With over 260 galleries from around the world, most with a soiree or two, it’s become an annual escape for New Yorkers already sick of winter gray. And while every exhibition is different, they all share one thing: killer soundtracks and the best DJs. We spoke to three of our favorite girls–May Kwok, Mia Moretti, and Chelsea Leyland– who are flying south this weekend about sourcing, spinning, and Florida vs. New York.
So where do you source new music? Online, or do you ever use records?
May: I research music on Spotify, Hype Machine, Pitchfork, Pandora, etc.
Chelsea: I source my music primarily online. I have to say I also find Shazam to be very helpful, as well as listening to English radio stations.
Mia: I still buy my favorite records on vinyl because I like to have them for my collection, but I have duplicate mp3 files of all of them, and of my less favorites too, of course.
Chelsea: I love record shops and I wish I could tell you I visit them every week, but its rare that I go and buy vinyl or CDs. I buy CDs when I’m driving upstate from yard sales and flea markets, but that’s mainly for the car.
The Internet is so huge though; how do you filter through all the content out there?
Chelsea: Sites such as The Beat, Musique Pour Tous, and Hype Machine can lead me to many amazing blogs. Patience and time is key to filtering through it all, but I know what I like and don’t like straight away.
Mia: Lately I’ve just been Soundcloud surfing, if you find one artist you like chances are they are going to link to other similar artists. For example, my friend Daisy just posted a bunch of edits for Basel up on her Soundcloud (www.soundcloud.com/daisyodell).
Favorite record stores in NYC and Miami?
Mia: Turntable Lab and A1 Records are both nice, organized stores in downtown NYC. In Miami it’s worth a trip to Sweat Record Shop. I would go on a night they have a show—last week they had Lee Fields Expressions playing live soul music.
How is playing in Miami different than in NYC? Do you play Basel differently than any other gig?
May: Well most guests who attend Art Basel events are from NYC, London, etc—so it doesn’t make that much of a difference!
Chelsea: Yeah, many of the events in Miami for Art Basel have a similar crowd to events in, say, NYC and Berlin. The crowd is a little artier in Miami, which I like as they seem to be more free spirited and open to new listening to new things. I also find that the art crowd let loose much before a typical fashion crowd, though in general the majority of clubs in Miami to play pretty cheesy and commercial music, unless it’s Winter Music Conference.
Mia: You got to go with the flow in Miami, that’s what the city is all about.
What tracks are you loving right now?
May: “Anything Could Happen” by Ellie Goulding
Chelsea: “Jasmine” by Jai Paul
Mia: Right now one of my favorites for remixes and original music is The Magician. And the new Sam Sparro album. The whole thing.
Your “Art Basel song”?
Mia: Paradise People by Sam Sparro.
May: Will Smith’s “Miami” (lol).
Chelsea: “One Day” by Asaf Avidan and The Mojos, and “Cocaine Blues” by Escort (which isn’t a new song but will definitely be on my playlist for Basel).
Your favorite place in Miami?
May: The Standard Spa, Miami.
Chelsea: Soho Beach House.
Mia: La Sandwicherie.