English dance prodigy duo Disclosure isn’t simply aware that club music is steeped in queer culture; they’re inspired by it. The Grammy-nominated duo, brothers Howard and Guy Lawrence, is still lighting up the charts with songs off their debut, Settle (recently released as a deluxe edition), which, according to its creators, leans heavily on the unique gay roots found in house music.
Makes sense, then, that they’re getting their groove on with Madonna. If chummy Instagram photos with the legend are any indication, presumably they’ll be working with the icon on her next album. Word broke after our Chris Azzopardi spoke with Guy for this gay press exclusive (Howard couldn’t be reached for our scheduled interview, so like a good brother, Guy stepped in for him last-minute). Though he didn’t acknowledge Madonna at the time, the 23-year-old did reveal what other pop icon he’s drunk in love with: Beyoncé. And more news since the interview? Disclosure will bring a DJ set to Dallas this December as headliners of the EDM festival Lights All Night.
Dallas Voice: How much has the gay community influenced your sound? Guy Lawrence: Honestly, the history of the music that we take influence from, like house and garage, obviously originated in gay clubs like The Warehouse in Chicago and Paradise Garage [in New York City]. I don’t go to gay clubs now, but I feel like gay clubs just seem to be very forward-thinking, in terms of music anyway, and they’re always pushing boundaries. If you look back at the last 25 years or so, they’re playing the most original, creative stuff.
The gay community is often recognized as having its finger on the pulse. You hear people say we know when something is gonna be big before it actually is. From what I’ve seen, I would agree. I don’t only look to the gay community for where I’m gonna go next, but generally, London is such a step ahead of most places in the world musically, especially with dance music. Wherever we travel, producers and DJs are always looking at London and the UK to see what’s coming up next. That’s really why I love living here. We just have such a great buzzing young producer community going on over here — it’s such a good vibe.
You say you don’t go to gay clubs much now, but it sounds like you have. Was that for research purposes? I used to go to Brighton a lot. It’s on the south coast of England, a five-minute drive from where I used to live. It was cool — there’s a big gay community in Brighton. I can’t really remember which were gay clubs or not, but it didn’t really matter — there was always great DJs playing at them. I used to drive down there and there was definitely some research involved. When I was really into dubstep and grime and that kind of thing, I’d go down and slowly but surely everyone started playing house music and garage music. It was just a really good place to go out, especially when I was just turning 18 and wanting to learn about dance music, where it came from and the history. It was the perfect place for that.