The EDM Dictionary: VIP Mix (n.)


A VIP mix is a special edit or remix of a song made to be played as part of a DJ set. VIP stands for “Very Important Person,” meaning it has been designed for DJs to use, not for fans to listen to at home.* Because of their nature, VIP mixes are usually not officially released for mass distribution online, and copies of these songs therefore may be only available as bootleg recordings. However, some VIP mixes do see official or semi-official releases. For instance, Valentino Khan gave away his VIP mix of Deep Down Low” on SoundCloud “to celebrate the love [fans] have shown” for the song.


VIP mixes are first and foremost a special treat for fans who come out to a live show. Plus, like any remix, they add new life to a song whose original mix may have gone stale.

*Source: Skrillex and Valentino Khan, OWSLA Radio, Episode 3, discussing the VIP mix of “Deep Down Low”. Skrillex: “This is the VIP mix, though. What does VIP mean?” Valentino Kahn: “That means Very Important Person.” Skrillex: “That means only DJs used to only be able to play this record. It’s a little bit different. It’s for the live ****. But he decided to put this out after the video dropped.”

7 thoughts on “The EDM Dictionary: VIP Mix (n.)

    • Thanks for the feedback. “Variation in Production” is a common alternate theory, but in researching this post I couldn’t find any evidence supporting that claim. If you can find a legit source, I’d be happy to include it in this post.


    • “Variation in Production” is a retcon, that somehow came into use in the EDM scene, maybe as a deliberate redefinition because VIP mixes are no longer used the way they were originally, or because people didn’t understand the original meaning. VIP mixes have been around for much longer than anyone came up with the term EDM, an especially this new meaning. Back in the rave days of the early 90s, maybe even earlier, when EDM still stood for Electric Drilling Machine, the VIP tag definitely stood for “Very Important Person”, as this article says.

      Some interesting additional trivia is that for many of those mixes, VIP didn’t refer to DJs in general as those important people, but one specific DJ that the mix was made for. Producers used to cut exclusive one-off dubplates of their releases, sometimes months or years ahead of an official release, to give out to specific DJs as an exclusive. Often, an MC would even mention the name of the DJ the VIP dubplate was cut for over the track. Recording the DJs name over it was both an honour for the DJ – you go through the effort to record a specific version for them, in turn they get to play out version of the tunes that call them out by name – and also as a way to discourage copying. Because if you nicked that track and played it out, everybody would know that you just somehow managed to swipe it *from the guy whose bloody name can be heard on it*, and that you’re obviously not the VIP it was meant for.


    • I think you have a good point – when I wrote this I was trying to track down the definition based on its original use, but given that so many people understand it to mean variation in production these days, I think that is also a valid definition.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s