Interview: Hilit Kolet

London-based DJ & producer Hilit Kolet has built a solid catalogue of studio productions, with previous releases coming via highly respected record labels like Defected, Faith, and Rekids.

Her most recent outing brings an impressive four-track EP titled ‘Hot Mess’, which alongside the original title track serves up her ‘Even Hotter Mix’ and two strong edits from Mike Dunn.

We recently spoke to Hilit about the new release, what else she might have coming in the near future, and what other goals she’s set herself for 2024. Read the full interview below.

Where are you right now and what are you up to?

I’m in a TV studio somewhere in central London, shooting something very exciting and secretive that I’m bursting to tell you about but need to keep it completely zipped. For now.

You recently made a return to Rekids for the release of your new ‘Hot Mess’ EP, talk us through the title track on this one?

The starting point for ‘Hot Mess’ was a decision I made not to use any loops, so the backing track is 100% a programmed drum machine. I then wrote an emotive topline for it, one that captured how I was feeling at the time. It’s a very personal and really special record for me.

It includes an ‘Even Hotter Mix’ too, how does that differ from the original version?

I initially cut the ‘Even Hotter Mix’ for myself to play out after having played the original mix for a while. I wanted a 2am version, rolling all the way, a bit tougher. Radio Slave heard it and thought it would be a good addition to the package, and it got a really great response from DJs & radio which is nice.

And the final two tracks are edits from Mike Dunn, what are your thoughts on his remixes?

I mean, first of all, Chicago icon mixing my music – just whoa. Secondly, I love Mike’s deep groovy take on ‘Hot Mess’. Those pads are so dreamy.

In the past you’ve also released music on Defected and Faith, what tempts you to release with one label over another?

It’s pretty simple. I work very hard on my music (someone say bloody perfectionist?), so I want to make sure the labels I give my music it to are ones that I adore, and ones that I would be happy to be a part of their catalogue.

And which other labels might we expect to see you on this year?

You’ll have to wait and see. For now I can say that my next release is coming out on Bush in a few weeks, and that you’re in for a surprise with this one. There are also a few interesting collaborations and remixes coming up.

Are there any special clubs or festivals you’re excited to play this year?

Yes! I’m making my return to Amnesia for Elrow this summer, I’m playing Campo Sancho again on the Saturday night which should be really good, opening for Groove Armada in Koko next month, and more.

And what other goals have you set yourself for 2024?

Oh my goal list is very long. At the same time, I’ve learnt that life can (and probably will) be unexpected with lists going out the window within seconds, so being able to react and re-adjust lists is much more important than drafting out dry ambitions.

In recent years I’ve realised that as long as I’m growing in all areas I care about, I’m (almost) happy. I want to practice my drumming more. I want to collaborate with artists I love. Play in new territories and to new crowds. Get more sunlight, go on water adventures with my daughters, eat quality marzipan. Switch my phone off sometimes. Wouldn’t that be good.

Hilit Kolet – Hot Mess EP is out now on Rekids.