This is an interview I did for Dalston Superstore in London for my gig there last week. Then their website stopped working and it couldn't get posted in time so they sent it to me with an apology. I mostly talked about why I love New York (food, DJs, music, Xander) so have a read if you wanna know why I'm real excited to be back home and DJing at 11:11 later tonight.
What makes NYC such a magical place for you personally?
I find NYC magical for so many reasons, including the fact that I can have food delivered to my apartment 24 hours a day, 7 days a week! But I also find that the people who come to live in New York are magical. New York is not the easiest city to live in in terms of price, weather and apartment size. You really have to want to be in New York in order to survive in it, so I find the drive that New Yorkers bring to all things they create to be magical.
Who are your New York nightlife muses?
I draw inspiration from both the DJs and club kids that come out at night in New York City. My top club kid muses would include Xander, Slanty, De Se, Gugu and The House of Ladosha's Antonio and Adam. The DJs would include Will, Nita, Dicap and the always incredible Michael Magnan.
How good are you at the sax? Are their any '80s sax solos that you can bust out that we might know?
I traded in my sax for an acoustic guitar at some point in the '90s and then took up DJing afterwards but I'm sure I can strum out any Hole song off of Live Through This for you. As far as sax solos go, I'd have to practice a bit before I could play you Lil Louis & The World - I Called U (The Conversation).
If you were writing a love letter to your fair city, what would you include and why?
In a love letter to New York, I'd thank her for all the worldly cuisine options that are available with such ease. I'd also thank her for the beauty of Central Park and Fire Island.
What makes the NYC gay scene so vibrant? And what other cities do you think hold a candle to it?
In New York, you can pretty much go out any night of the week and find something happening with good club music, or pop music if that's your thing. There's multiple gay scenes in varying neighborhoods so I like to think that in New York, there's a little something for everyone. I couldn't say the same is true for many other cities, but I do live for the nightlife in London, Berlin, Sao Paulo and San Francisco too.
Explain "The look goes as follows" to those that don't know...
New York nightlife icon Xander recorded a track with Johnny McGovern and Adam Joseph a few years back called The Look which I created a fan video for on youtube. I believe the song was edited together from a studio session where Xander described how elements a wardrobe can be put together to both express oneself and create and inspire others. It has since turned into a social media hashtag (#thelookgoesasfollows) for all of Xander's clothing creations and still continues to inspire me.
It would seem that your eclectic taste has lent itself to being an acclaim wedding DJ. Have you ever had a wedding DJ booth request you couldn't fulfil?
Tons. People hire me to bring an element of my nightlife experience to their events and weddings and guests sometimes don't understand why I can't fulfil their request to play the Isley Brothers' Shout (tired) or why an NWA song might not be the most appropriate song to play at the moment (grandma is still on the dance floor).
Talk us through the best time you've ever had at Good Times... one special moment that will always stay with you...
The time that Fred Schneider of the B-52's rolled through Good Times when me and my good friend Lina were DJing, got on the mic and sang along to Rock Lobster is a moment that I will never forget. I grew up worshipping the B-52's and to have Fred spontaneous singing live (and then closing down the party with us at 4am) was a special moment for me.
You've had loads of London DJs guest for you- who's been a standout, for whatever reason?
It's hard to pick just one guest from my London family who stood out since they all did an amazing job, though I will say that one time, Horse Meat Disco's Severino guested and played a late-night hip-hop / R&B set with Aaliyah and Missy Elliott tracks that really made everyone go wild. It stands out in my mind because Sevvy is known for his house and disco sounds but can really make anyone go mental with any style of music.
If anything was ever about to convince you to stay here in London with us, what would it be?
It would be Mother Nature changing her attitude and sharing a little more sunshine on a daily basis.
Obviously this is a hard question to pose to someone who has an eclectic taste, but can you pinpoint one track (or artist if it's too hard to narrow down) that's shaped your music taste today?
Recently I re-listened to Fischerspooner's Emerge, and was transported back to one of my first clubbing experience, which happened in London in late 2000. Dave Clarke was DJing and the song was a complete revelation for me in terms of both electronic dance music and clubbing. I went back to Camden afterwards (where I was living at the time) and emailed Dave to find out what the track was. To my surprise, he responded and I went back to NYC and found the CD at Other Music before it was released on a major label.
From a promoter's point of view, where would you hold your dream party (anywhere- any country, any era, defunct club or current), who would be on the bill (dead or alive) and where would you place YOURSELF on that bill?
My dream party would be beneath present day Istanbul in the Basilica Cistern. The lineup would be me and my favorite New York DJs (Michael Magnan, The Carry Nation, Wrecked, Mister Saturday Night, David Mancuso) and we'd party underground amongst the Roman ruins for the entire weekend, Berghain-style. If we started Saturday night, I'd take a Sunday evening slot and have Ron Like Hell or David Mancuso or maybe even DJ Harvey play out till Monday morning.
What's one bit of advice you'd give your 18 year old self?
I'd tell my 18-year-old self that my University choice and college major isn't of much consequence. Back then, I really thought I had to make some major decisions about how I was going to live the rest of my life but nowadays, I'm much better at enjoying everything one day at a time.