She came of age in the golden era of Chicago house. Now she’s the toast of Glastonbury, remixing Lady Gaga and championed by Grace Jones – with an urgent mission to take nightlife back to its radical roots

In spite of its origins in Black and queer working-class communities, dance music has long been co-opted and whitewashed. As evidence, see producer Kaytranada being the first Black artist to win best dance/electronic album at the Grammys as late as 2021, or the recent surprise at Drake and Beyoncé putting out work rooted in house music, in spite of its origins in Black and queer working-class communities. “I have a word for it,” offers internationally renowned DJ and producer Honey Dijon, with a wry but assertive laugh: “Colonisation.”

And like a forward-thinking museum or gallery owner – but with rather more flair for shoulder pads and ballroom attitude – Dijon is decolonising culture. We meet ahead of her headline show at Koko, in London, where her set shines a light not just on the humid mass singing along beneath an enormous disco ball, but also on dance music’s history of Blackness, queerness and transness, which peaks when she plays an exuberant remix of the late disco icon Sylvester, perhaps the first out gay pop star. “House music was sold and repackaged to the people who created it,” Dijon says. “It has gone from culture to entertainment, and what I try to do in my work is constantly protest against forgetting where this music came from – not in a nostalgic way, but in a critical way.”

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