By Mikkel Hyldebrandt
For Deep South – the queer, underground DJ collective – Easter is where it all started. Peach talked to resident DJ Brian Rojas as the Deep South crew gears up for another impressive party lineup. After all, it is SHEaster!
Tell us a little bit about Deep South.
Deep South is a DJ collective based in Atlanta focusing on queer underground music, events, mentoring, priority to POC, trans, gender-nonconforming, femme-identified DJs, parties, and producers. Deep South currently has three resident DJs – Founder Vicki Powell, Ash Lauryn, and myself – but we always provide a space for others to showcase their craft on the decks.
Easter holds a special significance for Deep South – why is that?
The first official Deep South began Easter weekend in 2016 with Honcho! This is the fourth year running, but the third anniversary of declaring it SHEaster weekend. Easter Sunday also launches our seasonal Sunday Service party at Sister Louisa’s, so it really does represent the start of our high season of DJing.
You’ve had the Honcho DJ crew from Pittsburgh headline your Easter lineup since Deep South’s inception – what is it about them that just keeps you inviting them back?
First of all, they are all incredible DJs, and they know how to throw a party! And naturally, a deep friendship outside the party venues has built over the years, so now it is like a big chosen family reunion. We are very well synched to each other, and that calls for some great times (and awesome music) when we’re throwing a major party together, and when we’re just hanging out in between sets.
The party with Honcho on Saturday is the main event, but you have an impressive lineup of events surrounding it. Tell us a little about them?
Friday night we kick off with PasQueera at Mary’s – a play on the Spanish word for Easter, “Pascua” and queer – a Latinx-focused event with me and Esmé spinning all night. Saturday Deep South is hosting a caftan pool party at the new Moxy Hotel. It will be a chill affair with great music and drinks poolside to get you rested and ready for the evening’s main event: Deep South with Honcho at the Music Room. Honcho residents Clark Price and George d’Adhemar will be manning the decks after an opening set by Vicki Powell, and it is going to be fire from start to finish. Our Deep South Afterhours, at a yet undisclosed location (check our FB for details), will feature Harry Cross (Smart Bar/Chicago) and Ash Lauryn (Deep South/Underground & Black). And, of course, Sunday night we will kick off our Sunday Service party at Sister Louisa’s with Vicki and me in the Dj booth.
As part of the queer, underground music scene, what makes a Deep South party special?
We aim to create an inclusive party that brings along trans and POC talent who are deserving of the spotlight. We strive to represent ALL aspects of the Atlanta queer community, so everyone is welcome, and no one feels left out, which also means we have a NOTAFLOF policy, so if money is tight and you want to dance, get in in touch with us, and we’ll make sure you come and enjoy the party. When all of those elements are combined, you hit this magical vibe that takes you on a journey from any vantage point in the space.
You manage to create a unique, queer safe space at your parties – how?
This event is primarily for queers, by queers, and open-mindedness and positivity are major priorities at any of our events. We do not tolerate racism, transphobia, sexism, and homophobia, and we deflect all forms of toxic masculinity, ageism, classism, and body-shaming. We want everyone to respect the vibe, and each other. Leave your phone in your pocket and get lost in the music with us!
April 19 – Deep South presenta PasQUEERa w/Brian Rojas & Esmé at Mary’s
April 20 – Deep South Caftan Pool Party at Moxy Hotel
April 20 – Deep South presents Honcho’s 3rd Anniversary (PGH) at Music Room
April 21 – Deep South Afters w/ Harry Cross and Ash Lauryn
April 21 – Easter Sunday Service Revival at Church w/ Vicki Powell & Brian Rojas