Photo courtesy of: Pearcey Proper
Longevity in the very competitive dance music industry takes a certain skill set. Persistence, drive, talent and an ability to know your audience are all key. As well as being nice people! Husband and wife duo, Sleepy and Boo have got that in spades. After stints in many venues around the city they are now residents on Fridays at Marquee in NYC and Marco Carola has recently joined them there on Fridays. I first met them a few years back in the first year of EZ Festival. It's time for a check in!
CGNY: Hi guys – been a while since we caught up with you but what a time it’s been! Congrats on the residency at Marquee – tell us a bit how that came about.
S&B: Hi Fiona, thank you very much. Well we have been working with Marquee New York since the club re-opened in January, but we had been talking with them for a few months before that. The club did a very significant renovation last year to transform itself into more of a music-focused venue then it had been in the past, and they were looking to broaden their horizons and work with more underground DJs and feature different styles of music. So they were familiar with what we had done in New York, and reached out to us to see if we would be interested in a partnership, and it went from there. And for the last year we've been booking the guest DJs and support DJs on Friday nights, coordinating the party, and playing there ourselves as Friday night residents.
CGNY: Marco Carola is now a regular there on Fridays – another big move. Was that something you had been seeking out or was it something that Marco had been looking to do for a while?
S&B: We've been big fans of Marco for a long time and had met his partners in the Music On Ibiza parties at Amnesia. They came to see the club when it was still being renovated and really liked the space and what the plans for it were, and we just kept up the discussions about working together. They were planning to do their stateside residency in New York and Miami this Fall and it made sense for us to partner with them on it, so that's how it came about. Obviously there was a lot of details and organization that went into it, but its been a very exciting collaboration and it's great that we've been able to make Marco and all his fans feel at home at Marquee. We're really looking forward to playing with him next Friday (November 22nd), it's an honor to be sharing the decks with Marco and being a part of the whole Music On New York experience. The talent that he's brought to New York to play with him has been top notch, it's been great to see these DJs coming in and opening for Marco, and to feel their enthusiasm for this whole series of events.
CGNY: Your schedule has ramped up a bit I can imagine – but you still manage to do some overseas gigs and out of town parties. How do you keep all the balls in the air?
S&B: We spend a lot of time on our computer, our phones, answering emails, following up on things, scheduling…its really about communication. So you just have to be very organized and know what needs to be done when, and since there are two of us working together we are able to get a lot done. Connecting with other parties and clubs around the world and keeping up good relationships with people we've met over the years is very important for us and we really treasure that. Nothing is better than going to a new place and meeting new people and being able to share your music with a crowd that loves it. We're very happy to be able to do that, and of course attend all the industry events and conferences that are so important as well.
CGNY: If you weren’t doing music – what other career would you have chosen?
S&B: I'm not really sure if we "chose" music as a career, it's just kind of worked out that way.
CGNY: What has been your favorite gig of the past year – can you say?
S&B: It's tough to say because we are fortunate to play at so many great events. Playing with Carl Cox at Lavo Las Vegas during EDC weekend was pretty amazing, considering how rarely this kind of music is featured in Vegas. We played a four hour set before Carl played, and he was just great to be around, such positive energy, and he gave us a shoutout on the mic which was really sweet. We also played that week with Sasha and Dubfire, and the whole "Las Vegas Loves Techno" series was such a fun experience. We played twice with Kaskade for his Redux parties, once at Cielo in April and once at Tao in Las Vegas over Labor Day. He's become a true superstar of electronic music, but its great that he still goes back to his deep house roots, and he plays that music so well. We played at Luciano's Vagabundos party at Booom in Ibiza in September, and it was an honor to be his guest there and to be a part of their whole crew. Booom was really special for us because it's the home of the Pioneer sound system that was designed with Gary Stewart Audio, who we got to work with and know here in New York before he passed away. And pretty much all of our Friday sets at Marquee have been very memorable, it's a great room to DJ in, and we've gotten really familiar with the space, the sound, the flow of the Friday nights.
CGNY: What would you say drives your creative impulses? Art, people, other music?
S&B: We see this music culture as really a global enterprise, and we're motivated to always bring and present quality, world-class artists here in New York. As a city, New York should be recognized as one of the great nightlife destinations, just as it used to be back in the 80s and 90s. Obviously times have changed in a lot of ways, but there's no denying that New York still captivates so many people, and we want to contribute to that revival, to making sure New York stays relevant for DJs, artists, people who travel around the world to hear this music. So just the energy and culture and history of New York is really inspiring to be around. And of course knowing so many great artists and colleagues, talking with them, hearing their perspective on the world. They are all running their own labels, touring, making their own music, doing things indepenently - it encourages you to keep pushing and to believe in what you're doing, no matter what form that takes.
CGNY: You don’t produce (as far as I know!) yet you’ve managed to claim a stake in a very competitive scene as djs/promoters. Talk a little about that – there are a few more out there who dj and don’t produce but its rare!
S&B: Well we do produce, but we haven't released anything yet. Making more time to make our own music is going to be one of our goals in 2014. We have so much respect for all the producers who make the music that feed the DJs around the world, its tremendously time consuming work that takes a lot of dedication for little or no reward these days. But honestly when it comes to DJing, we don't really look at anything as competition. The only thing you can really do is believe in yourself and have a passion for what you're doing, and try to connect with people who appreciate it. Music is a personal expression and it has to be something that comes from a genuine place, otherwise you're just going to get caught up focusing on things you can't control.
CGNY: What are your plans for 2014? Back to Miami?
S&B: We've got a lot of fun things in the works for 2014 - some great new artists coming to Marquee and some artists that we love are coming back. And of course loads of travel and hopefully new opportunities, surprises and adventures.
CGNY: Cat or dog people?
S&B: Both. But unfortunately our lives are a little too hectic to have either right now.
CGNY: What’s your favorite drink?
S&B: Tea, juice, white wine, beer (Mike especially)…it really depends on the mood.
CGNY: You can give one piece of music to a visitor from another galaxy that summarizes your taste… what might that be?
S&B: Interesting that you used the word "visitor", we made a mix a month ago called "Visitor" so I would give them that to listen to.
Check out Sleepy & Boo at Marquee this Friday
Click here for tix - http://www.residentadvisor.net/event.aspx?520539
Check out who's playing next at Marquee
Loving the Alien/Marco Carola interview here
Check out this mix for CGNY by Sleepy & Boo!