Toronto-based DJ and writer Max Mohenu took a thoughtful and fun approach to creating the !! omg blog !! Pride Playlist this year. We hope you enjoy!
Pride has a different meaning for all of us. Every year I think about the opportunities I have within my community, the peers within my circles who inspire me, and all the people I never get to see being in one place. The thing I look forward to the most is events where DJs create spaces for everyone to feel safe, regardless of race or how you identify. In light of recent events in the world, it’s even more important to be mindful of all queer bodies during Pride. It may seem small, but there’s some Pride moments that begin and end with the selections, the people, and the DJs.
This year, I wanted to stream all the weird energy I’ve been feeling about the Pulse shooting, BLMTO, and the lack of black queer visibility over the last year into something both positive and powerful. I needed my DJ set this year to evoke the most cunty, sexy, and spiritual feelings you could ever get on the dancefloor.
The creation of this playlist was a mix of songs I came across while building my set for Pride. Some are rarities, some are classics, some are iconic. All of them carry a different mood for me going into Pride this weekend. I feel safe, sexy, and ready to turn shit up when I hear these songs. That’s how I want all queers to feel when they go out this weekend and for years to come. Music is a great start to creating an inclusive space. A lot of great DJs are making room for discussion surrounding diversity and this year’s Pride feels like a turning point. Wherever you end up this weekend, if you don’t feel empowered by the beats or the crowd, keep it moving. It’s your moment, boo! Don’t waste it.
Check out the full playlist after the jump!
Cakes Da Killa – “I Run This Club” (Siyoung’s Warehouse Instrumental)
The production on this instrumental for “I Run This Club” spoke to me. A track like this feels like it could either be a risk or a secret weapon for a DJ set, which is what I love about it. I just picture a gaggle of gorgeous queens pumping down the dancefloor in the finest looks. It’s a bit off-kilter, but still sexy enough to dance to.
Kelela – “Cherry Coffee” (MikeQ’s Almighty Mix)
MikeQ is the master of the remix. He’s always understood what works, which allows for gems like this to come together. Kelela repeating “pray to thee almighty” while the beat runs down is just perfect. Her voice is heavenly and that vocal sample looped with a MikeQ production is all you need.
Toni Braxton – “Make My Heart” (The Layabouts Deepen Our Hearts Vocal)
I saw Tynomi Banks perform to the original mix of this song years ago and it was enough for me fall in love with it. This vocal remix is one of those deep house rarities that sprinkles perfectly in any set. But what do you expect? Toni Braxton is an angel. She makes everything great.
Kevin Aviance – “Din Da Da” (Gomi’s Lair Hard Dub)
I found a Kevin Aviance record in Brooklyn back in 2012. It changed my life. Also, the video for this song is pretty amazing.
Kiddy Smile – “Let A Bitch Know” (Boston Bun Remix)
Kiddy Smile is still such a mystery, but “Let A Bitch Know” always feels like an iconic moment every time you watch the video. My girl Mister Wallace introduced me to his sounds last year. I’m still gagging!
Fur – “Knots” (SFV Acid Untangled)
Fur is the moniker of Bryce Isbell. I discovered one of their releases online in 2012. This is an amazing remix of one of their more notable tracks “Knots”. The original is very warm, atmospheric house with blips and vocal samples. This remix sort of pulls it more into a dance-ready vibe. I really like it.
In Flagranti – “Double Talk” (Dimano Azari III Remix)
Dimano Azari really turned this In Flagranti track into something amazing. It has that dark, 4:00AM warehouse quality to it. All the hottest boys would probably be dancing and fucking along to this at The Black Eagle or something. Feels like it’d fit right into a bathhouse soundtrack.
The Black Madonna – “Alright This Morning” (Nicholas Remix)
I’m still getting into The Black Madonna. Someone recommended this track to me and I immediately fell in love with. Most of their DJ mixes I’ve heard are pretty solid. I’d want to hear something like around 12 midnight. It feels like a sign that the party is just getting started.
Eli Escobar – Chaka Khan (The Carry Nation Remix)
Eli is a New York legend and someone I really look up to. A lot of the New York DJs bring this energy that’s so undeniably beautiful. This track was already a jam, but with the Carry Nation giving it a little remix action, it’s even better!
Stereogamous ft. Shaun J. Wright – “Face Love Anew (Horse Meat Disco Remix)
These two have always been a go-to for DJ set inspiration. You can never go wrong with a Stereogamous or Shaun J. Wright track. Shaun’s legendary vocal has blessed so many Hercules & Love Affair tracks. Also, I’m pretty sure Stereogamous and I got drunk together at [legendary Toronto party] Vazaleen one time. It was magical! Love them both.
Shaun J Wright ft. Alinka – “Wait For Love” (Eli Escobar Remix)
Smooth track. It feels like the perfect come-down from hours of dancing. You could probably end a party with this song or get the fire going again, depending on the vibe. The lyrics for “Wait For Love” are so empowering, too. “Hold out for love that’ll help you grow.” Mama Shaun is speaking the truth.
Whitney Houston – “I Learned From The Best” (Juan Vasquez Disco Remix)
Classic Whitney with a twist. It feels like it could’ve been on the Queer As Folk soundtrack, but wasn’t. It’s a sing-along in the club type of moment.
Gillette – “Do Fries Go With That Shake ?” (Fries N Shake Remix)
Mrs. “short dick man” seems to have a few awesome tracks some of us may have missed. I honestly didn’t know that she had any other songs except that one. This song is so funny. Fries and shakes are always a must! I don’t do “pride body,” so it’s cool.
Marshall Jefferson – “Ride The Rhythm” (Remix)
Stumbled upon this one while listening to a Frankie Knuckles remix. It’s a cute lil disco/house track you’d want the DJ to drop at a day party or a beer garden.
Listen to the full playlist on Spotify:
— Max Mohenu