On Point With: Bobby Duron

Known for spinning some of gay NYC’s sexiest nights, producer and DJ Bobby Duron is back at his favorite hub… along with some new music to slay the children!

Thotyssey: Hello Bobby, it’s great to gab with you!

Bobby Duron: Hi Jim. Thanks for having me this evening for some nightlife chat.

So, these are finally exciting times for nightlife after a year and a half of practically nothing. What are your thoughts and feelings about it all?

I’m excited to see where the nightlife in New York goes. For a minute, it felt like House Music wasn’t being represented as much. Over the past year I had the opportunity to listen to some of the other talent, and I think that the DJs are ready to retake the nightlife. I am excited to see all that’s in store!

I’ve heard a lot of the DJs complain before Covid and now about how they’ve felt sidelined by both drag and the whole dynamic of kids treating them like Top 40 jukeboxes. Back in the day, House DJ’s ruled the scene! Maybe now we’ll have a new age of trusting the DJs and embracing House music again.

At the end of the day, there is a lot of good music being released; when people are out partying, it’s an experience. The DJ provides the backdrop with sound. Top 40 is cool, I drop a tune here and there. But I also don’t want to go out to hear the same thing I have been hearing all day.

For awhile you were co-DJing a hard rock party in the West Village, “Rock the Rockbar.” Do you appreciate many genres of music?

Oh Yes! I’m hear for it all, House being my first Love. Disco, jazz, rock… the list could go on. I really appreciated doing all the Rockbar events. One of my DJ partners, Steven Cunningham, really opened my eyes to much of what I was missing. When DJing, I try to incorporate different genres; it could either be the original song or a remix.

You’re originally from Chicago, which of course is a very music-oriented city.

Chicago! Yes, South Side.

Is that where you began DJing?

I started in the early 80’s, right before high school. My parents brought me a DJ set; I was inspired by watching the DJ’s ability to make the crowd move. The way the songs mixed together and the sounds–it gives you goosebumps when you can make everyone go in a frenzy!

What ultimately brought you to New York, and what were your first gigs here like?

Heh! Well, I was given an ultimatum. Nothing bad, I just needed to make a decision: LA or NY, to work in the music business. I had started building roots here, so it was a no-brainer. I am more than happy I landed here.

My first gigs were off the chain. Here is where I began incorporating more genres. Each gig was unique. I was able to play to the crowd what was asked for, and be myself. Being able to do that opened many doors for me. Being one of the DJs to play at the Legendary HIRO was above an honor; that experience is one that I keep in mind whenever I play my residency at The Eagle.

When did you start at The Eagle NYC?

Around 2013–I was brought on board by Bill Coleman.

A legend! You’ve probably mixed it up with many of the great DJs over the years.

Yes I have. The opportunities to be around such great talent is a blessing. I have learned a great deal about me being a DJ, and letting that shine through. I mean, when you can stand in the booth and have fun with your heroes, what else is there?

These days, do you still get to spin vinyl at all?

I wish, but no. I use my laptop, gradually shifting back to CDJs on occasion.

Your presence at the DJ booth is generally associated with the cruisier, leather bear scene in NYC, like your nights at The Eagle, Rockbar and REBAR. Is that your tribe?

Mmm-hmm! I feel a bit at home in this scene. The music I play has a rough sexiness to it. I really love dark beats; it’s great music to fantasize about or have sex to. These guys give that energy, and I’m addicted, so to speak, to it.

I hear that! So now The Eagle has reopened, and you’re spinning there Sunday nights. How has the crowd been, with all the protocol restrictions that are now gradually lessening?

It’s been an adjustment, to say the least. I am glad to be back in the booth. The crowd has been patient, and allowing the bar to open up as protocols allow. The Eagle crowd is always supportive, and have been eager to return back. I’m sure once things are 100%, The Bird will be back popping as it was prior to Covid.

You also do a lot of your own music making and original mixing, with much of your work available online (linked at the end of this article). What’s that process like for you?

Creating an original and remixing is different with each project. My first remix was for Beyoncé. I had never made a record before; in college I studied music production, so I had a base for what to do. With each project, I take that experience and combine that with what I have learned from other producers, or trial and error.

When you’re remixing, do you have ideas right away, or do you need to do a lot of tinkering?

Sometimes I can hear the song, other times it takes a number of drafts. I think even after a song is done, producers still tinker in their minds about something in the final mix. For me, that mental tinkering pushes me to experiment with the mix on other projects.

Tell us a bit about Astral Bodies, a project spearheaded by producer and DJ Lorant!

Lorant invited me to participate in Royal Advisor Records‘ latest installment of Our Music: Astral Bodies, which is a collection of pieces from artists within the label’s family. My trax, “MARS,” was inspired by the mission to Mars. I wanted to convey my impression of what the voyage was like in the form of music. …. Is that being too deep, lol?

OMG I love that!

Any closing words or thoughts?

Well, I would like to a thank you, and give a shout out to all of your readers. I’d like to also invite everyone to come hear me turn It out every Sunday at The Eagle NYC. Be on the lookout for more music from me and a couple of my friends from Tradecraft NYC [Bobby’s collaboration with DJ Kindbud] and Haus of Oz [another Duron collaboration, this time with fellow Eagle DJ Corey Craig].

Werq! Okay, last question: if you had to have a Goofy DJ Name, what would it be?

DJ Boobie Doll.

Love it! Thanks, Bobby!

Check Thotyssey’s calendar for DJ Bobby Duron’s upcoming appearances, and follow him on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube. Stream his music on SoundCloud, MixCloud and Spotify.

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