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Jess Dilday

Jess Dilday, also known as PlayPlay, is a music scholar, DJ, producer, writer, and activist interested in the history and development of protest music, creating safe(r) spaces for people to escape through music, and the ways that media sources control the narrative on activism. DJ’ing alongside performers such as Big Freedia, TT the Artist and Abdu Ali, as well as DJ’ing at rallies, PlayPlay has intimately witnessed the radical ways in which music can be used as a form of resistance.

Jess has previously served as editor for the International Association for the Study of Popular Music website (, and currently teaches a class on the Art and Culture of the DJ through the Department of Music at UNC-Chapel Hill. As a scholar, Jess has presented research at past conferences on topics such as media portrayal of protestors at national conventions, José Muñoz’s disidentification and “queer rap,” and creating queer spaces through NOLA bounce music & performance.

As a club music producer, PlayPlay has seen a trend in sampling hostile sounds as resistance & is currently inspired by club music that makes those who are not oppressed feel uncomfortable.