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Jess Dilday (aka PlayPlay)

Jess Dilday, aka PlayPlay, is a DJ, composer, sound designer, music scholar and activist interested in local music scenes, dance floor dynamics, queer theory, and media studies. They have been teaching DJ’ing and music production for several years, most recently through Building Beats (NYC) and UNC-Chapel Hill (NC). With a particular investment in mentoring women and gender non-conforming DJs / producers, PlayPlay has held workshops at festivals such as Moogfest, for organizations such as Girls Rock NC, at museums such as ARoS (Denmark), and at various colleges & universities around the world.

Formerly the editor-in-chief for the International Association for the Study of Popular Music website (, Jess has presented at past conferences on topics such as José Muñoz’s disidentification, 90’s musical nostalgia, queerness within New Orleans bounce music, and media framing of protestor actions and emotions at the 2012 DNC/RNC. Currently, Jess is working on a soundscape installation that focuses on celebrating queer resilience in nightlife, and has been an artist-in-residence at both Flux Factory and ARoS Museum (Denmark) this year.

In their musical creations, PlayPlay combines their penchant for percussion and bass with nostalgic hip-hop and rave samples in both their DJ sets & original music production. Their music is inspired by what they grew up listening to – namely namely industrial, jock jams, 90s club anthems, booty & acid house, jungle & breakbeat hardcore. Using a combination of samples and hardware synthesizers to create everything from unearthly basslines to high-octane acid/industrial sounds, PlayPlay makes energetic music that is both familiar and hard to pin down. In January, they debuted their EP release “It’s Only 3am” on Knightwerk Records, and have had several more releases coming up on labels such as CyberSonic LA and Worst Behavior in 2018.

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