Categories
Events Festivals Timeline

Bushwig 2021 – Day 2 (NSFW)

BUSHWIG DAY 2

(NSFW)

09-12-21

KNOCKDOWN CENTER, QUEENS

Looks and performances from the first day of Bushwig featuring Casey Spooner, Dahlia Sin, Evah Destruction, Jasmine Kennedie, Kevin Aviance, La Zavaleta, Maddelynn Hatter, Miss Malice, Neon Calypso, Rify Royalty, The Dragon Sisters, and much more.

* {
box-sizing: border-box;
}

.row2 {
display: -ms-flexbox; /* IE10 */
display: flex;
-ms-flex-wrap: wrap; /* IE10 */
flex-wrap: wrap;
padding: 0 4px;
}

/* Create four equal columns that sits next to each other */
.column2 {
-ms-flex: 50%; /* IE10 */
flex: 50%;
max-width: 50%;
padding: 0 4px;
}

.column2 img {
margin-top: 8px;
vertical-align: middle;
width: 100%;
}

/* Responsive layout – makes a two column-layout instead of four columns */
@media screen and (max-width: 800px) {
.column2 {
-ms-flex: 50%;
flex: 50%;
max-width: 50%;
}
}

/* Responsive layout – makes the two columns stack on top of each other instead of next to each other */
@media screen and (max-width: 600px) {
.column2 {
-ms-flex: 100%;
flex: 100%;
max-width: 100%;
}
}

Alexey Kim

Founder

Categories
Events Festivals Timeline

Bushwig 2019 – Day 1 (NSFW)

BUSHWIG DAY 1

(NSFW)

09-11-21

KNOCKDOWN CENTER, QUEENS

* {
box-sizing: border-box;
}

.row2 {
display: -ms-flexbox; /* IE10 */
display: flex;
-ms-flex-wrap: wrap; /* IE10 */
flex-wrap: wrap;
padding: 0 4px;
}

/* Create four equal columns that sits next to each other */
.column2 {
-ms-flex: 50%; /* IE10 */
flex: 50%;
max-width: 50%;
padding: 0 4px;
}

.column2 img {
margin-top: 8px;
vertical-align: middle;
width: 100%;
}

/* Responsive layout – makes a two column-layout instead of four columns */
@media screen and (max-width: 800px) {
.column2 {
-ms-flex: 50%;
flex: 50%;
max-width: 50%;
}
}

/* Responsive layout – makes the two columns stack on top of each other instead of next to each other */
@media screen and (max-width: 600px) {
.column2 {
-ms-flex: 100%;
flex: 100%;
max-width: 100%;
}
}

Alexey Kim

Founder

Categories
EDITORIAL Timeline

J’royce Jata: “Soft” EP First Listen

EDITORIAL

J’royce Jata: Soft EP

 “The reason I called it Soft is because Black men do not get the opportunity to show our many facets, as much as our counterparts.”

Today on July 28, 2020, Brooklyn-based queer performance artist and musician J’royce Jata is celebrating his 26th birthday and simultaneously releasing his first EP titled Soft. Take the first listen and find out about the inspiration behind the EP below.

J’royce Jata was born in Jacksonville, FL. He enrolled in Douglas Anderson School of the Arts, a magnet high school that first opened in 1922 as a primary school specifically for African-American students. By the age of 18 J’royce moved out of his hometown to New York City, where he was accepted at Joffrey Ballet School on a full scholarship. At 20 J’royce booked his first national touring production of Memphis, with Fame and Dirty Dancing national tours following up over the next few years. By the end of his last tour with Dirty Dancing in 2019, J’royce found the politics of the industry to be emotionally taxing and moved to Rochester to dance with Garth Fagan Dance, the company responsible for the Lion King Broadway musical. After a brief moment at Fagan’s dance company, J’royce moved to Boston to do the show based on true events The View UpStairs at SpeakEasy Stage. In the story, a Black gay fashion designer purchases an abandoned floor of a building in New Orleans and converts it into a gay bar, naming it UpStairs Lounge. Fire engulfed the bar, the result of an arson attack, on June 24, 1973, going down in history as the deadliest attack on a gay bar, until the 2016 shooting at Orlando gay nightclub Pulse, where 49 people lost their lives. The show received lukewarm reviews from the critics and J’royce found himself back in New York City, ready to concentrate on his own artistry.

J’royce started writing his own music during his involvement with the national tour of the musical Fame. He states that even though he enjoyed being a part of such iconic productions, he was itching to do something for himself.

“I was tired of basic energy,”

he says,

“There are a lot of femme queer energies out there, but I haven’t seen many Black male-identifying queer energies. I thought that if I started writing my own stuff, I could help somebody else out that didn’t have someone similar to them that they can look up to.”

When J’royce started putting out his music in 2016, it didn’t get the recognition that he was hoping for.

“I got over the idea of making art for acknowledgment. Half the time it’s never what you think it will be. If you do something and not expect anything in return, it will ring more truth to it.”

It was obviously a deliberate choice to release his first EP Soft on the same day as his birthday.

“On the day of my 20th birthday, I was literally sitting in a yellow cab, seeing Manhattan for the first time, so it happens every year my birthday coincides with some other significant event.”

The 6-song EP is entirely produced by Arashi Supanova.

“The reason I called it Soft is because Black men do not get the opportunity to show our many facets, as much as our counterparts. We are always assumed or deemed as strong forces, which we are, but there is also strength in softness. And this EP shows that. This is my direct combat to toxic masculinity within the Black community. There are so many intricate layers to this: Black men get killed by the cops, Black trans women get killed by Black men, and it’s all a direct result of the way that we are raised in a society where toxic masculinity rules everything. A lot of the times we as Black men don’t get to talk about the emotional part of our lives, and as hype and sunny as I can be, I’m only that way because I’ve taken time to work through my emotions. I don’t give a shit about impressing anyone, I do it to heal myself. This album was a form of therapy.”

Soft Tracks Broken Down:

OMG

Mantra

Meditation

Ebó

Zombie Zaddy

Very That

OMG

I wrote that because I was thinking about navigating nightlife in New York. “You get in where you fit in, then you figure it out, gain the world, lose your soul searching for clout,” I wanted to be as honest as possible but nobody is being super honest. It’s a callout to yourself, whatever that means for you. “There’s a lot of other bullshit but are u really feeling it?” I ask in the song. The basic point of it is, let’s get down to the joy of it, not shadiness, let’s just get it and feel good. 


Mantra

This song helped me get out of seasonal depression. My daddy is a mental health practitioner, mom is an educator. We weren’t allowed to say I’m depressed, or things like “retarded”, that’s how I grew up. The message is, you can talk yourself into shit and out of it. “Mantra” helped me get out of a rut when I was moving from sublet to sublet, fired from two-day jobs. It was a scary time, I didn’t know what to do. “Every little thing is gonna be alright, I don’t have to cry all night,” I would sing that shit over and over again. It’s a testament to being a warrior for yourself and people around you. I have four roommates and everyone just knows that one song. “Everything is gonna be alright.” Why not get this song stuck in your head that’s gonna help you?


Meditation

My very first single and my very first music video that I released this year. I wrote it 3 years ago on a tour bus during my time at Fame. A lot of my work comes from a stream of consciousness. I have a gift of channeling, a lot of times things just come to me and I try to be open to that. I try to articulate as much as possible when it comes to me. “Growth, clarity, popularity, I got great friends but I still need therapy.” It was a prayer to everyone who identifies with me. I knew I had to be as grounded as possible if I wanted to fly.


Ebó

Means “sacrifice” in Yoruba, the West African language and religion. People tend to put you on a pedestal, but we all still shit on a toilet. “I think I’m a human sometimes, so why do people act like they’ve never seen a nigga with wings? Have you never seen a fab person? Some call it a myth, I call it a king.” You can be fantasized about in the queer community and a lot of things are sexualized. Part of it has to do with taboos. We just got freedoms as a community in general. That being said, it can get taxing when you are fetishized or idolized. Yeah we are very special [Black men] but respect that. Sometimes we don’t even know when it’s a toxic fetish topic, so that’s why I have chosen not to be in a relationship since age 21. All we want is to be cuddled up but I’m way too sensitive to be fucked with. I don’t believe that I’m the greatest thing on Earth, but I’m one of them. I refuse to put myself in situations that are not gonna benefit me. Being someone that always thinks about someone else, I think it’s good to think of ourselves as well. So this song is about that.


Zombie Zaddy

This is my second single from Soft, with the music video coming out on August 3. Originally it was a callout to the girls on Grindr. It’s about toxic sexualization. I can’t even have a conversation sometimes with guys. I can’t even look them in the eye because they don’t know how to do that, because we are used to relationships over text messages. Sometimes I’ll download an app again and two minutes later I’m over it. This song is kind of a war cry. I’m not condemning or judging anyone with this song, I’m just observing what I experience. There are a lot of zombie boys walking around. I think it’s something that needs to be brought to the forefront of people’s minds – if we get our personal shit together, even though sometimes it’s weighted, it’s also about simple awareness. “Rebel, they are ringing bells, it feels like hell, but oh well. The sirens wailing it’s all up in my head, we keep waiting the earth go dead.”


Very That

Not a diss track but not not a diss track. I deal with BS because I care about folks. A lot of times when you show compassion, people try to get one over on you. Just because you can be sweet, doesn’t mean you can’t be sour. I can also be very stern. When folks try to do something that I don’t want to be done to me, I stop them. Period. I don’t have to be rude, I just have to stay true. In the chorus I sing, “No fake bitches by my side.” Being out here you have to take care of yourself. If you feel the type of way, it’s very that. Do what you have to do. I wrote it as a protection spell and also as a warning. “It’s very that, I’ts very that, It’s very that, if you fuck with me I’ma fuck you right back.”

Alexey Kim

Founder

Categories
Events Nightlife The Mixer Timeline

Susanne Bartsch Is Back On Top (Virtually)

THE MIXER | NIGHTLIFE

Susanne Bartsch

Is Back On Top (Virtually)

A notorious NYC party producer has taken to the internet to keep the rhythm going despite the coronavirus pandemic

It has been roughly two months now since the unthinkable happened: the city that never sleeps found itself in a veritable coma amid mass shutdowns aimed at preventing the spread of the novel coronavirus.

As people fled New York City and countless lives that once thrived on the crowded rituals of urban life were upended by the pandemic, America’s most populous and vibrant metropolis was drastically and perhaps permanently altered. The MTA emptied out, the bright lights of Times Square danced for no one, and the throngs of nocturnal creatures that propelled the working hours of the city around the clock were robbed of their sanctuaries.

It was almost inconceivable in January that the virus that had thrown China into a state of utter panic would ever overwhelm New York City. For many, the alarming early coverage of COVID-19 was simply another online spectacle depicting a catastrophe an ocean away. Six months ago, New York was alive as ever on New Year’s Eve with its usual flurry of raucous parties packed with people hopeful for a new year and a new decade. No one could have known what was coming.

One hundred years ago, America and the rest of the world were gripped by a different pandemic, the Spanish Flu, a virulent influenza virus estimated to have infected approximately 500 million people, a third of the world’s population at the time. From April of 1918 until December of 1920, the virus killed as many as 100 million people, with more people dead in 24 weeks than HIV/AIDS killed in 24 years. The virus came in three waves and, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, created the most severe pandemic in history. After the postwar economic boom delivered Americans into a more prosperous era, the virus became a distant memory – until now.

Aquaria, April 23

Top health officials have predicted that COVID-19, much like the Spanish Flu, will come in waves, leaving Americans mired in perpetual uncertainty. For industries such as nightlife that thrive on crowds of people, the ultimatum is clear: adapt or die out. With the virus spreading rapidly worldwide, the internet is the last redoubt. Enter Susanne Bartsch. As downtown queer nightlife’s perennial maven and one of New York City’s most notorious party producers, Bartsch has taken to the internet to keep the rhythm going. This year’s season of On Top, Bartsch’s much-anticipated summer/fall party that usually takes place at the Standard Hotel in Chelsea, was relocated to Zoom, an online video conference platform where club kids and drag artists from all over the world have begun to use their aesthetic tastes to create an extradimensional cyber party under the auspices of Bartschland.

“People at The Standard don’t even know when they’re opening, and it’s already about to be June,”

Bartsch said.

“It’s devastating. It’s very uncertain, very, very uncertain.”

But party producers aren’t the only ones hurting in nightlife. By keeping the party online, DJs, hosts, and entertainers are given another opportunity to make money. Bartsch said her 2020 calendar has been completely wiped clean, an indicator of what so many others in the industry are probably facing as well.

“From Las Vegas to Vienna, I’ve lost every job there is,”

she said.

“Other than bringing together the community and supporting this nightlife community, it’s also to help and pay people so they’re able to buy food for the week.”

This week marks the online party’s seventh Thursday installment after its launch on April 16, and each week brings with it a different set of competitive look themes and a rotating cast of hosts, guest hosts, and entertainers. In addition to the usual staples such as glamour superstar Amanda Lepore, makeup mastermind Ryan Burke, downtown it girl Linux, performance art genius Thee Suburbia, burlesque bombshell Lola Von Rox, and a cast of other provocative personalities (Gottmik, CT Hedden, Jeffrey Scott, Kiss, Candy Warhol, Muffy, Chlamydia, Mateo Palacio, Adventure Dave, and Bob Bottle to name a few), Bartsch also books special guest talent that has already included RuPaul’s Drag Race stars Aquaria, Crystal Methyd, Detox, Nicky Doll née Karlize, Brooke Lynn Hytes, and LA trans idols Gigi Gorgeous and Love Bailey, among others. DJs have included crowd favorites such as Vito Fun, Mazurbate, Tom Peters, Ty Sunderland, Aquaria, Amber Valentine, Tommie Sunshine, and London party impresario Jodie Harsh. This week, Bartsch is adding Trinity the Tuck to the roster, which promises to make for an interesting evening.

Fashion photographer Steven Klein celebrating his Birthday, April 30

Though we are separated by distance together, the remote platform has given artists the opportunity to customize their virtual surroundings in a way that augments their sartorial and cosmetic looks. Bartsch’s parties have always served as a gallery space for artists to showcase work on their bodies, and now that space extends to their virtual presentation as well. Whether it be libertine displays of communal nudity or watching renowned fashion photographer Steven Klein blow out the candles on his birthday cake, each week has brought something fresh in what is quickly becoming a new global age of New York nightlife. There are still online after-parties. People still get high. DJ sets still guide the sonic tempo of the night. The events bring all the trappings of a regular party with none of the crowded congestion one might experience in the Le Bain bathroom (God bless it) during mid-May.

This may be the first online party of its kind – one that took an existing weekly party that became impossible in the face of the pandemic and preserved it in cyberspace, where for the first time anyone with an internet connection can attend from anywhere in the world. Queer nightlife is something special that needs to be preserved during these times of blinding uncertainty. In New York City, which became the pandemic’s epicenter in a meteoric contamination, nightlife will probably be facing a depression for some time to come, especially if the virus moves in unpredictable waves and makes event planning and coordination impossible.

Still we press on. Even though the NYC Pride Parade was cancelled this year, along with the gauntlet of regular Pride events, mark your calendars for June 28. Bartsch is planning an international online Pride party on Zoom titled “On Top of the World: Pride,” featuring a bevy of headliners such as Allie X and talent from cities all over the world, including New York, LA, London, Tokyo, Paris, and Berlin.

“I never even did a FaceTime call before all this,”

Bartsch said.

“I’m going all the way.”

These times are historic, and so the ways that we choose to party and continue to celebrate life will take on a historic significance as well. The relationship between party and partygoer will be more symbiotic than ever. The parties offer respite to those taking quarantine seriously and give glamorous people everywhere a continuing opportunity to show up and show out. In exchange, we have to keep logging in and supporting these endeavors. As we now know well, nothing is promised. But we can still fight for the right to party. 

* {
box-sizing: border-box;
}

.row2 {
display: -ms-flexbox; /* IE10 */
display: flex;
-ms-flex-wrap: wrap; /* IE10 */
flex-wrap: wrap;
padding: 0 4px;
}

/* Create four equal columns that sits next to each other */
.column2 {
-ms-flex: 50%; /* IE10 */
flex: 50%;
max-width: 50%;
padding: 0 4px;
}

.column2 img {
margin-top: 8px;
vertical-align: middle;
width: 100%;
}

/* Responsive layout – makes a two column-layout instead of four columns */
@media screen and (max-width: 800px) {
.column2 {
-ms-flex: 50%;
flex: 50%;
max-width: 50%;
}
}

/* Responsive layout – makes the two columns stack on top of each other instead of next to each other */
@media screen and (max-width: 600px) {
.column2 {
-ms-flex: 100%;
flex: 100%;
max-width: 100%;
}
}