LA-based DJ Mija, aka Amber Giles, unveiled a Playboy photoshoot this week. The tasteful, gothy spread—shot by photographer Marya Gullo, and styled by Aubrey Kia—features Mija wearing a see-through, white, mesh dress over a black bra and matching shorts, and thigh-high socks. You can view the whole photo gallery on the Playboy site, in addition to a behind-the-scenes video.
Giles rose to stardom after a string of knockout performances at major festivals over the last couple of years, including a b2b sunrise set with Skrillex at Bonnaroo in 2014. The pair are reportedly tight, with Skrillex putting Mija on his debut show for his Beats 1 residency, in addition to releasing material from Mija on his label, OWSLA.
Via email, Giles told THUMP she agreed to the shoot after Gullo reached out to her wanting to do something artist-driven. "The experience was really dope," she said. "The crew was chill and let me curate the stylist, clothes, location, etc. I asked them to skate with me around DTLA and those ended up being my favorite shots." Mija added: "My close friend Aubrey Kia styled this as 'Sporty Mija'."
The Phoenix-born artist has been outspoken about her position as a female DJ in a male-dominated industry. Giles is involved with Nap Girls, a collaborative organization that empowers women in dance music. She said in an interview with Nest HQ that the group is like a modern feminist movement. "What attracted me to the Nap Girls was the spunky group of girls that had a silly idea and wanted to make it a 'thing'—and once it became a thing they used its popularity to promote positive messages and girl power," she said.
This week, when Miami promoter Justin James sparked outrage after posting his "requirements for a female DJ," Mija added her support to the backlash, calling James out as "a creepy dude".
Asked how her feminist leanings jibed with the idea of posing for Playboy, Mija stressed that there was no subtext behind the shoot. "I'm just a human really, and I do whatever I want to," Giles said. "There isn't any hidden political message behind this; to say there is would be dishonest. Marya reached out cause she identified with my music and and wanted to find something creative to do together. If there had to be a message, it's that people (whatever gender they identify as) deserve the freedom to be themselves."
Anna Codrea-Rado is THUMP's News Editor. Follow her on Twitter.