By Abigail Best
Artwork by Darius X Moreno
We are stoked to premiere the latest installment of Dylan the Gypsy’s ASTROLOMIX series! While you listen to what Dylan has put together to close out both Virgo season and summer itself, you can read our conversation with Dylan about her creative process, what she looks for in music, and what makes a dope venue.
Full time student and full time DJ, Dylan the Gypsy has mastered the balancing act. She divides her time between nightclubs and New York University classrooms, spinning both weekdays and weekends. Growing up in Black, Muslim household in suburban DC, music was always of interest to Dylan, but she didn’t fully find her groove until college. Being in a creative environment like NYU has lead Dylan to discover acting as another means of self expression. What she has learned about in the classroom translates to her work; “I feel like I’m more compassionate,” she said, “because I get to see experiences outside of my own.”
Dylan’s first step in creating a mix is choosing a central theme; her current series is based on the astrological signs. “Once you have that theme, it’s easier to be very, very specific. People are captivated by those specific choices [as opposed to mixes with just a general vibe or genre in mind].” Whether she incorporates an old classic, or a new artist bringing something completely fresh to the table, Dylan’s solid understanding of her theme makes it easy to mix songs, genres, and artists that are not normally associated with one another.
Similar to her process of figuring out the feeling and flow of a new mix, finding fresh tracks is not an exact science for Dylan. “It’s more of an intuitive response,” she said. “If I feel something in the first 15 to 30 seconds hearing it, then I know it’s good.” Never one to follow trends, Dylan the Gypsy’s parties are completely unique as she strives to keep things interesting for her audience. “If I know something is going to be played non-stop, I’m not going to use it - I don’t want to do that to the party attender,” she said.
And what makes a dope venue? “I like places where they make sure everyone has a good time,” she said, opting for inclusivity over exlusive nightlife spaces. At Dylan’s monthly party series WYA, curated alongside DJ Shy Daughter, all are welcome to dance and party the night away. Dylan the Gypsy’s care for her both her craft and impact on her audience makes her already groovy work that much more accessible.
In the making of DRØME we hope to showcase a community of doers and nourish an attitude of empathy in a world that teaches us to pass judgment rather than practice kindness. The stories, images, and people shared in this magazine are an amalgamation of perspectives often overlooked or explicitly excluded from art and media worlds. The dearth of diverse identities and viewpoints within the arts is harrowing, especially for a young generation that is fighting its hardest to overcome conservative notions of order ultimately practiced as acts of discrimination against the very people and things we find most inspiring. In DRØME, the featured creators and creations encourage us to never shy away from who we are and what we want. Each artist, in sharing their story, embodies their own definition of agency. Against a mainstream ideology that indoctrinates patriarchal, capitalist, and hateful theories turned into policy, the artists in our first issue represent the ways in which art can take power back from society's denigrating control.