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Jubliee Wants You to Dance Like It’s 4 A.M. in Miami

As the DJ has been doing for years, her party "MAGIC CITY" at House of Yes brings Miami sounds to NYC.

(Courtesy of Jubilee)

Jessica Gentile, the DJ who goes by Jubilee, was in Barcelona when I called her last week. She was still on a high from what she described as the best gig she's ever played in the Spanish city. "I started at like 4 a.m. And it's like a normal club, not an after-hours," she said. "It stayed packed 'til six." 

Jubilee likes to stay out late. Originally from Miami, she has become a staple in New York nightlife, an institution in her own right (she featured heavily in previous Leave Your Apartment interviewee Melissa Rich's recommendations). When Jubilee first moved to New York City, it was to follow the drum and bass and jungle electronic music scene that she first encountered in the early 2000s. 

When she herself started DJing, she began bleeding in the sounds of the Miami bass, baile funk, and hip-hop that she grew up with. "I thought everybody listened to that stuff, and then I got to New York and I was like, oh you don't know this?" Jubilee recalled. 

She never thought DJing would turn into a career. "Nobody got paid then," she said. "I was just like, what little dingy bar will let me play this from ten to four?" That ended up being Rothko on the Lower East Side, which hosted the drum and bass party, Direct Drive. The headliner would play upstairs, she said, and the organizers let her play whatever she wanted in the basement.

By the late 2000s, after working with the label Mixpak, Jubilee started her own record label, MAGIC CITY, and began holding her own series of parties, also called MAGIC CITY. "The label started out as a compilation. It was very Miami-themed. I asked people to make music that was 4 a.m. Miami, beach Miami, whatever they wanted," she said. Now, though, "it's just whatever music I think is cool," Jubilee said.

When she surveys the current state of New York nightlife, Jubilee is optimistic: "There is unlimited music in New York. You can find any genre or any kind of night that you want. If you want to go to a punk night, if you want to go to a reggaeton night, if you want to go to a gay reggaeton night, it's all in New York."

She added, "There's a bunch of young kids killing it right now," pointing to DJs like WTCHCRFT and nextdimensional. "Anybody that's saying New York fell off or New York is boring, is clearly boring themselves or they fell off."

Don't be boring—read Jubilee's recommendations below.

Wednesdays: Eli Escobar and DJ Moma at Le Bain, 848 Washington Street, Manhattan (Free)

"Wednesdays at Le Bain with Eli Escobar and Moma, it's been running for over 10 years. And it's like next-level lit—it's not sceney, it's dancey. It doesn't get popping until two or three in the morning."

Thursdays: Romance Thursdays at Gabriela, 90 Wythe Avenue, Brooklyn (Free)

"That's two Elis in a row, but he is New York, so what are you gonna do? It's him usually, and if it's not him, it's something he has control over. And it's his 'do whatever I want' night."

Saturdays: Nonstop at Nowadays, 56-06 Cooper Ave, Queens ($0-$40)

"Nowadays goes hard for 24 hours every weekend now, which is ideal for me. It's just insane. Danny Daze is playing this weekend. The thing I love about Nonstop is that I can go at nine in the morning after a coffee, hear the best DJ set ever, see a bunch of people I love, and then eat dinner at a normal time and go to bed by midnight."

Friday, April 5: Fixed with Optimo at Good Room, 98 Meserole Avenue, Brooklyn ($22.50-$27.50)

"It's so funny, I was telling somebody two days ago that I always miss Optimo when they come [to the city]. I've been going to Fixed since, like, 2005. I will always go to Fixed. It's always good. They were the OG ravers of Brooklyn, they've always booked outside the box."

Saturday, April 13: MAGIC CITY with Nina Las Vegas and Addison Groove at House of Yes, 2 Wyckoff Avenue, Brooklyn ($29.21-$46.42)

"I'm super excited about this show, because it's two DJs that I adore: I have Addison Groove, who I'm a huge fan of. I've also been trying to get him to New York for like 100 years. Speaking of bass music, he's from Bristol. But his style and my style kind of go together. He loves Miami bass. And then I have Nina Las Vegas, who is one of the best DJs in the world and one of my favorite humans in the world. And also, House of Yes is, like, the most extra place in the whole world, so they were like, 'We're going to do a Miami dress code.' People love a theme, and so do I. And I'm excited to see what people are gonna wear and what their take on Miami is. I've done things with a dress code and people really, really really go all in, they take it to 200 percent."

Friday, April 26: Sally C, Jubilee, Cosmo, and Kilopatrah Jones at Good Room, 98 Meserole Avenue, Brooklyn ($16.90-$21.90)

"I love playing Good Room. Josh from Fixed is a big part of that club and basically runs it. And I am a huge fan of [Berlin-based DJ and house music producer] Sally C. She makes some of my favorite records out right now. I really am looking forward to that, and I'm really happy that they booked me with her."

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