Skiddle Mix: The Archive Series - Jess Bays

The Defected resident and popular Capital FM host produced an exclusive mix for Skiddle, just as her career was beginning to take off, exactly five years ago to the day. Check it out in on our second archive feature

Skiddle Staff

Last updated: 8th Mar 2022

Following on from the first instalment of our brand new Skiddle Mix Archive Series, our second retrospective feature comes from dance music powerhouse and popular radio show host, Jess Bays.

If you asked those operating within the realms of electronic music, the record label heads, party promoters and even the artists themselves, the general consensus would be that you'd struggle to find a harder working or more dedicated DJ than Jess. 

The always-smiling and instantly recognisable, pink-haired creative has experienced a whirlwind ride to mainstream status over the past decade. From producing remixes for the likes of Becky Hill and Rudimental to securing residencies with huge dance label, Defected - in Miami, Chicago, Croatia and Ibiza - not to mention signing to Sam Divine's esteemed imprint, DVine and becoming a presenter at Capital FM - Jess has taken every opportunity over the course of her vocation thus far confidently within her stride. 

Listen to Jess Bays Archive Mix by clicking or tapping on the player below. Crank that volume!

Beginning her journey into music as a teen, originally infatuated with the styles and sounds of jungle and drum n bass, she was bitten by the dance bug very early on. Encountering house music for the very first time at a festival, whilst watching her future label boss Sam Divine perform live, would you believe, Jess knew she'd found her calling and felt compelled to move towards a career in the music business. Fast forward to the present day and we can all assuredly say she was right. 

Amongst her many other celebrated supporters, that we feel necessary to name drop, are brands, labels and artists including former BBC Radio One tastemaker Annie Mac, Chicago house pioneer Derrick Carter, MK, Hannah Wants, Glasgow Underground, Armada, Stashed and Circa Trax. 

We caught up with Jess just recently to talk about her featured archive mix, which was unleashed on dance fans via Skiddle's Mixcloud page six years ago to the date exactly, on International Women's Day. 

Continue reading to hear Jess' feelings on her Skiddle archive mix, on International Women's Day and how the industry is changing for female artists, and find out what she's got in store for the year ahead. 



Hey Jess, how’s it going? Where do we find you chatting to us from today? What are you up to and what are you listening to?

"Hey Skiddle! Hope you guys are good! I’m a very happy girl right now chatting to you from Capital Dance HQ at Global and, of course, I’m listening to the station!"


The last time we spoke to you was towards the end of the summer last year. Back in a time when restriction free partying had just come back into our lives. Are you still witnessing the same hunger and energy for live music you previously told us of, out on the dance floors?

"Oh my god, the energy and hunger on the dance floors has literally tripled! Honestly, I can tell you that every show I’ve done since the restrictions lifted has been top tier! Dance floors are a very special place at the moment."



Looking forward to events this year, with emphasis on the return of the usual Ibiza and summertime festival seasons, are there any that you’re particularly hyped about? And if so, why?

"So I’ve just announced my very first Ibiza residency! For twenty one consecutive Fridays, I’ll be on the White Isle at Ibiza Rocks for Cuckoo Land! I’m so excited to get stuck in and spend so much time on my favourite island in the world. Especially given that I haven’t been there for two years - it’s going to be emotional! I’m also making my debut at Creamfields this year, which has been on my bucket list since I started DJing, so I’m very grateful right now."


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Regarding today's important awareness day (International Women's Day) and its message, do you feel the music industry has evolved and become a more inclusive space for women? And looking forward to years ahead, what could be done to bring about more equal opportunities?

"In honesty, there is still a long way to go until the industry is completely equal, but things are slowing changing and there are so many insanely talented ladies coming through the ranks. I think it would be nice to see equal line ups or there be a certain percentage of big line ups that should be of both genders, but like I said things are changing and can only get better!"



Being a presenter on Capital FM, you must be one of the first to get the scoop on the next names. With that in mind, are there any female DJs or artists you’re especially excited about?

"Yes we absolutely do and a few names that we are excited about at the moment are Camden Cox, Alex Mills, LP Giobii and Emily Nash. All of these females are bringing some serious heat and all doing different things so watch out for them."



Back to all things Jess Bays - your latest single, ‘Temptation’, featuring upcoming singer-songwriter, Poppy Baskcomb, has been getting some serious love. How did the collaboration with Poppy arise?

"I was in a writing camp with Poppy Baskcomb and Hayley-May who have both been songwriters on some huge hit records so I already knew I was in great company before I went into the session and the girls wrote the top line once they heard the production that me and my co-producer Richie had already done - it came together really organically."


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If you could choose any artist, dead or alive, to link up with on a track who would it be and why?

"I’m gonna choose one woman and one man to make things equal! The man has got to be Mr Marc Kinchen just because he is by far the biggest influence on the records I make every day and an absolute OG. The female I choose has to be Queen Honey Dijon because of her stage presence behind the decks and the pure class that her records hold."


Finally, foreseeing the rest of 2022, what are your goals and ambitions? What are you keen to achieve this year? It doesn’t matter how big or small they are, we want to hear them!

"I’m really keen to push myself to get a top ten club record. I've predominantly been producing more radio leaning stuff because of the pandemic so this year. I’m really excited to push my productions to the next level to really have an impact on the dance floor and not just the airwaves. I’d also really like to brush up on my DJ skills and get a bit more adventurous with live mixing."



Thank you for taking the time to answer our questions. All the best for the rest of the year!

"Big love, thanks for having me as always and I hope to see you in Ibiza!"




Ever the busy-bee, Jess has a score of dates confirmed and scheduled to take place over the coming spring and summer months. See what all the hype is about by experiencing some of her most raucous body moving anthems at an event near you. Grab tickets to see Jess Bays live in action - HERE



Check out our What's On Guide to discover even more rowdy raves and sweaty gigs taking place over the coming weeks and months. For festivals, lifestyle events and more, head on over to our Things To Do page or be inspired by the event selections on our Inspire Me page.