Winning a national DJ competition seemed inevitable for the talented young DJ known as J Phlip. In two and a half short years J Phlip (Jessica Phillippe) progressed from playing around on her own tables to playing the main room at Chicago superclub Zentra, alongside several big names such as Terry Mullen and Paul Anthony. Next thing she knew, she was being flown from her hometown of Champaign, IL to Hollywood, CA to compete against the other two finalists at the famous Ivar nightclub, in front of judges Colette, Rap, and Reid Speed. The contest, sponsored by BPM Magazine, Rockstar Energy Drink, and Stanton, and titled âBeauty and the Beats: The Female DJ Mix Awardâ, was intended to discover the next big female DJ in electronic music. The contest was indeed successful when discovering J Phlip, and will lead to even bigger moments for this talented 22 year old.
J Phlip fell in love with house music when discovering the thriving underground house scene in Champaign, only a few hours away from Chicago. Music has always been a huge part of her life from playing instruments to singing and dancing in show choir to deciding to specialize in Audio and Sound Engineering as part of her General Engineering degree at the University of Illinois. DJing was simply the next step for her. âI found that dancing and listening to others spin music made me happy, no matter what was going on in my life. I wanted to be able to make others feel that way through my choice of music,â she said. She found that being behind the decks was a comfortable place for her, even in front of others, and knew it was her following.
Local DJs, such as Champaign favorite DJ ImpacT, influenced J Phlip. She in turn inspires other DJs and keeps pushing the local house scene forward. She currently holds one of the longest running weekly residencies in Champaign — for any genre. For over two years, house fans from around the Midwest came to Barfly on Thursday nights to hear J Phlip spin four hours of her own style of funky, techy, jazzy and deep house. Constantly listening to new tracks and digging in Chicago record stores, J Phlip always manages to impress even the most knowledgeable DJs with her song selections. Her Thursday residency in Champaign still continues, however it recently moved locations to Champaignâs shiny new venue, Soma, where she spins alongside longtime friend and DJ partner, DJ Mertz. Besides her famous Thursday residency, she currently also holds a weekly residency at Boltini, keeping her very busy at home when she isnât traveling to other gigs.
Her precise mixes and strong EQ skills would pass the most rigorous DJ tests. But it is also her friendly and cheerful attitude that has won her so many fans. Whether spinning at nearly every club in Champaign, or traveling to far away cities to play, J-Phlip visibly loves the music she is playing. âHouse music gives me a good feeling inside. I found it the most fun to play. It is full of energy and can drag me out of any mood,â she said.
While her name is very well known locally, it is quickly spreading much further with her two page feature in last Mayâs issue of BPM Magazine and her recent gig playing for over 2,500 people in the Dominican Republic. J Phlip thinks big and knows that winning the contest has opened doors for her; but at the same time she is well-grounded and ready to put in the work it will take to follow her dream of a career making music. As she prepares for her tour this fall with DJ Rap, Colette, and Reid Speed, around the nation it is clear that J Phlip will be able to spread her sound across the world, so keep your ears open!