It was only a quarter past midnight on September 4, early in a New York club-goer’s eyes, but the Grand Ballroom of Webster Hall was already emitting the kind of vibe you would get during the headliner hour at a music festival. It was easy to see why: behind those bright LCD’s and draped in a men’s extra-large Slayer tee was Mija, headlining her own official Electric Zoo: Transformed Afterparty as part of her sick.af World Tour. She was fresh off the festival stage at Randall’s Island, and with her she brought another familiar friend of hers.
2015 is Amber Giles’ year. Within the span of an explosive twelve months, the L.A.-based DJ has been able to call Skrillex a mentor, Anna Lunoe a back-to-back partner, and Zeds Dead tour buddies. She’s graced the stages of Mysteryland USA, Coachella, and HARD Summer; and come November, she’ll be setting sail aboard the Mad Decent Boat Party. With her unparalleled knack for blending a multitude of inspirations in house, drum-and-bass, and hip-hop together into one smashing set, I emphasize the cliché that all this recognition is well-deserved.
The post-festival crowd moved in unencumbered waves. It was a spectacle to see from the balcony. Fans filtered into the ballroom, leaving every square foot covered; the size of the crowd was similar to the one that Tchami brought this past January when Mija, then a newcomer, opened for him.
Giles seamlessly transitioned into a wide range of styles. Alison Wonderland’s “U Don’t Know” made an appearance, as did Boys Noize’s “Cerebral”; she also spun the mega-collaboration from Diplo, CL, Riff Raff, & OG Maco, “Doctor Pepper” before foraying into Valentino Khan’s “Deep Down Low.” But any Mija advocate could tell you that she won’t simply play a set full of bangers. We were kept on our toes as she wove through a slew of genre-ranging tracks throughout the evening. And while the Grand Ballroom was full, Giles’ ability to easily feed off of our energy kept the mood intimate as though it was a musical conversation between the artist and the fan.
HARD founder Gary Richards, aka Destructo, finished off with Giles for a back-to-back house session. In July, Richards quipped to LA Weekly his appreciation for Mija’s versatility: “She can play house. She can play trap, dubstep, the more bangin’ stuff all together, and make it all work.” 2015 is the year that’s making her, but we’re extra eager to see what this blue-haired Arizonian will encounter next on her path to dance music domination.