Chloé Caillet: Uniting Beats and Queerness with SMIILE

We had the pleasure of chatting with Chloé Caillet, DJ, producer, and visionary behind the SMIILE event concept and record label. Just last month, Chloé ignited the stage at Village Underground with a meticulously curated lineup featuring Kamma & Masalo’s dynamic mixes and Grace Sands’ esteemed musical selections, underscoring the diversity and energy of this incredible night.

Chloé’s collaboration with the iconic Fabric helped bring the SMIILE concept to London, offering an unforgettable experience that blends vibrant electronic music with a distinct queer perspective. This event not only showcased Chloé’s genre-defying style but also celebrated the diversity within the LGBTQ+ community and beyond, promoting unity and joy within the electrifying atmosphere of Village Underground.

KALTBLUT: Can you share with us the inspiration behind your SMIILE club night and record label? How did you end up collaborating with Fabric?

Chloé: So, Smiile started as a party, a community, a label, a platform for me to just express myself, to build a safe and diverse space for people to come and be who they want to be, and just to let go in a party environment. I feel like it’s my ultimate dream club night as a DJ and a party-goer, and that was the whole idea. The collaboration with Fabric came very naturally. I’ve been playing with them for years. Jorge, who is the booker for Fabric, is a good friend of mine, and I was telling him about the concept. And he was like, “Let’s do it.” Fabric is such an institution, especially in the UK market, which is very complicated.

KALTBLUT: How has your identity as a queer artist influenced your musical journey? 

Chloé: It’s interesting because I wasn’t always embracing my queerness, and so I feel like over the last few years, where my queerness has really become a part of my project, I’m really owning it and putting it forward in what I’m doing. But I definitely look back at my journey, and there was always an element of freedom. I associate a lot of queerness with freedom and being who you want to be and being true to yourself, so I feel like my music has always had that. My DJ sets have always had that. I’ve never been afraid to be who I want to be.

KALTBLUT: Could you elaborate on your experience combining roles as a DJ, producer, multi-instrumentalist, and label owner? How do these different facets of your career intertwine and shape your musical style?

Chloé: I mean, they’re all part of each other, right? I feel like as a DJ, there’s a DJ role, and obviously, there’s a label owner role, producer, and instrumentalist. All of these things make me who I am today, and I feel like my musical style has definitely impacted me because I grew up playing music, and I feel like I bring that into it with the melodies that I use. Similar to being a music artist, I’m not afraid to listen to music outside of the electronic music space. I like to find different elements that tie into that. The same as a DJ, when I play different sets, they’re definitely not at one specific BPM. I like to push the boundaries and play lots of different styles of music. I feel like you can hear all of the different hats that I’ve worn in my musical journey.

KALTBLUT: As someone whose sound is embraced by both music and fashion enthusiasts, how do you navigate playing runway afterparties for luxury brands while staying true to your artistic vision?

Chloé: It’s a very interesting question. I feel like when we are playing for fashion parties, you don’t dare to play certain tracks, but I feel like even in environments when I can’t play very heady club sets, I still play records that I love. I work on building a vibe and playing music. At the end of the day, we are DJs, and our job is to play music that gets people dancing. And I feel like that becomes more evident in fashion parties when you have a crowd that’s not necessarily paying attention. They’re just there to have a good time. And you definitely have to play records that are a little more well-known.

KALTBLUT: What can fans expect from your upcoming live performances? 

Chloé: I feel like fans can just expect me to keep growing as an artist, keep finding other records and combining music from my past, songs that I love, playing more of my original music, as well as edits that I make. Other music I will be releasing on Smiile. I want to keep pushing the boundaries with my crowd and community.

KALTBLUT: What can audiences anticipate from your future projects and collaborations?

Chloé: There are a lot of fun collaborations coming forward and projects that I’m working on. I just think, don’t expect anything, go through the journey I’m going through as well, and I hope my audience can enjoy the process I’m putting out there.

Feature photo by @camilodelpin