem that way?

That’s definitely the case because female artists don’t produce that much. They don’t get to sit down and make their own tunes. That’s what we’re lacking: female production in general, not DJs. There are really cool female DJs out there. Producers — that’s the missing point.

What festival do you think EDM fans must go to?

I think Coachella for sure. It’s a different vibe. There are a lot of genres the EDM world wouldn’t listen to if it wasn’t in a festival, so I think it’s a really cool vibe and there are a lot of great musicians there, not just DJs.

What genre do you think is the most underrated right now?

There’s a hype right now for future bass, which is really cool because back then, you wouldn’t have known anything about future bass unless you’re really into it. Footwork, Jersey club, and Mambathon are really cool too.

It seems like EDM in general has gained a lot more mainstream popularity over the past few years. Why do you think that is?

Because people want to experience a festival. People want to get crazy. They just want a place where they can let their emotions go. They just want to have fun. They just want to get wild and electronic music can give that and a lot of other things. Just to be in the festival scene, you realize why people go. You realize why people are interested. I think electronic music is a way for people just to be free and just to be themselves and have fun and let everything go.

It’s awesome that you’ve had so much success in a field you’re so passionate about. What advice would you give others looking to do the same thing?

Make music — like, learn how to play piano. Learn how to play any instrument. Go to a production class or sound engineer class. You have to be real. You have to be yourself. You have to have something different from anyone else. That’s mainly it — you just have to do music.

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Photo by Christiaan Almazan

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