III Points and Miami Music Week are gearing up to show off the city as a global hotbed of dance music, so it's time to tout some of Miami's brightest local DJ talent. Whether they're spinning at an undisclosed warehouse, a daytime rooftop disco, or a dark, smoky nightclub, these dedicated selectors and producers grind it out week after week to make a name for themselves and keep the 305 on the map as a year-round party mecca. Here are Miami's best DJs right now.
(Editor's note: This list is based on recommendations from party promoters and industry insiders, previous New Times
writeups, and the writer's personal experience. Though the list is meant to call attention to local DJs in various scenes, it's by no means an exhaustive representation of the city's many talented artists.)
"She's the best DJ at Space — probably the best DJ in Miami," III Points cofounder David Sinopoli recently told New Times
. The only female of mainstay electronic promoters Link Miami Rebels, Ms. Mada (real name Rachel Tumada
) has become a staple on the local scene, where she holds down residencies at two of Miami’s institutions of electronic music: Trade and Space.
Photo by Nikki Vetsch
Spinning under the moniker "Brother Dan," Daniel Edenburg recently took home New Times
' Best of Miami 2018 award for best DJ
. Blending left-field soul, funk, disco, and electronic, Brother Dan's sets feature danceable "sounds from around the globe
." They're sourced from an extensive personal vinyl collection and his mobile record shop, Terrestrial Funk, which is also the name of his weekly Tuesday-night party at Gramps.
Photo by Karli Evans
"You can't be stuck in 2007 and be listening to the same exact music you've been listening to the last ten years," Gami recently told New Times
. "And if you are in queer culture, you definitely need to keep up with the kids, because that's the next generation." As cofounder
of the collective Internet Friends, which puts together some of the city's rowdiest and most genre-defying parties, Gami is on a mission to highlight the city's queer, underground music scene while offering a "platform for artists to express themselves." Mixing everything from 2000s pop and reggaeton to the latest vaporwave successor, Gami's sets always make listeners dance.
Photo by Koury Angelo for Red Bull Sound Select / Courtesy of Nick León
Started by David Sinopoli in 2014, left-field record label Space Tapes was recently reborn under the creative control of Nick León, whom New Times
dubbed "one of Miami's most exciting producers" in 2017 for such accomplishments as working with the likes of Denzel Curry and Twelve'Len. "I think he will take the next step to becoming
nationally or internationally known," Sinopoli recently told New Times
. "He had a remarkable 2018 where his DJing went to another level. He spent a month making connections at Red Bull Music Academy, and with his Space Tapes label, he's putting out some incredible music."
Courtesy of the artist
You're as likely to find Suzi Analogue
(real name Maya Shipman) sifting through racks of neon clothing as digging through crates of old vinyl records. The writer, producer, singer, and rapper has been making electronic music on whatever equipment she could get her hands on since she was in grade school, and now her astonishing creativity and message of inclusion and empowerment are getting attention from the likes of Teen Vogue
and Afropunk. Catch her Friday, February 15, at III Points.
Mystic Bill and Terence Tabeau.
Combined here purely for the sake of brevity, "Mystic Bill" Torres
and Terence Tabeau are veritable hometown heroes in their own right. These days, the two veterans of Chicago-style house, underground techno, and funky, deep disco frequently unite as resident DJs at Double Stubble, the raucous monthly queer party going strong at Gramps since 2015. Separately, they've played all over the city, from the Electric Pickle to Floyd to the Corner, and produced decades' worth of deep sounds.
Along with cofounder
Laura of Miami, Patrick Walsh created Klangbox.FM to present "the incredible DJ, production, and musicianship talent" in Miami. They've succeeded in that mission through their online radio station and parties around the city for the past five years. In 2018, New Times
named their Extra Credit at Floyd the city's best monthly party
, bringing in "cutting-edge emerging artists" from all over the world. Walsh also helms programming and marketing direction
at the Ground and continues to DJ around town, from a weekly Tuesday party at Boombox to the Electric Pickle to III Points later this month.
Photo by Xavier Luggage
Rising young techno/electro DJ Alexis Sosa-Toro, better known as Sister System, has played and helped produce some of the city's most exciting events over the past year, including the Black Friday Rave
and the Warehouse Rave
, with pals at Omnidisc and Space Tapes. This year, she'll join Jonny from Space for a back-to-back set on III Points' Omnidisc stage. "I'm definitely looking for very unique tracks that stand out to Miami," she recently said of the upcoming gig.
"That'll be more or less a non-Shazam-able set we're trying to go for."
Along with hosting a couple of radio shows on Klangbox.FM and WDNA, Kumi Alvarez also helms the recurring Rum & Coke party as well as Excursions on Friday nights, both at Gramps. A master of genres and obscure cuts, Kumi expertly mixes jazz, Afrobeat, cumbia, salsa, soca, mambo, and lots of other funky, hard-to-find sounds for a killer "vintage tropical" dance party every time.
Kamari Esson and Late Nite.
When R&B is more your speed, look to DJ/producer team Kamari Esson and Late Nite, who've been holding down the slow jams at spots such as Coyo Taco, 1306, and Kindred (formerly Sidebar) via their steamy parties No Boys Allowed and Lovers & Friends. Together they'll take the stage for a back-to-back set at III Points.
Venezuelan-American DJ and producer Sam Plessett, better known as ES.P
, is a resident DJ at E11even and Basement at the Edition, but lately
he's been popping up everywhere from the 1 Hotel in South Beach to Kyu and Wood Tavern in Wynwood to American Social on Las Olas. His eclectic, open-format style and synth-funk-inspired remixes have made him a rising Miami favorite, earning collaborations and cosigns from Tokimonsta, Gavin Turek, Afrobeta, the Love Below crew, and others.
Benton, Katrina Toimil (Mixx Piggy), Gabo, Hilary Bell (Hiltronix), Freckles, Patricia Djane Azcunce, Greg Beato, Anshaw Black, and Artime