You know the saying, “Detroit hustles harder”? Well I’m starting to think it’s something in the air, because LadyMonix has been making serious moves ever since she relocated there a few years back. Originally from Baltimore, she moved to Los Angeles where she got to experience first hand what clubs were like, and soon started DJing out herself. Always doin’ what she can to keep the funk alive, she’s recently started her own label in Frizner Electric to house (for now) her own productions. We were lucky enough to have a chat with the boss lady herself about Movement fest, Grace Jones, and using re-edits as a learning tool.
Cosmic Incantations: It’s been a jam packed couple weeks for you recently, between Movement, the EP release, your monthly parties and other gigs. I gotta start out by asking, what’s your go to energy booster?
LadyMonix: I’m not sure I have one set thing that does it, so I’ll say it’s a healthy combo of hibernating in the house till any given event, and coffee of course. But for a weekend such as Movement, the energy is just in the air w all the friends coming in and parties going on all hours of the day. It’s nearly impossible to sleep.
CI: Any selected highlights from Movement weekend you’d be willing to share?
LM: Absolutely! Top spot goes to my record release party at GRACE this year. I had my close friend Rimarkable (who also recently released her debut single) on the line-up, and that dance floor was turned out all night!
I also got to experience Soul Skate for the first time. For those who aren’t aware, that’s the party Moodymann puts on at a roller skating rink every other festival year. My friends and I rolled up there around 3am, the place was all the way packed. Air thick with sweaty, bodies everywhere. The sight of all these people killing it in the rink to the sounds of disco, funk, & hip-hop was the most beautiful thing! Truly, the vibe was another level. I felt like this was the epitome of Detroit being represented in one room. I’m gonna go ahead and say it’s a must for anyone coming to town that time of year.
CI: You moved to Detroit from LA a couple years back, citing the need for a quiet place and normalcy. Has Detroit delivered on those fronts? Or are you eyeing another big city to take on eventually?
LM: Detroit has 100% delivered! There is nothing like a quiet street when you’ve lived in the middle of club central for over a decade. I wouldn’t dream of moving anywhere else right now. Love visiting LA, NY, and the like. But this is home.
CI: I first heard about you after you remixed our pal Peter Croce’s track Revival last year, how’d you link up with Mr. PC?
LM: Peter was one of the first people I met once I started checking out the scene in Detroit. I went to check out a potential gig at a bar downtown, and Peter was playing. The moment I heard him put on Aretha Franklin “Get It Right”, a song I was literally just listening to in the car ride over, I was like ‘yeah he’s hip’ and made my way to a new friend. From that moment on he’s become a close friend, someone I trust and respect dearly in this community.
CI: How about your foray into electronic music production? I know you’ve been doing re-edits or reworks for awhile, but what motivated you to get into it in the first place?
LM: The edits were a learning tool to get better w my own original works. Wanting to create the music I grew up listening to has been a lifelong dream. I’ve been quietly working on it for many years and finally reached the point of letting go and letting it out. I’m sure any artist will agree that it takes a certain moment of getting over yourself to get to this point. I’m so glad to finally be here.
CI: What does the studio look like? Do you prefer to keep it simple or are you somewhat of a gearhead?
LM: At the moment it’s pretty simple. I have a few keyboards I like to rotate thru, and I’ve recently fallen in love w the Korg volca line. I’m a gearhead in my heart, but I show great restraint!
CI: Are there any bits of inspiration or just general ideas behind the mix that you’d be willing to spare?
LM: My inspiration and intention for any mix is to always make sure I give the listener a sense of who I am and what makes my style mine. It’s usually going to have elements of disco, 90’s house, and big vocals.
CI: Your monthly party at Temple Bar is named Grace, after the amazing Grace Jones, what can you say about the influence she’s had on your artistry?
LM: Oh Grace. What can’t she do?! If nothing else she has shown me what it means to be absolutely fearless. Her music, her style, and any interview is a guide on how not to give a shit what anyone thinks and just be fabulous. She’s an icon.
CI: Your debut EP was released earlier this week on your own Frizner Electric label, can you speak on any of the challenges you faced while working toward the release? Starting your own record labels seems like such a daunting task!
LM: Whew! I wouldn’t say anything has been a challenge, but more a lesson in patience and time management. At this current moment I can see why having a team is so necessary. From answering emails, texts, drawing up paperwork, and then making sure you have time for the most important part, to create! There’s a lot to get done in a day. Not that I can’t do it all on my own, bc quite clearly I am :)
CI: Are there any parties or dance music happenings in general that you miss now that you’ve been away from LA for a bit?
LM: LA nightlife is ok. I don’t miss it tho. In all honesty, people do not let loose out there like they do in Detroit. One thing I do miss about LA is the magnificent array of Asian food options. I’m living for the day some proper ramen or soup dumplings appear in this fine city!
CI: We literally just got the BC I Want To EP but I gotta ask, any hints on forthcoming productions?
LM: Naturally! I’m finishing up FE002 right now as you read this. Be on the lookout for that towards the end of the summer.
CI: How about gigs on the horizon?
LM: I have a few east coast dates in the works starting in NY: August 10 @ House of Yes, August 11 @ Jupiter Disco.
My People – Dwayne Jensen
Rolling Down the Moutainside (Tim McCallister Re-edit) - Main Ingredient
Get Hi (Original Mix) – Roger S.
J’Adore 54 – Charlie Rope
Midnights – Kenny Dixon Jr.
Bc I Want To – LADYMONIX
Allnighter – 24 Hour Experience
Daily Prayer – Mr. G
I Need You (Peggy Gou Remix) – Kamar
As Quiet As Its Kept (Deep Underground Mix) – Colonel Abrams
Final Credits – Midland
Faithful - Kerri Chandler
Finally (Danny Krivit/Steve Travolta Re-edit) – Kings of Tomorrow