DJ Holographic | Detroit’s Next Generation
![Alt Text](https://images.squarespace-cdn.com/content/v1/56c346b607eaa09d9189a870/1629492415090-CU5DXSZM8LYBPMPY3QUO/SplashHouse_2021_W1_A_MT_4801.jpg) Born and raised in Detroit, DJ Holographic is considered the torch bearer of the city’s storied electronic sound. From techno to R&B to Motown, she crosses genres with ease, representing the sounds that both figuratively and literally raised her. This year, she was given the honor of curating and mixing Detroit Love Vol. 5 for Carl Craig’s internationally celebrated Planet E Recordings. The project is a multi-genre roadmap of her wide-reaching tastes, bringing in a number of close friends and collaborators, and spanning the globe with funk as its core. It’s all part of a wider mission for DJ Holographic, bringing the legacy of Detroit around the world. Shining as a beacon of light for others to latch onto, she wants to remind others what they’re capable of and to hold onto their mission, to thrive as she is thriving, and to know that a prosperous state of mind will bring you to where you’re meant to be on your journey. Flaunt had the opportunity to dive into all of this and more with DJ Holographic following her Splash House debut in Palm Springs last weekend. Check it out below.
To begin, tell us a little about how you got your start as a DJ/producer and the pathway you took to get to where you are now? Well, the pathway of life is never straight. The pathway is almost non-existent. But is it always worth the journey? Yes, 100%. I've been doing this for 11 years, I want to say the last four to five years is when I did my best to try and make it more of an actual career. I'm not saying the years beforehand weren't the mission, it just became more accessible to see your dreams come to reality and start seeing doorways open up for you. And so I would walk through them. Each time I saw it and each time they presented themselves in any way without having to take from somebody or having to belittle anyone. I've seen people go that route quicker, faster. But that's not that's not my journey. That's not my story. How I got started, well I'm from Detroit which is a big musical city. We definitely play around the words of you know, "Motown's in our DNA". I even live two minutes away from Motown right now. I also live on the same block as Moodymann's studio, and also the Submerge and Underground Resistance space. So music's definitely very influential here. Not too far off there’s even Third Man Records, Jack White's vinyl pressing shop. Like it's music here, there are a lot of influences. And so that's easy to have when you live in Detroit but then you also have musicians everywhere. For me, I grew up with radio. Radio has been my best friend since day one. I was blessed to listen to one of the best radio stations in the world, and listened to a gentleman a lot called The Electrifying Mojo. Through the music, or the way they selected music, to the personalities in the radio, how they flourish. I was also able to hear some of The Electrifying Mojo's recordings on the radio. So I was blessed to have that. And then, a second big influence on me are my parents. My dad was a little bit more when it came to the electronic side of music or the more weird stuff as I would call it as a kid, but it was progressive music we were calling it, house music he would listen to a lot more frequently in the car or on CDs. He even showed me Nirvana which is great. My mom showed me a lot to, definitely music that would hold your heart. She listened to a lot of Kem, Michael Frank’s album "The Art of Tea", that's where a lot of the r&b comes from as well. If you hear any r&b it's probably my mom coming out more, and if you hear a lot of the house and the techno you hear a lot of my dad. Big influences on me.
I know you play everything from house to techno to R&B, who were some of your largest influences both coming up and today? What made you such an eclectic and wide-reaching artist? So the reason I'm more of an eclectic artist to the world is more towards the music’s history. To me, definitely to people in Detroit, I am not an eclectic artist, I am very Detroit. And very normal. It makes sense, it's already there. But why it’s unique is because I had to shine amongst 1000s of amazing DJs, I mean, 1000s of us. I guess it sounds eclectic to other people because other places in the world weren't able to listen to the radio stations I listened to growing up, they would play disco, techno, rock, hip-hop, they would play all these things on one radio station. And they still do now. Is it a little less than it used to be? Yes, this is true. But they still do it and they still did it back then. So to me, the radio stations are why I have such a wide range of music influences today. I'm still feeling that out. I would say a lot of influences today are more of my peers and friendships. I try to have my own crate digging moments because there's a lot of stuff or a lot of music out there that I'll never hear. And I actually have to accept that. As a crate digger, that's one of the biggest defeats you could ever have. At least in me, but I actually have to be okay with knowing that I won't hear everything. And I can only stay in my space and area, finding fangirl moments. I love a group called Shiro Schwarz. They were on my compilation and I'm a big fangirl and I will keep being a big fangirl. Another fangirl moment I have is Block Party. I had Block Party sign my state ID when they came to town, like those moments, and I'm ranting but I like being a fangirl. I think that's what really also influences me is having those special moments with the artists. I hope that answers your question with a little rant of a fangirl. Through your eyes, what legacy do you hope to bring around the world in representing the city of Detroit? This is the best question I've ever had ever, ever, ever. This is so amazing. You're amazing for this so thank you for opening up my heart space here because this is exactly what I want to do. I want to be able to build a legacy through the music I bring, which is DJing or producing, or the actions I take into the world, my intentions. I first of all, want Detroiters to know their legacy. So before I can even take out a legacy to the world I have to remind Detroit of their legacy and what they can do, what they're capable of and a lot of the time I want to let Detroit know that they can thrive in abundance, they can thrive in a magical space, they can thrive in a prosperous state of mind. That is something that I felt like in Detroit I have lost over the times just because of the government actually beating us down, I will not lie about this, the government really sucks in the United States and it sucks more when it's black, Latino, or people of color’s spaces, the government definitely does not care well for us. So it's a lot of self caring, and I feel like a legacy I wish to bring with anyone also outside Detroit is definitely the self care of knowing who you are and loving yourself deeply within yourself. So when you love yourself so much all you can do is thrive in abundance and thrive in a well matter of space. And I wish to other people to also take that to other generations down the line and other generations throughout the world just like Motown did, ending a lot of racial divides, a lot of racial gaps especially in the south, even the music hit there in a beautiful way and it hit here in a beautiful way as well.
Can you tell us about your recent Detroit Love Vol. 5 project, how it came together with Carl / Planet E and what the project has come to represent for you? Oh, it's a big deal. It's a really, really big deal. First of all, this would be the second project I've ever put out. I feel like that's a big influence on me. Definitely where I'm stepping into the world. So for Carl Craig to ask me this is phenomenal. I honestly did not expect to have an album come out even if it was a project I put together with others, it's an honor, it really is an honor to be part of Planet E. And to work with Carl Craig on this project, I got to be able to put out all of my friends' songs, these are people that I know personally. And I'm blessed that I know them personally and their music is bomb. And so my priority for the compilation was to have bomb ass music, it's got to be great. It's got to be phenomenal. And second, you have to love Detroit. Maybe one or two people that have not been to Detroit that are on the compilation. But I did talk to them that said they will come or know about Detroit's history. So if they haven't physically been here, they know the history enough. And they love it. So those are my two things. But definitely the songs had to be bomb. And they were fantastic. End of story. For Detroit's Love compilation was what I was saying, the type of music I would hear on the radio. These are things that I would easily start off a night with maybe if I was playing a three or four hour set, basically the compilation tells what I would do in that three or four hours, in a way. And then take you on a journey and take you somewhere that you and I decided to go together. And it's nothing but pure bliss, nothing but pure fun. Electric shocking. And yeah, I really, really appreciate and am very happy with what came out and people's reactions to it. Especially the vinyl has made me very happy. Yeah, I definitely know it's not the last project I'll be doing on Planet E, but it was definitely a big one to start off in my career for sure. Through tough times, whether in the past year or beyond, what motivates you as an artist to push forward and keep going? It does change. It has changed a lot. For me, what helps me through and through is just knowing I’m on this path for a reason. I feel like I was chosen to do this. I feel like I had nothing but science in the universe telling me that this is the right path for me musically. We can make jokes, my name is Ariel. It means keeper of God, a courageous, loving person. And then also, my mom named me after the movie Footloose, which is hilarious. But it's a town where legally you're not supposed to dance, it's almost forbidden in the city, which is so funny. Yeah, my name came for a movie from the same kind of concept and then, you know, Ariel, also Little Mermaid, so, I don't know, that's like the first time I've ever had as a child that kind of guided me more into music. I have signs every day telling me that I'm on the right path. And you know, you have to listen to life itself, life is a breathing entity. And you have to listen to the whispers of the universe and it's there, it will always tell you where you're supposed to go. So that kind of keeps pushing me forward and keeps me going and just knowing that I'm meant to do something big and great. And I've always known that and I'm going to consistently keep going forward on that. Even those days that look like I’m just taking a nap I'm still going for, because you got to self care right? What differentiates how you prepare and what you play at an open-air desert party like Splash House vs a more urban or club event? Honestly, I don't know. My rule of thumb, is me always choosing music that I'm feeling of the season. Right now it's Leo season so I'm gonna play songs that make me feel like what Leo season feels like, that's my personal thing. So I guess this is Leo season, it’s definitely "look at me, look at me" which I love my Leos, don't get me wrong. I grab a lot of fire energy from them because I'm also a fire sign. And so I gravitate towards that. It doesn't give me a “look at me like I'm the shit” kind of thing which is great. You know, sometimes you have to have that love for yourself. But I'm a club kid at heart, so I'm definitely going to bring the club vibe to an open air party. Like I don't care, I'm a club kid. I do not care. What does summer style mean to you? Are there any brands or looks you are really into these days? Anything you plan to wear to Splash House? I really do love style over fashion. Honestly, that's my personal taste. Style outlasts fashion any day of the week. So with me and my style, it's funny the summer style for Detroit, we have a short window for summer. So the styles that I like wearing a lot are skirts and dresses. Yeah, right now I have a lot of different styles with my clothes. And always changing it up and filling it out. But I definitely love wearing colors. Especially when it's a natural color like a yellow/sunflower or a pink. Yeah I like pastel colors like that. I do wear my black. For me, whatever I'm feeling, I’ve also been studying chakra so depending on what chakra I'm trying to open up I might wear that too. What’s next for you as a DJ, producer, and curator? Oh, that's cute. Thank you for calling me curator. Well for right now honestly it’s between touring and being safe as much as we can with everything happening in the world. And an album, I’ve really been working on production for the last year and just really trying to aim there with my comfortability, that's what I really want to do. I do have a couple remixes I'm about to start. I actually have one coming up very soon with Twirl, Alinka and Sean J. Wright's label, please look out for that one. I'm really excited for that and then have a few other remixes from close friends of mine. Those will be coming out later in the fall. But best believe I am definitely ready to start to make an album after this compilation. I'm like okay, I did one, in a way, now let's see if I can do that with all my music. Yeah, I'm really excited to be out there this season. I really appreciate this, these are some of the best questions I've ever read in my life. So thank you, thank you, thank you.