The White Party is one of two major LGBT dance parties to hit Bangkok each year - the other being the Songkran Party. So what music will be playing at these parties and is there a specific genre preferred by the gay crowd? We talk to DJ Nicko Romeo, who regularly compiles mixes for Fridae and has released a mix for the White Party featuring remixes by the DJs who will be spinning at the Party.
Fridae - Is there a specific genre of music preferred by the crowd coming to the LGBT parties in Asia?
DJ Nicko Romeo - Yes indeed, it is specific for LGBT dance/circuit parties and broadly falls within the genre of Circuit House. Most of the mixes used take, the form of a popular song/gay anthem remixed with a heavy dance beat. The attraction of this music is mainly due to the presence of International DJs. For some years, they have become electronic music stars. Bangkok has become one of the must-be-there events of the gay circuit. gCircuit for Songkran 2017 in April is in its eleventh year and every year this festival is growing and reaching more and more people from all over the world. The White Party is only in its second year. We can say that there are a little less than a hundred DJ producers who create this particular sound (circuit house). The success of these remixes is in part based on the remixing of current songs, very often featuring gay icons such as Madonna, Lady Gaga, Britney Spears, Jennifer Lopez - even Justin Bieber does not ‘escape’ this musical trend. We find a particular sound between dance music, house, tribal and progressive house. Also, mixes are often based on old popular songs, such as M People’s “One Night In Heaven” by Toy Armada & DJ GRIND or Abba’s “Voulez-Vous” by DJ Aron.
Fridae - Does this music differ from the type of music played at Gay Parties in Europe and the US?
DJ Nicko Romeo – No, it is the same music as in the big dance parties of the US, Europe and Latin America. Many of these DJs are of US or Latin American origin, like Edson Pride and Mauro Mozart who will play for the super Songkran 2017. Or again, Oscar Velazquez and Alex Acosta who came to last year’s Songkran 10. The most famous of these parties are actually the White Party in Miami, Palm Springs, Xlsior Festival Mykonos, Circuit festival Barcelona and of course, Mardi Gras in Sydney. Gay cruises are also organized with some of the DJs present. One generally finds many podcasts on music sites such as SoundCloud and generally, one can listen to podcasts from the DJ stars who have announced they’ll be playing at the White Party.
Fridae - What can we expect from this year’s White Party and the DJ’s who will be spinning?
DJ Nicko Romeo - The programming of the DJs for this year’s White Party is very interesting and International. The first day, we can listen to Nacho Chapado from Spain - Barcelona and Binomio Madrid resident. On the second day, Dj Suri and Dj Aron from Tel Aviv [Israel] will spin - and on the third day, Tom Stephan from London, Danny Verde from Milan [Italy] and Tommy Love from São Paulo [Brazil]. All these DJs each have a different sound that connoisseurs can recognize. Sophie Ellis-Bextor will be there too to sing live on the last night.
Fridae - Many DJs have their own remixes of popular songs - are there any famous ones for this year’s party?
DJ Nicko Romeo – Yes, every year there is a certain number of successes and it’s generally remixes of a well-known singer. For example, a Madonna song can have a large number of remixes created by the Gay DJs. There is even an annual ceremony 'just circuit awards' to reward these DJ's for their work. My favorites are: Adele - When We Were Young (Joe Gauthreaux Remix); Wiktoria - Save Me (Danny Verde Remix); Pet Shop Boys - Say It To Me (Offer Nissim Remix); Bent Collective - Get Up, Stand Up (Alex Acosta a.k.a. Bad Element Remix); Club 69 feat Lula - Men Are Drugs (Roger Grey Private); Katy Perry - Rise (Edson Pride & Erick Fabbri Remix); Adele - Send My Love (To Your New Lover) (Leanh & Mauro Mozart Reconstruction Mix); DJ Snake Ft. Justin Bieber - Let Me Love You (Thomas Solvert Remix); Sia - Move Your Body (House Of Labs Mix). And Offer Nissim - we all remember "Everybody Needs A Man" - and there is the new "Offer Nissim feat. Dana International - We Can Make It".
Fridae - Who are the popular Asian DJs and where do they play?
DJ Nicko Romeo - One cannot yet say that the Asian DJs have a truly international stature like the ones already mentioned as coming to the White Party. But they are definitely gaining broader recognition. For example, DJ Spectrum K, resident at G.O.D Bangkok now regularly tours Hong Kong, Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur, Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen, Singapore, Taipei and Seoul. DJ Head from Taiwan. DJ Louie T from KL and Tony Preeda from Thailand are other examples.
Fridae - You have mixed a special White Party mix which features remixes by the DJs playing at the party – and we’ve added a link to this for Fridae’s members to listen to – what are your thoughts and motivations?
DJ Nicko Romeo - I found it a lot of fun to make the podcast with remixes from the DJs spinning at the White Party 2017. It will give an impression of the sounds likely to be enjoyed at this event. I found it very interesting to do this and it is a real pleasure above all to share - and even if I do less than full justice to these artists and their sounds, this is a real passion of mine - and a pleasure to share this with Fridae’s members.