Brooklyn and Manhattan are the current stomping grounds for the sensational DJ Tory Stiletto!
Thotyssey: Hello DJ Stiletto! How is October treating you so far?
DJ Stiletto: October famously is my favorite month outside of June, so it’s been treating me well!
Are you turning spooky looks yet?
I’m a bit of a New Yorker–always in black. So I guess you could say, spooky lewks have definitely entered the chat.
Everyone’s favorite DJs in NYC are also fashionistas, it seems. Do you accept that “responsibility?”
Yes and no. Before I really began pursuing my interest in music again, I spent many years hosting–“booth babe’ing”–while others would spin, or just being a person listed [as a host]. All of those things have trained me to show up feeling and looking 100%. When I’m playing, I show up feeling and looking 100% even if I don’t feel like it… but the music always speaks for itself.
If you had complete creative control over what you’re playing for one night at a venue, what might that night sound like?
90’s hip hop and R&B into pop and disco, ending with high energy house.
That sounds like a Night! Are you a New York native, and was music always a part of your life?
I was raised in Charlotte, NC. As an art school student, I studied musical theater and dance… so music has always been there.
Do you have any favorite musicals? And is there anything new you might wanna see as Broadway reopens?
Favorite musicals: definitely Aida and Les Mis. And I’m eager to see Diana–I had to fight to not watch it on TV, it’s just not the same.
How did you begin as a DJ?
I worked on an online radio show in my one year in Atlanta; I met a lot of different creatives, and even had a kind of “assistants takeover” show. That’s kinda where it began with playing music. Having close friends that DJ’ed made every night out a class: artists like P_A_T, Dicap, Mazurbate and Nita Aviance.
But I struck gold in a hopeless place; during Covid there were lots of Zoom parties going on, i.e. Club Quarantine, FFZ. So that’s where people really got to listen to me. Next thing, I was doing private zoom parties for groups of friends.
How did you like DJing those digital parties?
It was a little weird, of course–at first–because I would literally be standing in my bedroom dancing around playing music for people, with maybe a box of White Claw next to me… and my roommates could not hear the music, so I’m sure it seemed a little odd.
Whatever gets you through the night! Do you have interest in remixing or even original composing at all?
As of right now, I like making my mashups and recorded sets. I think certainly in the future, the studio time will present itself.
Yes! The Q has been so great… New York’s Manhattan gay scene has been dying for a gay meeting spot. I always thought that what we’ve needed here is something similar to Twist in South Beach–quite an “everybody” bar.
What can you tell us about “Studio X Stiletto,” going down October 22nd at a secret Lower East Side venue?
Studio X Stiletto! My second baby! This will be a very chic, members only venue. I have given quite the guest list the space to merge with the venue, all the while giving the Stiletto vibe. Trust me, you never know who’s in the building at this venue.
Exciting weekend! I cannot wait to play the Bad Room [a floor within Good Room] alongside KIA, and obviously be on a roster with such amazing nightlife legends.
The exciting weekend extends through Sunday, with you DJing that week’s edition of the new party at The Q, “Hard Serve!” What else is coming up for you that the children need to know about?
There’s plenty in the works. But I can’t give anything out yet. Gotta keep it Hush – if you know what I mean!
Hush indeed! Well that leaves us with the question of the season to end this: have you ever seen something like a ghost or a UFO, or had any sort of supernatural experience?
Years ago, back in North Carolina… I swear to you I saw a UFO, and I had videos on my Blackberry. But everyone said they didn’t really see anything, or didn’t know what it is. But just the way it was, like, close and dark [one moment] and then so far away next… spooky.
Gag… watch the skies, children! And thank you, Stiletto!