Photos and words by Jen Diaz
The energy was undeniable at this year’s Winter Music Conference (WMC) as the streets of Miami flooded with tourists, fans and music lovers alike. You can feel the baselines thump and the loud cheers from Wynwood to Ocean Drive.
Once you get settled and decide on all of the events you want to attend, you begin to realize the choices are infinite and the excitement starts to kick in. At every corner you can immediately tell things are about to get live!
Leaving the cold wintry mix in New York is the best decision you can make, especially when you land to an announcement of clear skies at about 82 degrees. Once the thought of sunshine settles, the chaos of pool parties, day events and beach days comes next. My week was spent alongside two genuine and talented one-of-a-kind music appreciators Miami native, DJ Wasabi and Brooklyn native, DJ Spinna. Passionate discussions on vinyl, house music and the classics were in full swing.
My first stop took place at The Marlin Hotel for a soulful afro-house set by DJ Wasabi. Next stop landed me at a cozy Italian bistro, Florida’s first Segafredo, L’Originale on Lincoln Road. Here I enjoyed an outdoor soulful dance gathering, Wasabi & Amigos hosted by DJ Wasabi. The lineup included Brandon Morales, DJ Tommy Bones, Salah Ananse, DJ Kemit, Sankofa Soul, Carlos Acosta and a special live performance by Miranda Nicole. The energy was beautiful with footwork courtesy of Natasha “Ivory” Markwick, Caitlyn Napolitano, Eliseo Perfecto, Carlos Dacosta, and the Soul Diverse crew.
On my final day, I attended the 5th annual Afrique Electrique party held at the The Marlin Hotel. The event showcased African & Latin infused electronic music with the likes of Josh Milan, DJ Kemit, Ian Friday and residents DJ Wasabi & Salah Ananse on the one’s and two’s.
The last party of the night began after midnight and landed us at The Vagabond for the 6th Annual Dance Ritual hosted by Louie Vega. Entering the space, you were greeted with an Afro-Latino set by DJ Wasabi. You then made your way to the patio equipped with a fire pit and the crowd enjoying the diverse and beautiful set from Mr. V and Tony Touch that spanned everything from disco to Dilla. Heaven! Around 5AM, with the room still buzzing of euphoria, the night closed with a mix of wild cheers and entranced two-steps to “Lovely Day” by Bill Withers.
I couldn’t have asked for a better recharge. Thank you, WMC.