Heartthrob Talks About Comparing the US to Europe and What Makes Detroit So Special

Let's welcome Jesse Siminski (aka Heartthrob) back to Detroit this weekend. He will be playing alongside ATAXIA, Seth Troxler, The Black Madonna and more at the OK Cool! afterparty at TV Lounge this Sunday.
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Let's welcome Jesse Siminski (aka Heartthrob) back to Detroit this weekend. He will be playing alongside ATAXIA, Seth Troxler, The Black Madonna and more at the OK Cool! afterparty at TV Lounge this Sunday.

This weekend, Detroit is opening her welcoming arms to a familiar face, Jesse Siminski (aka Heartthrob). A Michigan native, he grew up amidst the Detroit music scene and we are thrilled to have him back in the D.

Having grown up in Saginaw (just under 2 hours outside of Detroit), the sounds of the Motor City played an integral role in his musical development.

“My dad is from Saginaw and introduced me to a lot of music from Detroit growing up. Mostly funk and Motown. Later I would buy records from Record Time as a teenager. I also found my first synths in pawn shops there. The Midwest rave scene and the zine Massive helped me find out about House and Techno from Detroit—I used to fax my orders in (pre-internet days)."

In addition to the city, itself, the artists the city housed became an influential part of his budding career.

“Besides my obvious connection to Richie Hawtin, I have a lot of respect for Underground Resistance and their satellites. They envision their music as an instrument of change. Rob Hood is a master. Honestly, the whole Techno scene is wrapped up in brave characters from this town. Mad Mike—such a visionary with a big heart. Jeff Mills, DJ Minx, Dan Bell, Kenny Larkin, Derrick May, Blake Baxer… I can’t get over how much soul and vision are a part of their music.”

While he's going to be in Detroit this weekend for the festival, Siminski has been hanging around the city regularly, noticing it's resurgence.

“I love it. It’s great to see Detroit develop. It has a lot to offer in terms of creative culture. I hope it continues to shift and thrive. There is a lot of room for people to try new projects and things are still relatively inexpensive. It's a bit like Berlin in that sense.”

After spending ten years living overseas, he noticed a few differences in the scene over there versus here in the US. Each country has their own distinct style and overall feel, but the contrast of cultures is always interesting to experience.

“The US has become much stronger and more open to House & Techno since I moved to Europe. Europe has the later club closing times and more underground style clubs, but the gap is closing. There are terrific things happening all over the US. I think the EDM situation will calm down, leaving the door open for normal, less 'rock star' type parties. That sound is definitely global, but they don’t seem to make anyone happy besides the DJs and their managers. People want to feel connected to something real, that's not embarrassing, and that's also global.”

Detroit, however, is definitely unique.

“Detroit is its own entity. It’s the myth and the foundation more than a party destination. I think it's an artist’s city where people create. There are terrific spots here to play that turn out great crowds and talent—The Grasshopper, TV Bar, Whiskey Disco are the ones I know first hand. I’m sure there are more. Detroit has its own gritty funk and the people know their music.”

That being said, Siminski is stoked to be back in the city for its iconic festival!

“I haven’t been to Movement in about four years, so I am excited to be back to experience some of that. I think the promoters have put together a solid line up.”

But being back “home” is going to be more than just music and parties for him. There's plenty more the city has to offer than just dance music this weekend, and Siminski plans to soak it all in.

“Besides the party stuff, I’m looking forward to enjoying the summery Michigan weather and eating outdoors with friends as much as possible. Also the vintage close shopping is pretty awesome.”

And for you first time Movement go-ers… Here are his words of advice:

“Dance as much as possible and enjoy the fact that Detroit has one of the best electronic music festivals in the world. We are very lucky!”

You can catch Heartthrob this Sunday at the Ok Cool! afterparty at TV Lounge! And check out his mix for a preview of the sweet tunes you’ll be gettin’ this weekend.

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