Gogo boy turned DJ Sam Gee is one of New York’s (and, frankly, Earth’s) most desired and desirable nightlife professionals. This is obviously Sam’s busiest season, but read to learn where New Yorkers can dance to his beats on Pride Week!
Thotyssey: Hell Sam, thanks for chatting with us today! You are a busy man of the world, flying all over the place to DJ some truly colossal events. Do you ever forget for a minute where exactly you are in the world, or where you’re going, lol?
Sam Gee: Honestly, yes! Especially after a long night, I can definitely have a moment where I draw a blank on where I am, lol! Now ask me what city I was in two weeks ago… I’ll have to go back and sort through party promo pictures to figure that one out!
Partying is a strange business! Do your crowds feel different from city to city, or is it all the same vibe?
Crowds absolutely feel difference city to city! I have cities where the energy is off the charts, just pure positivity and release. Then there are cities where the energy level is lower, where people are more reserved. Either way, it’s a great time; you just need to adjust your sound to cater to each audience’s needs.
You’ve been in the biz for a minute now, with a long career as a gogo boy before you started DJing. Can you tell us a bit about where you were from originally, if music and performing were always a part of your life, and how you ultimately broke into nightlife?
I was born and raised in Vancouver, Canada; my parents immigrated to Canada from Iran about a year before I was born. Growing up, music always had a huge influence on me. I was taught how to play the piano at a young age, and loved to sing (only when nobody was around, lol).
I didn’t get into performing until I came out at about 20 years old; I had just started venturing out into the gay scene in Vancouver, and recently discovered circuit parties. After one of my first ever circuit events, the producer of the party asked me if I wanted to gogo dance for his next event. After my first on-stage performance, I was hooked! From there, I hustled to get myself into the US circuit nightlife scene, as it was much larger with more opportunity.
After my retirement from dancing, I had a conversation with my good friend DJ Cindel; he had suggested that I should start to DJ. That sparked the flame for me to learn all I needed to be a DJ, from mixing to production. A few years later, here I am!
You had at least two reality TV / media moments in recent years! You were on a MTV: True Life docuseries installment about gogo boys (early in your US career in that field) along with Vinny Vega, and you were part of a fun web series that Covid cut short called The Circuit, detailing the business, glamor and drama of the circuit scene. I’m sure those were two very different experiences, but how did you enjoy them?
I really enjoyed filming for both of them! The True Life episode was a lot of work, more than I ever expected… but totally worth it. I’ll still go back and watch the episode every so often. The Circuit was more laid back and easier to film, which was nice. Although film and TV is not easy work, I’m hoping to have a few more moments in the future!
As far as what you play today on the dance floor, what does a Sam Gee night sound like when you have full creative control of the set?
Well, that’s the best part of being the DJ: you have full creative control of the music! My play style varies slightly based on where I’m playing, and the demographic of my audience. Overall, you’ll hear lots of high energy beats with lots of vocals. Depending on the crowd, I also like to include some other genres of music that are “circuit adjacent.”
What makes the circuit scene so important and fun in your opinion, and what are some common misconceptions about it?
Well, I feel like the circuit scene is really one giant family. Once you start going to the events, you see some of the same people and you start building some lasting relationships. The funnest part of the party for me is the dancing, music and meeting new people and reconnecting with friends!
A common misconception about the circuit scene is that the guys are all shallow and that the parties are not inclusive to all body types. That’s not true at all; through my travels around the world to pretty much all the circuit parties, all I’ve seen is positivity and inclusion (for the most part).
When you’re in town, you often spin weekends in Hell’s Kitchen. Might we see you there again soon?
Pride month is fast approaching, and I’m playing in a different city pretty much every weekend in June. So I’ll be back in New York during the week for a few days each week to do laundry and work on new music! I won’t be playing in NYC before my Pride Afterhours; I wouldn’t want to oversaturate myself in the NYC market before a big event. I have a residency at The Spot called “The GEE Spot,” but that has been more difficult for me to do lately because I keep getting booked for larger scale events in the city.
We’ll take all the Gee we can get! So on Pride Sunday night / Monday morning you’ll be spinning Eric Michael’s “Tribal Fever After Hours” at Polygon BK, alongside DJs Breno Barreto, Ugene, Alain Jackinsky, Figge and Danny Kim!
I think it’s going to be an incredible experience! Eric may be a newer producer, but he throws parties like he’s been doing it for years. The production and the thought that he puts into his events really stand out to me. The DJ lineup is very diverse, and hits all the marks. Alongside this super fun venue, I think this event will be one for the books!
Have a great Pride month! To close: what’s your favorite track to play these days?
It’s hard to say what my favorite song is to play right now, as it really depends on the crowd… and it’s constantly changing. My favorite mix to play of all time, though, is “Timebomb” by Kylie Minogue.