Representing a wave of femme-tastic new DJ arrivals making their marks in a still male-dominated corner of nightlife, June Weimar is here to drop Brazilian tribal beats onto our whole lives. [Cover photo: Ale Catan]
Thotyssey: Hello June, thanks for chatting today! So this past Friday you DJ’ed at The Q, where Lady Bunny was also DJing on another floor! I heard it was a packed, wild night…. how did it look from your end?
June Weimar: It was a lot of fun. And even though Lady Bunny was on the main floor, I feel like the second floor is always a transitional floor where everyone at some point stops by.
Definitely! So The Q, of course, in just it’s first year of operation has been going through recent drama with allegations of gross behavior against one ex-manager stemming from an ongoing lawsuit filed by another. I’m not sure if you were there before all that started happening… but I think it’s safe to say that the venue is rebounding and rebuilding it’s young reputation to some degree, right?
Yes, def! I wasn’t there before as a DJ, but I did go to the grand opening on Pride 2021 and thought the venue was a lot of fun. I only had a few interactions with Alan [Picus, the former manager who was accused of unprofessional behavior in the lawsuit], and and he did say the famous words of “can you play more pop,” which I hate–not only from him, but from any producer. DJing is my art, and when you hire me you should trust my musical instinct. Direction is always welcome, but definitely not any type of micromanaging.
It’s a weird time we’re in when venues don’t trust the DJs they hired, and there are still a lot of patrons who expect to go out and just hear their Spotify playlists and never anything new or different!
Yeah. Requesting songs from a DJ is never a good look… don’t do it, lol!
What do you like to play these days, when given complete freedom?
Hmm… I’m very eclectic, and for that reason almost require that complete freedom! People love when I play Brazilian tribal (circuit music) and Brazilian funk, and it’s very authentic because that’s where I’m from and where I started DJing. But deep in my core, I’m also a house girl who dabs in the techno waters.
Were you always a musical person, growing up in Brazil?
Yes! My dad was an MPB (a pop genre that came to fruition post-bossa nova in Brazil) songwriter — so growing up music was not only a way we bonded, but truly the essence of our household.
What made you wanna come to NYC… and where did you start DJing when you got here?
So I started DJing in 2020, when I went back to Brazil because of the pandemic. That was the first time I was able to live my life doing what I love, and I even told my mom I was gonna move back there and stay permanently. But to be honest, the money is really bad out there. So it got to a point that I was playing a lot, but not being able to sustain my lifestyle. So I decided to move back [to New York], and that time had no idea how was I gonna be able to DJ here.
Turns out around that time, Linux started doing “Paul’s Dolls,” which was the perfect platform to welcome me into the scene. I messaged her saying I was interested in playing her party, and she trusted me. From there, people started seeing how much I loved it, and inviting me to play different gigs.
Although things are changing quickly and significantly, DJing in the gay bars is still largely a Boys Club. Do you feel you have to work harder to get gigs then they do?
Oh, not only in the gay scene is it boys club! DJing is heavily male dominated. It is harder. I feel like I have a lot more to prove when I’m hired, but I do it every time, so… lol!
You certainly have become a favorite at many venues in rapid time! Have you had a favorite all-time gig yet?
They’re all so unique for their own reasons! And producers get jealous when I pick one, so not gonna do it, lol!
Fair! One party you’re rejoining this coming Friday is “NSFW” at new Hell’s Kitchen hotspot Hush, with a bunch of other great DJs!
Oh, I love Hush! It has actually become a home to me. Sometimes I go there on a quiet afternoon and practice my sets upstairs, just me and the massive speakers. It’s a lot of fun, lol! Also, “NSFW” really has become a favorite… the line [to get in] gets really crazy.
Get there early, kids!
Is there anything else coming up for you?
Amazing! Okay, lastly: will this new Britney / Elton song be a Bop or a Meh, if you had to guess?
LOL girl! I don’t know! I hope a bop, cuz I miss Mrs. Spears’ shameless acts.