Jess Dilday is PlayPlay.

 Club DJ and Producer

PlayPlay creatively interweaves nostalgic hip-hop and house classics into both their DJ sets and music production, which are largely composed of city-specific sounds – namely Chicago juke and footwork, Bmore/Jersey/Philly club, NYC house, Detroit techno, and Miami bass. An extremely versatile DJ, PlayPlay also favors dancehall, cumbia, global bass, jungle/early hardcore/breakbeat, acid house, jock jams, EBM, industrial and 90s nostalgia all around. Their ultimate goal is to be in constant musical conversation with the crowd, contributing to a safe(r), free(r) space for everybody.

PlayPlay has opened for Big Freedia, MC Lyte, Adventure Club, TT the Artist, Dai Burger, Abdu Ali, Le1f,  MikeQ, Cakes Da Killa, Nadus, Jubilee, Double Duchess, and others. Based in Durham, NC, PlayPlay is an organizer and resident DJ of Party Illegal, a popular bass party gaining serious traction in NC. They are the creator and energetic force behind several themed parties, including a long-running 90’s party, an industrial/goth night and a ladies of the 80’s party.


Durham producer PlayPlay opens up about inclusivity

 Weddings, Company Events, Private Parties and more…

In addition to performing at clubs, PlayPlay curates seamless musical selections for special events such as weddings, company events and private parties. PlayPlay has music that speaks to people from ages 8 to 80, and relishes in finding the “sweet spot” that brings multiple generations together onto the dancefloor. PlayPlay has a vast music collection that spans most genres, and is happy to accommodate requests.

Music scholar and Professor

Jess is also a music scholar and activist interested in local music scenes, dance floor dynamics, queer theory, and media studies, and was recently editor-in-chief for the International Association for the Study of Popular Music website (iaspm-us.net). Jess has presented at past conferences on topics such as José Muñoz’s disidentification and queer rap, 90’s musical nostalgia, queerness within New Orleans bounce music, and media framing of protestor actions and emotions at the 2012 DNC/RNC. Currently, Jess is teaching the Art and Culture of the DJ through the Department of Music at UNC-Chapel Hill.

Jess can be reached at booking@djplayplay.com.

Leave a Reply

Home of Jess Dilday – DJ, Producer, Professor, and Music Scholar