Amidst all the outcry over ineffective security, a postponed refund, and countless other maladies plaguing the return and possible demise of Electric Zoo, dance music legend Tommie Sunshine took to Twitter to call out the ‘sting experiment’ being carried out at Electric Zoo. A full write up on Tommie’s thoughts can be found at Dance Music Northwest, and I encourage everyone to read it.
Interestingly enough, I was approached by several individuals on premises who asked for assistance in finding ‘mdma’, ‘molly’, or ‘e’ on festival grounds. In each case, the person asking was extremely direct and targeted me exclusively because of the beaded mask, kandi, and fluffies I was wearing. In each circumstance, the person or persons asking cited my appearance as the reason they chose to ask me, and once I admitted I did not have any drugs they proceeded to target another patron dressed in a similar fashion.
In each situation I decided to go a step above simply saying “no I don’t have any” or “no i don’t do that” and tried to disarm their incorrect assumption that my kandi, my mask, and my fluffies signified that I was dealing drugs. This was my response to every undercover that came my way:
“The way I am dressed does not signify that I am a drug user or dealer, and I apologize that stereotypes perpetuated by Mad Decent and HARD Summer have led you to the conclusion that kandi-wearers are drug users. I do not have any drugs of any kind for sale today, and I would encourage you to not approach other kandi-kids in regards to drugs. In my experience, it is the normally-dressed patrons that sell to others inside, not those in festive masks and outfits. It has also been my experience that the kandi-clad ravers are the first to offer water, assistance, and seek medical help for those in need in festival, club, and underground situations. I feel extremely disappointed that you would accuse me of being a criminal based exclusively on my creative expressions, and I sincerely hope you come to understand that all of us here aren’t drug addicts and deviants. We’re all patrons here to enjoy the show in our own way, and I specifically have chosen to enjoy it in an outfit that expresses my creativity; my outfit today is not an advertisement for drug solicitation, and I would highly dissuade you from purchasing anything illegal on the festival grounds. Thank you.”
How do you handle being asked for drugs at festivals? Share your responses in the comments!
While many producers do not rely on powerful lyrics to craft their uplifting and transformative creations, successful collaborations have enabled some voices to gain more recognition. Vocalists such as Foxes and Yuna have been put in the public eye with pieces like ‘Clarity‘ (Foxes vocal) and the Adventure Club remix of ‘Gold‘ (Yuna vocal). Trance powerhouse vocalists like Emma Hewitt and Nadia Ali have always been near and dear to my heart, but if it were up to me, here are some lesser-known power-femmes I’d like to be considered for future collaborations:
Boasting a soulful sound that feels almost like a Lorde blended with Lana del Ray, Ella‘s track ‘Deeper’ delivers the smooth pop feel that kept us captivated with Lorde’s “Royals” but feels spunkier and younger. While her tracks have be remixed here and there and she has collaborated with Wiz Khalifa and Rudimental in the past, it would be a real treat to see her on a fresh and funky nu disco track.
Breathy and beautiful, Pia Mia has the feel of Rihanna, but with a markedly more laid-back feel. Her track Red Love is like a playground for her impressive vocal tone and range. I could easily see her voice in any genre, and hope I see her voice nestled soundly in a Beatport top 40 track soon.
Now RES isn’t a new face in her respective genre; a punchy Brooklynite with a soul-filled vocal playground of a range, her voice has been the heart and soul of the group Idle Warship since the 2000’s. She straddles the vocal quality of a Lady Gaga and a soulful crooner. Her haunting track ‘Say You Will‘ produced by Kanye West has been a favorite of mine for a while. Though her voice has always been the perfect foil to the gritty rhymes of Talib Kweli, it would be a a real treat to hear her in an EDM track. I’d put money on her dominating most subgenres.
On the other side of the spectrum is Chelsea Ronquillo, a soulful warbler that I discovered on a complete fluke on soundcloud. Her original piece ‘Let Her Go’ feels like a dialed-down Foxes track with more soul. Though I’m not sure where her vocals would fit in an EDM collaboration, it would be cool to see her voice given a stage within an Avicii-esque ‘folk-EDM-crossover’ track.Who are some interesting vocalists you’d like to see in upcoming collaborations?
Electric Zoo is Friday. Don’t pretend like you’re not freaking out and losing your shit in your chair. I see you internetz.
At any rate, a considerable portion of my rave family is no doubt driving, flying, training, and running into New York for their chance to go buck wild and rave like rockstars. Some things you may want to do before you go full apeshit however:
- Easy as 1,2,3…A,C,E. Familiarize yourself with the Subway system & download the HopStop app if you have a smartphone.
- Secure Home Base. Check into your hotel and write down the address on a post-it. Your phone will die, and you will forget where it is. Also write down 2 numbers of anyone you know in NYC JUST IN CASE something goes wrong with the hotel and you need to couch-surf.
- Know the cheap spots. If you’re hungry as a hippo and leaving EZoo with an empty stomach (and a weakened wallet) do your budget a favor and locate the nearest cheap pizza joint (cough, 2 Bros Pizza, cough), Gray’s Papaya (hotdog stand), or halal cart so you can fill up on the cheap.
- Familiarize Yourself With Makeup Heaven. Ricky’s NYC is the best beauty shop in the city and has a buttload of locations. Make sure you hit them up if you need ANY last minute fixes (word to the wise, their brazilian spa clay is BOMBASS <3).
- Don’t hit up the familiar. If you have time to kill and arrive a few days early, DO NOT go to Starbucks or Dunkin Donuts. Try swanky (and same-price) coffee shops like Culture, Gregory’s, and Birch Coffee. Culture has THE BEST melty tasty chocolate cookies on earth, and Birch has a melty grilled cheese with fontina that will make your heart swoon.