The ongoing buzz around HoneyLuv reached a new level this past weekend when the producer performed her first headlining show in Los Angeles. Taking place on the terrace of the Academy in LA during the ongoing Day Trip party, the sold-out show got the crowd moving in droves, even amid the weekend heatwave.
HoneyLuv is indeed as hot as current temperatures, with the producer – one of the BsignDance artists of 2022 to watch – are gaining traction this year via “Your Tongue” and “365 (Thr33 6ix 5ive)”, a pair of scorching house and tech house singles that have been club and festival staples.
Los Angeles-based Cleveland-born artist Taylor Character also of course played these hits on his current 365 (Thr33 6ix 5ive) tour, which this summer hit all major US markets – making stops at Electric Forest, Outsidelands and HARD Summer – and ends September 2 with an exclamation point of a show at Ushuaïa in Ibiza.
Amid this run, we caught up with HoneyLuv to talk about her rise, her enduring love for Bow Wow, and how her time in the military made her a better performer.
1. Where are you in the world right now, and what is the setting?
I’m currently in Costa Rica, deep in the mountains, surrounded by cool trees, fresh air, howling monkeys, and unobstructed views of the Pacific Ocean.
2. What was the first album or piece of music you bought for yourself, and what was the medium?
I thought I wasn’t going to be able to remember, but it came to me right away. The first piece of music I bought was the Lil Bow Wow album, BEWARE OF DOG. I played this CD back and forth, side to side. I was a big Bow Wow fan then – and still am. He was from the same state as me but from different cities. So he was close to home and at the age of his success I felt that really motivated me to think outside the box.
3. What did your parents do for a living when you were a child, and what do they or did they think of what you do for a living now?
My father owned his own trucking company. My mother worked for the state government when I was growing up. My parents, I don’t think they had any idea what I would do honestly. I was into anything and everything, be it sports, modeling or acting. So they never really pushed me or my sisters to do any specific job and allowed us to do what we loved. I will say they probably wouldn’t have thought I would be a DJ, but I’m sure they knew I would be doing something out of the ordinary.
4. What was the first non-material thing you bought for yourself when you started making money as an artist?
It was probably a good meal at a good restaurant, pretty sure it was. I’m a big foodie, and that’s where most of my money goes. No restaurant will be spared!
5. If you had to recommend an album to someone who wants to get into dance music, what would you give them?
Cajmere’s aka Green Velvet’s Underground goodies EP, released on Af-Ryth-Mix Sounds. It’s important to know the origin and where this music comes from, and I think it’s the perfect EP for someone looking to break into the scene.
6. What’s the last song you listened to?
The last song I listened to was “Bad Girl” by Usher.
7. You served in the Navy before turning to music full-time. Are there lessons from your time in service that you apply to your current calling?
I would say there are several things. I came in as a fairly complete person, but I would say I came out a lot cleaner. Being in the military has made me much more organized, having everything in order makes me ride smoothly. I would also say be more diligent, not allow myself to slack off, and be on top of everything – a starter and a motivator.
8. How has the proliferation of live streaming during the pandemic affected your career?
I think live streaming has really helped me gain recognition as a house DJ. I did a few shows here and there during that time, and it really gave me that leverage to get out into the real world and showcase my talents. It’s always surreal to look back sometimes.
9. You’ve had a massive raise over the past year. Has there been a time in the past 12 months when you thought, “Okay, I made it.
I wish I could say that, but I don’t think I’m at a point where I’m comfortable saying those words yet. I feel like my journey has definitely been unique, and I’ve certainly had tons of small and big wins, but to say I’ve succeeded, I really don’t think I’m there yet . Maybe if you ask me that question in the next five years, I’ll probably have a different answer for you. Until then, I’m still here grinding and hungrier than ever.
10. You’ve played at some of North America’s most influential clubs and festivals: Coachella, EDC Vegas, Space Miami, Lightning In a Bottle. Is there a festival or venue that is close to your heart or that you think does things particularly well?
Most of the places I played where I felt that energy were in the big city of New York. It’s just something about this town that makes my heart happy. Whether I’m playing Brooklyn Mirage or elsewhere, I feel at home every time – and my heart is so happy when I see New York on my schedule.
11. You are in the middle of your Thr33 6ix 5ive tour. What are your rules for staying healthy on the road?
Well, sleep is very important. I make sure to rest, so that means I don’t party every night until the sun comes up. Between shows, I also go to Pilates every day, and I have pretty healthy eating habits. So I’m always refreshed and ready to go for the next show.
12. What do you think of the term “tech house” and do you think it’s the label that best describes what you do?
There are tons of subgenres within this label, and I’d say I tend to be on the more soulful, groovy side of tech house, but I wouldn’t say that’s the best way to describe this I’m doing. A house DJ is what I am, which means I play everything in this house – be it tech house, classic house, latin house, afro house, acid house and a dash of rhythmic techno.
13. What’s the most exciting thing happening in electronic music right now?
For me, it’s seeing all women get the attention and credit we deserve. More and more of us are joining these major queues and taking our place with confidence. Especially for my sisters, it’s such a beautiful thing to see and be a part of. My heart is so happy.
14. What’s the most annoying thing going on in electronic music right now?
The most annoying thing, I’ll have to keep it to myself. I was taught that if I don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say it at all.
15. When you’re not listening to electronic music, what do you listen to?
You can find me rocking out to 90s and early 2000s R&B. I also like to listen to soft and classic jazz.
16. If you could go back in time to any era in dance music history, when would you go, and why?
I would love to go back to the 90s. I feel like everything was better musically back then. I would have loved to experience a hot and sweaty warehouse party and collect all the tracks that were being played during that time – because I find myself finding so many great jams from that era over my many sessions search of boxes.
17. If you could choose one artist, living or dead, to collaborate with, who would it be?
I should say Rihanna. I’m a huge RiRi fan and I think we could definitely do something groovy and deep and sexy. Upright vibe. Holla at me Robyn!
18. What is the best business decision you have ever made?
Get a business manager. I’m still learning this whole process, and having someone to walk you through trading makes it so much easier.
19. Who has been your greatest mentor and what was the best advice he gave you?
I would say that life has been my greatest mentor. Watching others make choices in their lives and learning from them has really helped me make some choices in my life. The greatest advice life gave me was to live it fully every day because tomorrow is not promised.
20. Any advice you would give to your younger self?
Don’t let anyone tell you it’s not possible; everything in this world is achievable.