By Mikkel Hyldebrandt
The Deep South DJ collective has been a focal point of the Atlanta underground music scene for years now with parties that have attracted some of the biggest names from all over the world. Peach spoke to Deep South residents Vicki Powell and Brian Rojas about what to expect on the dancefloor.
First, some quick introductions, please.
Vicki Powell: Hi, I’m Vicki Powell, born and raised in Atlanta and have been involved in nightlife for a few decades now. I love the Atlanta music scene, and it feels very much like home to me.
Brian Rojas: Hey, I’m Brian Rojas, and I have been a resident DJ with Deep South for three years now. I also DJ with La Choloteca – a Latinx collective of local DJs.
Deep South just kickstarted the year by welcoming back Horse Meat Disco to Atlanta. Next up is ‘Sheaster’ for Easter weekend – would it be fair to describe that Easter weekend as the true season starter for Deep South?
VP: Yes, definitely. Although we have events throughout the year, I would say Pride and Easter are our biggest weekends.
BR: Easter is so transformational for Atlanta – Spring is finally here, and the weather is warming up, so it’s the perfect time for Deep South to start the year out right. Easter Sunday is also the first edition of Sunday Service at Sister Louisa’s – a Deep South and community favorite that runs all summer long.
Can you reveal the Sheaster DJ lineup for us?
VP: Sure. We are very excited about this upcoming lineup. Saturday night, we have Analog Soul, Mr. White, Keenan Orr, MYN, Ash Lauryn. This is the first time for everyone on the bill other than the Deep South residents, so it should be a very special night.
BR: We are working with the Bakery again for this event, so we have secured an ideal party space where everyone can come and be their authentic selves on the dancefloor.
Looking past Sheaster – what does Deep South have in store for Atlanta this summer?
VP: We have several exciting events on the horizon. I can’t reveal all the details yet, but you’ll be pleased.
BR: Yeah, be on the lookout! All Deep South residents play at their own events and parties all the time, so keep an eye out for us. We always try to pick events and parties that embody the Deep South mantra of inclusion and a free spirit.
Deep South has become an integral part of the Atlanta underground music scene – how do you keep on track with that development?
VP: We stay focused on making sure we are highlighting under-represented DJs. There is so much talent out there, and we love giving them a platform to grow from.
BR: I agree. Our community is so diverse, and we want to reflect that at our parties – and that naturally includes our headliners. We are lucky to see our growth as very organic, and I think that comes from doing things our way and with integrity. I think people respond to that.
Why do you think Atlanta needs what Deep South can give it right now?
VP: I think all cities, large or small, need a counterbalance in the music scene. We feature so many different styles and genres of DJs at Deep South, so for us, it’s more about building community. We want to see safer spaces for people to dance who don’t see themselves represented in mainstream nightlife venues.
BR: Representation is key. Variety is another fundamental principle. When you come to a Deep South event, you will understand the kind of space we want to create. We want you to come correct and check your prejudice and privilege at the door. We want the love – and the music – to flow freely.
Deep South’s ‘Sheaster’ Season Opener and four-year-anniversary with Analog Soul, Mr. White, MYN, Keenan Orr, and resident DJs will take place on April 11, 10 pm – 5 am at The Bakery Atlanta. Please check Deep South’s Facebook and Instagram for updates, and go to Universe.com for tickets.