Hilton estimates she's been to the South Florida festival more than 10 times, dating back well before her own foray into DJing. The socialite starlet signed with Cash Money Records in 2013, where she has released singles "Good Time" and "Come Alive." She currently holds residencies at Amnesia Ibiza and Harrah's Atlantic City, and exclusively revealed to Billboard that she'll soon be taking her show to Las Vegas.
The celebrity has been no stranger to controversy, drawing the ire of artists like deadmau5 and Paul Oakenfold for perceived opportunism and contentious comments made about her place in the dance hierarchy. Last week, a Change.org petition urging Milwaukee's Summerfest to remove Hilton from the lineup accrued nearly 7,000 signatures.
Billboard bumped into Hilton hanging at the W Hotel South Beach, where BMF Media was hosting its Sirius XM-curated 808 Music Lounge. While the likes of Axwell & Ingrosso, Steve Aoki and Dirty South played beneath her balcony, she was more than happy to give an impromptu interview dismissing her haters and defending her entry into dance music. Watch an excerpt below:
You just wrapped up your Foam and Diamonds residency's second year at Amnesia Ibiza. Do you plan on pursuing any additional residencies?
Yes, I've got a residency in Atlantic City, and I'm about to do one in Las Vegas. I can't say where yet.
What are some of the biggest misconceptions about you as a DJ?
There are so many rumors out there. People who think that I don't play live. There are so many haters that make up so many stories. But anybody who comes and sees a show and watches behind the booth will see I know exactly what I'm doing. I've been training so hard for the past five years. I think I've really improved myself. Because I'm Paris Hilton, people assume, "Oh, she's just this rich girl." They don't understand that I've actually been going to raves since I was 15 years old. I love music. I love entertaining people. I love partying. I love having a good time and having people around me have a great time. So I feel like DJing is kind of perfect for what I do. During the day, I'm a businesswoman. I travel around the world. I work with different products and brands. Then at night, I get to DJ for all my fans and have an incredible time. And that's what it's about. DJing is about entertaining, having fun with the crowd, and making people have the time of their lives.
You got a lot of criticism for what many outlets reported as claiming to be one of the top five DJs in the world. Was that taken out of context?
I never said I was one of the top five DJs. That was kind of a misunderstanding. They didn't play the whole video. I had just landed from the plane and paparazzi came up to me and asked me: "Is DJing lucrative for you?" And I said, well, yes, I'm one of the top five paid DJs -- meaning ratewise. I would never compare myself with people like Tiesto and DJs who have been in the scene for so many years. I'm very new to it. It's been five years now, so I would never say that.
How have other DJs reacted to your entry into the scene?
I'm friends with all of them. We have so much fun together. I've been going to see their shows for so many years, and we've been friends for so many years. It's really great that so many of them are so supportive. Last summer we had so much fun. I had Richie Hawtin, Skrillex, Dubfire, NERVO and all of my friends come see me play at my Foam and Diamonds party at Amnesia. So I love when my friends can come, be behind the booth with me, and see like, "Wow, I'm so impressed you actually play live." I'm like, "Dude, what do you think? I'm just touring around the world doing nothing?" So it's funny when I actually prove people wrong and see the reaction people have.
You mentioned that you started going to raves at age 15. How did you get into dance music?
When I moved to New York City, I was 15 years old. I started going to Roseland and all these different raves and really loving this music from a very young age. That was one of the first kinds of clubs I started going to as a teenager, and I've loved it ever since. I love going to festivals, because I feel like it's kind of like my alter ego. Like that raver Barbie vibe. And it's so much fun to dress up and have fun with it. It's definitely different than back in the day, but it's even better now. With the technology nowadays, so many kids are making these incredible records.
What's your take on sexism and the representation of female artists in the dance industry?
DJing has been mostly a man's world. So it feels good to be one of those girls in that group. Oh my god... I feel like "girl power"! I love NERVO, I've been friends with them for years. I think it's really cool to see girls doing it and killing it in the business. I love the boys too.. but I'm always rooting for all the girls.