House Music Miami Wants to Unify Miami's Dance Music Scene
“If we all work together, we could create an industry like no on has ever seen."
Photos by George Martinez/gmartnx.com
In 2012, dance music lover Justin Salit was frustrated. He was sick and tired of scanning email lists, Facebook invites, venue websites, and online calendars. So he took matters into his own hands.
“I’m essentially a fan, and there was no way for me to find out what’s going on in Miami,” Salit says. “I guess there are other people like me that have the same problem.”
It started with a simple Twitter account, but three years later, @HouseMusicMiami boasts more than 10,400 followers. With so many eyes locked to its stream, the account has helped get the word out to any and every party with a pulse, for the good of the community.
The strength in numbers has been a boon to every promoter in town at some point or another. Now, relationships with promoters and venues all around the city are coming in handy as Salit and his brand branch out into nightlife ventures of their own.
Since Art Basel of 2014, House Music Miami has brought Doorly to Steam, Hannah Wants to Bardot, and next up, Nora en Pure to Do Not Sit on the Furniture (Thursday, July 2). But Salit isn’t in it for the money, and just because he’s got his hand in the collective Miami pot doesn’t mean he’s disrupting the usual program.
“We just want everyone to know what’s going on, when it’s going on, and where they can get the tickets, even if it’s not our events,” he promises. “We do this for the people. We don’t do it for the money.”
Salit got his start in the dance industry as an event promoter way back in 2004 before “EDM” was a thing anyone ever said. He worked with The Forge’s club Glass, the now-defunct club Karu & Y, and more. Most notably, he put in work at the Gryphon Nightclub at the Hard Rock in Hollywood. It was there among the casino crowd that he cut his chops managing and booking local DJs, a task he takes quite seriously to this day.
“I want to support local artists,” he says. “It’s just hard [for them] to get their names out there, to get booked, to get paid what promoters say they’re going to pay you.”
Left; Justin Salit poses with friends at one of his beloved dance music gatherings.
Santos Rodriguez Photography
Alongside those local openers, Salit focuses on highlighting the international talent he knows Miami audiences craves, even if it’s the kind of act other promoters would consider a risk.
“In Miami, if you’re not this way or that way, or if you can’t bring 100 people with you, you’re not going to get booked,” he says. “I think that’s bullshit, because there’s a lot of great talent out there.”
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That open-door policy to talent also extends to the clientele.
“Our parties are always going to be, I want to say ‘underground,’” he says. “It has literally nothing to do with what anyone looks like or any of that shit. I want to bring it back to the music. It has nothing to do with the lights, the smoky rooms, none of that crap: just a DJ, just good music. I feel that’s missing in Miami.”
Because House Music Miami is always teaming up with different promotional teams and venues, its here-and-there approach to nightlight aligns squarely with its “all in this together” message.
“If we all work together, we could create an industry like no on has ever seen,” he says. “I know what it can be, and I support everyone. That’s why I started House Music Miami. We want to get the word out, and we’ll help out everybody. If it’s just like a random person asking ‘will you shout out our party?’ Hell yeah I will. Let’s work together to get the word out on everything.”
How’s that for some PLUR?