When DJ Jubilee visits her hometown (Miami), there are a few spots she needs to hit up. She'll go to "that weird Biscayne beach," to her "homie" Otto von Schirach's sets, but, most important, to Miami's best hip-hop party, Peachfuzz.
Peachfuzz, known around these parts as your girl's favorite party, was the weekly throwdown on Grand Central's second floor, the Garret. After the much-mourned loss of Grand Central, partiers wondered what would happen to Peachfuzz. But founder DJ DZA has since moved the party to the Thompson on Miami Beach. This Friday, NYC transplant DJ Jubilee, AKA Brooklyn's bass sweetheart, will grace the Peachfuzz floor with her dancehall and booty-bass flavor.
Jubilee was born in Miami but moved to Coral Springs with her parents at a young age. She couldn't stay away from the Magic City, though — her love for electronic music had her hauling ass on I-95 South three nights a week. She had to get to those Miami Beach raves somehow. These were the days of Studio 183, when Miami was defined by bass and 2 Live Crew.
"The radio was so different then. They played local stuff like Jam Pony Express, things we didn't realize we had and nobody else did," says Jubilee. "It was all club music people were afraid of. 2 Live Crew is a good example of that, with the parental-advisory bullshit they went through, but it was on the radio all the time down here."
Growing up surrounded by Miami bass strongly influenced Jubilee, and you can hear it in her music. Her track "I-95" off her Pull Ova EP is directly inspired by the mixtapes she would listen to in the car while driving, getting lost at 4 in the morning as she attempted to find her way home. Her album Magic City is a direct ode to the freestyle and bass that raised her.
"I find that a lot of my new music is really based on the beach, but a lot of it is metropolitan-sounding," says Jubilee. "Miami is really like this weird metropolitan beach city that has so many bizarre parts of it. It’s kind of a mess."
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Jubilee moved to New York City right after graduating from Florida Atlantic University with a degree in media and communications. She wanted to pursue radio broadcasting but says it was too hard to live like that in NYC at the time. She DJ'ed at home, bought records, and started mixing drum and bass, quickly sparking NYC's bleak streets with her Miami energy.
"I didn't start playing house music until I got to NYC," says Jubilee. "I don’t think Miami and NYC are similar cities, but both influence me a lot. Miami traffic is so fucking slow and rude. Miami would rather see you die and crash than stop at a light."
But sometimes you have to leave New York. In 2011, Jubilee moved back to Miami. She was down here for Winter Music Conference and doing what New Yorkers do best, looking at apartments elsewhere. She found a cool place in Little Haiti and said, "Fuck it — let's go."
"I knew deep down inside I would come back to New York, but I thought, maybe I’ll like Miami as an adult," says Jubilee.
But she was still spending most of her time traveling to NYC for gigs. So she moved back by the end of the year. In 2013, she signed to Brooklyn-based record label Mixpak — a contemporary encapsulation of the classic Brooklyn-Caribbean connection. This Friday, she'll play at Peachfuzz, the show she wishes she would have played at when she lived in Miami full-time.
"When I was living in Miami in 2011, it was the only place that I went to," says Jubilee, who played at Peachfuzz on the party's last night at Grand Central in 2015. "I get to play all the reggae and R&B stuff I don't normally get to play when I'm raving out."
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Named after the X-Men mutant with the superhuman power to generate pyrotechnic energy from her hands, Jubilee and Peachfuzz are a match made in booty-bass heaven.
"The crowd at Peachfuzz is open-minded. I always felt really excited playing Aaliyah and all this stuff that I don’t get to play enough," says Jubilee. "The thing about Peachfuzz is that the crowd is so great. Everyone is cute; you don’t walk in here and think, Oh, all the girls look the same. It’s such a mixed crowd."
Hopefully, her mom in Delray will be able to make the show, she says. She knows Mom would enjoy the energy and vibe of the crowd, which is always open and just looking to dance.
"I would like her to come to Peachfuzz because everyone is nice and cool and it's not a rave where everyone is questionable. It's just such a good vibe. I think she would have fun."