The DJ talks her involvement with Ballantine’s True Music initiative and the positive changes she hopes to see occur within the music industry.
When it comes to the accolades of renowned whisky label, Ballantine’s, the list is extensive. From serving up premium Scotch whisky to collaborating with renowned creative talents for art-infused pop-ups, the brand ensures that it is remains known as much more than a drinks name. And, the next venture it is involving itself with? Calling on a diverse range of front runners in the music industry, Ballantine’s looks to champion diversity on the dancefloor with its True Music campaign, Resetting The Dancefloor, one that is looking to end the discrimination that often makes its way onto the dancefloor. And, one creative lending their powerful voice to the initiative is the Berlin-based DJ, Honey Dijon.
When speaking on the cause, the DJ claimed, “I think it’s very important to be able to tell my story in my own words on a very visible platform. And so, when I was asked to contribute to the campaign, I took it as a good opportunity to own my own narrative with a visible company that is trying to do better.” And, to make things all the more exciting, Honey has also awarded the social justice collective, Batekoo, Ballantine’s True Music Fund, which is a six-figure award dedicated to spotlighting and furthering the work of rising forces championing equality within their scenes.
In a bid to celebrate the work being done by Ballantine’s, the DJ sat down with Wonderland to discuss why the work being done by the campaign is so important to her and the ways in which she thinks positive changes within the music industry can continue to occur. Head below to enjoy our interview with Honey Dijon…
Hey Honey! How are you! How has this past year been for you?
I’m good, thank you. The past year has been a rollercoaster, but I’m glad to still have a career and to be able to be getting back on track with picking up where we left off in March 2020.
With everything that happened last year, was your creativity affected?
The early days of the pandemic definitely stifled some creativity, but I tried to make the most of not constantly being on the road touring. And so, I was able to work on new remixes and my new upcoming album project.
Post-pandemic, what has it been like DJing again, have you experienced any changes?
It has definitely been nice to be able to get back to work after such a long time away from things. However, I can’t say that I have definitely seen any major changes. For the most part, the music is the same and the crowds are the same – there haven’t been any major revolutions which I think some people may have been expecting.
How did you first get involved with Ballantine’s new campaign Resetting The Dancefloor?
I think it’s very important to be able to tell my story in my own words on a very visible platform. And so, when I was asked to contribute to the campaign, I took it as a good opportunity to own my own narrative with a visible company that is trying to do better.
The campaign is about underrepresented music communities, being a Black trans woman in the industry, how important is it to highlight these communities and what does it mean to you?
We need to have constant reminders of where dance music comes from, and what I try to do in my work is to keep the narratives going and to remind people of where this started, and by who, and to give visibility to those people that have been erased.
How does it make you feel knowing that 1 in 3 music lovers have faced discrimination on the dance floor?
It doesn’t come as much of a surprise to me. When you consider that black music culture has become whitewashed and commodified, it’s not a stretch to consider the dancefloor has also become whitewashed and oppressed by masculine hetero-attitudes and not a safe space for all.
Who have you chosen to receive your £10,000 grant from the Ballantine’s True Music Fund and why?
I have chosen Batekoo, a party collective that comes from Salvador and who are an active force within the Brazilian LGBTQ+ POC community, which I love. They are on a mission to banish homophobia and enlighten the people of Brazil. The nightlife for queer POC Brazilian’s has many obstacles which they are working hard to dismantle for the future generations of young LGBTQ+ Brazilians. Hopefully, with this money from Ballantine’s, they can continue to create safe dancefloors for all music lovers.
In what ways do you think we can improve in order to make the dance floor more welcoming?
These conversations need to continue, and they need to evolve so that we start asking really the difficult questions and start making real tangible change.
Head to ballantines.com to discover more…