Jess Dilday is PlayPlay.

 Club DJ and Producer

PlayPlay (NYC/NC, Knightwerk) combines their penchant for percussion and bass with nostalgic hip-hop and rave samples in both their DJ sets & original music production. Their music is inspired by what they grew up listening to – namely namely industrial, jock jams, 90s club anthems, booty & acid house, jungle & breakbeat hardcore. Using a combination of samples and hardware synthesizers to create everything from unearthly basslines to high-octane acid/industrial sounds, PlayPlay makes energetic music that is both familiar and hard to pin down. In January , they debuted their EP release “It’s Only 3am” on Knightwerk Records, and have several more releases forthcoming on labels such as CyberSonic LA, Worst Behavior, and Trash Cvlt this year.

PlayPlay has opened for Big Freedia, MC Lyte,  Sylvan Esso, UNIIQU3, TT the Artist, Slick Shoota, Le1f,  MikeQ, Cakes Da Killa, Nadus, Jubilee,  Abdu Ali, and others. Based in Queens, NYC, PlayPlay is an organizer and resident DJ of Heavy NYC, a popular bass party created by Anna Morgan and DJ Ripley. In NC, they help run the legendary Party Illegal. They are also the creator and energetic force behind several themed parties in NC, including a long-running 90’s party, an industrial/goth night and a ladies of the 80’s party.

Their ultimate goal is to be in constant musical conversation with the crowd, contributing to a safe(r), free(r) space for everybody.


Premiere: PlayPlay – Residency [Knightwerk]

Durham producer PlayPlay opens up about inclusivity


Music scholar and Professor

PlayPlay is also a music scholar and activist interested in local music scenes, dance floor dynamics, queer theory, and media studies. They have been teaching DJ’ing and music production for several years, most recently through the UNC-Chapel Hill Music Department and Building Beats (NYC). With a particular investment in mentoring women and gender non-conforming DJs / producers, PlayPlay has held workshops at festivals such as Moogfest, for organizations such as Girls Rock NC, and at various colleges & universities.

Formerly the 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.

PlayPlay was selected this year to be an artist-in-residence at Flux Factory, a Queens-based gallery, as well as at ARoS Museum in Denmark, where they are currently working on a soundscape installation that focuses on the history of club music.

Jess can be reached at booking@djplayplay.com.

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