Hot and hetero, DJ Escape keeps booking gay gigs — and wouldn’t have it any other way
FREQUENCY MAIN EVENT
Excuses/Extreme, 3025 Main St. Sept. 19. 10 p.m. $30.
DJ Escape has had quite a ride. He started spinning in the teen hip-hop clubs of Queens but made his breakthrough at Liquid in Miami. Now he’s on the DJ A-list for gay circuit parties.
He comes to Dallas Pride, helming the music at the Frequency party in Deep Ellum Saturday.
Oh, and by the way, he’s straight. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.
"Gay parties are a lot of fun and they like to tear it up on the dance floor," he says.
For Escape, it boils down to the music. He’s proud of his DJ’ing achievements in the gay community because he shares the same musical interests. Plus, he loves the party atmosphere of a gay gig.
"I love Pride events. There is a fun energy there. The music and the vibe is all happy stuff," he says.
Escape has already begun preparing for his Dallas gig. In order to vibe just right with the crowd, he’ll start pulling CDs (which, old-school, he calls "records") well in advance to get the tone just right for his party. And for Pride, he has his own selection of go-to songs ready for the dance floor.
"I really get into it. I tend to remix on the fly, which is a lot of fun. For sure, I’ll pull ‘Pride (A Deeper Love),’ ‘I Am What I Am’ and ‘True Colors.’ Those will get the crowd going as well as send the message. The placement of these records also means something," he says.
Although he started out with the hip-hop tunes, it was gay DJ icon Junior Vasquez who inspired Escape’s turn to dance music.
"In 1996, I saw Junior and he just controlled the crowd. That’s what I wanted," he says.
He found that on the gay dance floor his music sensibilities matched that of the crowd just like Vasquez. Escape appreciates the tribal high energy of "gay dance music" enough that it’s crossed over into his producing and remixing for artists like Beyonce, Solange and Kristine W.
"I’m most proud of that. My goal is to produce music I would play and maybe everyone else would like to play," Escape says.
But his concentration now is on Dallas Pride and by the sounds of it, straight or gay, he’s got the DJ chops to get the party started.
When openly gay promoter Molly Mollotova asked her associates at Suite if she could throw a Pride party, she had a couple of things in mind. It had the potential of introducing the club to a new clientele, even if for one night only, and it would be an out-of-the-box Pride celebration. But she was floored by management’s reaction.
"They told me there was absolutely no way they would ever have a gay-related party because it would alienate their crowd and image," she says. "I couldn’t be associated with the club anymore. It enraged me."
She promptly quit and took the party elsewhere. Fallout Lounge in Exposition Park gladly stepped in. Now, Mollotova will host her first Pride party with local scene DJs Killtron, Schwa and Genova and special guest (out) DJ Redeye, all of whom rallied with Mollotova after the Suite incident.
"I get to do it the way I wanted. It’s different kind of music in a different type of club," she says.
Coincidentally, Suite’s doors were locked up soon after when owners did not renewing the lease. Anyone up for a cold glass of irony?
Kings and Queens Pride Kick-off Party, Fallout Lounge, 835 Exposition Ave. Sept. 19 at 9 p.m. $3Ââ€“$5.
This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition September 18, 2009.