Mija Is EDM's Last Great Hope
The self-made 25-year-old DJ is poised to become one of the biggest names in contemporary dance music, as well as a one-woman art factory.
Photos by Emman Mohammed.
The story most often told about Mija finds her at Bonnaroo in 2014, moments away from kicking off her sunrise set atop Kalliope, a laser-blasting, festival-touring mobile stage (recently seen at Electric Daisy Carnival) that looks like a gypsy wagon crossed with a boom box. Skrillex, driving past in a golf cart, saw this bacchanalian monstrosity, joined the party, and at Mija's invitation, did a back-to-back deep-house set with her that went viral and launched the career of a promising new DJ talent.
It's no fairy tale—that did happen—but it's a bit too princess-in-a-tower to define a person with as much born hustle and drive as Amber Giles, now 25, who sat with me in August at the hip and airy Zinc Cafe in Los Angeles's Arts District. For a more elucidating Mija-meets-Skrillex anecdote, rewind to when she was 18, a self-made rave promoter in the Arizona underground. She usually ferried the DJs she booked straight from the airport to their hotel in her 2001 Honda Accord, but when a pre-fame Skrillex arrived, she was his white knight: "I drove him to get sushi, took him to Hot Topic to get [ear] gauges, and sewed his pants because he had a giant hole in the crotch."
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