He may be a jet-setting DJ and head of the label Knee Deep in Sound, but recently, Hot Since 82, AKA Daley Padley, was knee-deep in something else: mosquito bites.
"I've got over 40 bites all down my leg," he says. "I've not been bit a lot before this."
Mosquitoes are likely less of a concern in Padley's hometown of Leeds, England, than they are in Playa del Carmen, the Mexican resort town from which he phoned New Times. He might have been fighting an unbearable itch, yet he seemed to be in good spirits, cracking jokes while searching for an authentic local meal. Perhaps it's his jocular personality that's led to a lifelong passion for house music and taken him across seas and oceans, jumping from Britain to Ibiza to Mexico.
Soon, of course, he and the rest of the dance music world will decamp to another mosquito-heavy tropical destination: Miami.
As the late-March trifecta of Miami Music Week, Winter Music Conference, and Ultra Music Festival approach, Padley reflects on how the landscape has changed in the brief time he and his label have been active at the events. What was once an all-about-business DJ swap meet dedicated to trading white-labels and "breaking the record" transformed with EDM's transition into big business.
"It's changed quite drastically," he reflects. "Now it's sort of like spring break, isn't it?"
It wouldn't be Miami Music Week if DJs didn't have to split their time between crate-digging and playing sets. In Padley's case, that means pulling double duty this year with a set at Ultra's Resistance and a party hosted by his label at Heart. In his downtime, he'll probably search for the most exciting new tracks he can find.
At previous Music Weeks, "There was always one track that got huge, became like the gospel." The best of the best would be carried over the airwaves to Britain by the likes of Pete Tong on BBC Radio 1 and end up dominating the decks at Ibiza, the Spanish isle where many a young British lad goes to find success in the dance music world (or the inside of the nearest toilet bowl).
Padley was no exception. He first visited in 2000 during the trance-heavy era of Tiësto and Paul van Dyk. He began to DJ shortly after returning home, where he trained at a local bar and climbed the ranks, eventually returning to Ibiza as a resident at Amnesia. After a brief hiatus from performing, he reemerged during the early-2010s boom years as a hot commodity with a string of hits and a slew of new opportunities. After being featured on BBC's Essential Mix — hosted by the DJ he'd come up listening to, Tong — he started the label Knee Deep in Sound to encourage "forward-thinking house music."
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"I get a lot out of it," he says of the label. Asked about the hardest part of running a label, he mentions the difficulty of narrowing down what to release. He prides himself on running an operation that highlights the "new breed" of talent alongside established artists, but "we can only do so many releases per year," he admits, "and I've got my own music to make."
Padley makes a few predictions about the musical trends that might appear at this year's WMC. He says he's heard a few tunes making use of "really cool samples" taken from songs he spun back in the day, as well as heavy use of drum machines and a cheerful sound. That's Hot Since 82: cheerful even when covered in bug bites.
Hot Since 82
At Knee Deep in Miami. 11 p.m. to 11 a.m. Friday, March 24, at Heart Nightclub, 50 NE 11th St., Miami. Tickets cost $33.75 before 1 a.m. and $45 after. Also at the Resistance Arcadia Spider, 8:55 to 9:55 p.m. Friday, March 24, at Ultra Music Festival, Bayfront Park, 301 Biscayne Blvd., Miami; 305-358-7550; bayfrontparkmiami.com. General-admission tickets are sold out; VIP tickets cost $1,249.95 via ultramusicfestival.com.