Coming from the world of dance, Haus of Quench’s DJ Sp3cial K is now making sweet music from the other side of the venue. [Cover photo: Alex Webster]
Thotyssey: Hello Sp3cial K, thanks for chatting with us today! It’s gorgeous out… are you ready for this season?
Sp3cial K: Hey! I’m more than ready for this summer season.
It’s been a wild year for New York nightlife since the end of lockdown, generally speaking! Did you have a personal highlight, as far as a favorite event or DJ moment, etc.?
I have had so many amazing moments, It’ll be so hard to choose one. My most recent favorite moment was playing a rooftop party to raise funds for Ukraine; I played in peek sunshine surrounded by friends and supporters. We ended the night watching the full moon eclipse. It was perfect.
There was some sad stuff that happened as well. Fires closed Bossa Nova Civic Club and Rash Bar in Brooklyn — the Bossa Nova fire was an electrical mishap, but Rash’s burning was caused by a very deliberate, queerphobic act of arson. Did you DJ in either of those venues prior to the fires?
Yeah, what happened to Bossa Nova and Rash is very upsetting. I never played at either of those venues, but did have a scheduled show at Rash and Bossa a week before each tragedy occurred. It feels very eerie.
The motivation behind the Rash fire definitely enraged me because it was not the first attack on a club I frequented. In February during the first “Black Beyond” of Black History Month at Nowadays, two white people set off a stink bomb or pepper bomb of sorts during the event. It sent everyone outside coughing and sneezing; it was terrifying because they really could’ve put anything in the air. There is a clear pattern here, and I’m ready for those with power and influence to address this properly.
Where are you from originally, and was music always a part of your life?
I’m originally from Fort Lauderdale, FL! And yes, music has always be a large part of my life; I’ve been obsessed with pretty much all types of black music. My father would have an endless amount of CDs with every reggae hit, and he played them any chance he got. I was a praise dancer and studied musical theatre in grade school, so I loved gospel and showtunes. And South Florida club music is heavily influenced by Jersey and Baltimore club.
How did you become a DJ and a New Yorker?
I moved to NYC for college, and I started DJIng drag shows for Haus of Quench last summer.
Did you “intend” to be a DJ, or did it just sort of happen?
Both. I’ve always loved music, and intended to at least learn Djing as a skill. It sorted just happened when I started making friends that produced shows; I had a lot of support!
Haus Of Quench is a queer art collective that produces high quality shows with strong themes, characters and storylines. The vibes are joyous, chaotic and confusing. All Night Skate provides us with a secure and fair space to really explore ourselves and expand. The owners are the sweetest bar owners in Brooklyn and are committed to making sure queer performers can sustain career in nightlife.
I know CowboyKiller2001 and Soo Intoit will be serving hard techno, with cute moments of their favorite songs. I l think I’ll be leaning more into my fav Jersey mixes.
What else is coming up for you?
Expect a lot more dancehall sets and Caribbean themed celebrations, possibly in the Caribbean.
Okay, last question: what’s your favorite song / artist / record / etc. to play right now?
Summer Walker edits are my favorite right now!
Thanks, Sp3cial K!