Saturday 3 January 2015

KEVIN PRODIGY interview for Thump US

So I managed to get an interview with the legendary and elusive KEVIN PRODIGY, whose voice you will have heard by now all over ballroom and vogue music by now. The interview covers Kevin's guest spot on the recently released "Bad Bitch" by Gage, and features Gage and label boss Andy Musgrave talking about the influence of ballroom on other genres:

THUMP: Kevin Prodigy is a pretty big deal in the world of vogue and ballroom. How did Crazylegs come to release “Bad Bitch”?
Andy Musgrave: Yeah it’s a huge honor for us. Kevin’s an absolute legend. Gage’s stuff has started to lean towards that modern ballroom sound in the last year, at least rhythmically—stripped back, harsh, driving beats. In terms of attitude, it’s the embodiment of what we do. “Bad Bitch” is totally new in so many ways, as a culturally meeting point this just doesn’t usually happen.

Kevin Prodigy: Gage inboxed me on SoundCloud and asked me if I wanted to do a song with him. And you know me, I'm open to new ideas and like to jump out of the box a lot. This was a good opportunity for me to work with someone not in America. So I just did it and it turned out really, really great!


Thursday 1 January 2015

YEAR IN VOGUE 2014 mix for FACT

To go with the top ten ballroom chart for FACT, here's the second of my annual "Year In Vogue" mixes for the site.

CVNT TRAXXX Make Love (Vjuan Allure Elite Beats Orgy Remix)
TRAXX ROMAY Make Love (Vocal VIP Acapella)
CVNT TRAXXX Make Love (Original)
MIKEQ & DJ SLIINK The Bitch ft Miss Jay
MIKEQ Miss Honey v Curtains 4 U
MIKEQ & DJ SLIINK The Bitch ft Miss Jay
NICKI MINAJ ft SOULJA BOY Yasss Bish! (MikeQ Fix It Pussy Remix)
NICKI MINAJ ft SOULJA BOY Yasss Bish! (Buddah Remix)
NICKI MINAJ ft SOULJA BOY Yasss Bish! (JayR Neutron Remix)
BEYONCE Yonce/Partition (Jay R Neutron Vogue Remix)
VJUAN ALLURE ft PURPLE CRUSH Night Wherkk (Acapella)
VJUAN ALLURE Wherkk (DJ Sega Remix)
SPF666 Tsundere
DJ DELISH Oh Shit! (SBW Remix)
DIVOLI S'VERE What I Want Acapella
DIVOLI S'VERE Svere Pussy Pop Ha
DIVOLI S'VERE Myrtle Snow Runway
CAKES DA KILLA Hunger Pains (Byrell The Great Remix)
ARMAND VAN HELDEN Work Me Godammit (SPF666 Work Dem Remix)
IMAABS Grafito
IMAABS Pumps (MikeQ Remix)
SUPRAMAN Femme Hyper
TRIMBAL Confidence Boost (Supraman Remix)
DASHAWN WESLEY Move (Divoli S'Vere Remix)
BYRELL THE GREAT Happy CVNT ft Buddah & Divoli
J-LO ft JACK MIZRAHI Tens (Dj Fade Vogue Remix)
J-LO ft JACK MIZRAHI Tens (VJ the DJ & Kevin Prodigy Remix)
SOPHIE Lemonade (JAVASCRIPT x Boyfriends Remix)
SUGUR SHANE Buddah Vs Shane
TONY PLAY Your Gagging
VJUAN ALLURE Anaconda Bump
BEEK TeleKuntx (CVNT TRAXXX Remix)
DAT OVEN Icy Lake (Original Arena Mix)
JOEY LABEIJA End Of Time At The Icy Lake
DAT OVEN Icy Lake (L-Vis 1990 Fire Alarm Remix)
AZEALEA BANKS Chasing Time (B Ames Remix)
KEVIN PRODIGY I Am Happy To Be (Traxx Romay Want It All Mix)
BOY/FRIEND Eve (Ynfynyt Scroll Remix)
KEVIN AVIANCE Cunty (Yarinka Collucci Remix)

Wednesday 31 December 2014

CVNT TRAXXX 2014 Top Ten for FACT

Scoot over here to FACT Mag, to see my top ten ballroom tracks of the year, including music by MikeQ, Vjuan Allure, DJ Delish, Divoli S'Vere and loads (well, 6!) more...

Monday 1 December 2014


One of the fiercest voguers out in the UK right now, I interviewed David Magnifique for the FACT Mag history of UK voguing piece I wrote earlier this year. I said I would publish his questions in full, so here they are, to kick things of as part one in a series of interviews with some of London's top upcoming children.Consider this an introduction to Vogue London: 

How did you discover voguing?

I always knew about the dance form Voguing, I have to admit that my first encounter of this dance style was through Madonna's music video "Vogue". But due to family religious values I was forbidden to have anything to do with the dance style so it then became something of a faded memory or even part of my subconscious, but growing up there was always some kind of reference/gesture made to it because of my feminine mannerisms or my fierce fashion sense. It was not until early 2011 I was introduced to the London dance scene by a friend that I came across Vogue dancing again, this time in the flesh; at least I thought what I witnessed was voguing (by this time I was out of the closet and proud). I began asking for training sessions and I was told that the dance style I was learning was called Waacking, I had no clue that there was a difference and felt a little embarrassed. From then I decided to research the dance style, its history and culture, i immediately realised that Waacking was definitely not for me and that Voguing had my name all over it; it came so natural to me. I noticed that there was little to none of vogue dancers whenever I went out to clubs, dance nights, even vogue nights so I knew for sure that I wanted to be at my best and known for being a legit voguer wherever I went. I studied and trained hard almost 24/7. I have been voguing since April 2011.

Who have you learned under? Are there many other people voguing in London?

With regards to my learning and training I have not really been under anyone. My learning and training came from studying videos on YouTube, reading material, contacting and chatting to several Iconic, Legendary voguers such as Muhammad Omni, Dashaun Lanvin and my House Mother Princess Magnifique Royalty for guidance and background history. When studying videos I made it a priority to study the original children  from the 80's-90's, because I wanted to show and reflect the original art form and vocabulary of the dance style.  There is not many of us in the London scene that truly vogue down, but of what I do know there is only a handful of us maybe 6-8 being male and female.

What are your favourite clubs to vogue at?

One of my favourite clubs to vogue down a is called Madame JoJo's in Piccadilly, Soho. This club has always felt like a second home to me, this was in fact the club I first got a chance to vogue. My second favourite is a club called Birthdays, but only because a night called House Of Trax is held there almost every month and they play an amazing selection of vogue tracks and hold Vogue Nights, of course I get down like crazy to. A big thank you to the organiser of the club night Matthew Thomas. But then again, whatever club you see me in you will find me voguing down to the ground getting my life!

What are your thoughts, if any, on the UK vogue scene?

To be honest it is rather small and scattered. But a few of us in London try to keep in contact with each other and keep each other in the loop and even train together.  If ever the Vogue Scene in the UK/London was to take off and spread like wildfire butter I would like to hope and think that I have a huge influence and part to play in it and take my House [Legendary, Royal House Of Magnifique] and its name far, because to me voguing is not just a dance style, it is a culture, a community, a lifestyle.

Thursday 20 November 2014

TRANS DAY OF REMEMBERANCE: Octavia St Laurent's last interview

November 20th is TRANS DAY OR REMEMBERANCE, when we take some time to think about our trans borthers and sisters who have passed, many at the hands of bigotry and violence. But it's also (I like to think anyway) a time to celebrate and appreciate those who are still living, and more generally the impact the trans community has had on our queer cultures and pop culture at large.

It should go without saying that vogue culture is very heavily trans influenced and inspired. From the different "realness" (passing) categories at balls and functions, to the current "femme" and "dramatic" styles of dancing popularised by performers like Leoimy Moldano, Sinia Ebony and Feminine Destruction Revlon.

Anyone who has seen Paris Is Burning will know about the intimate bonds between trans people of colour and vogue culture. I'd also hope that anyone who has seen that documentary will remember OCTAVIA ST LAURENT, one of its stars, and coiner of the immortal phrase "Wicked Beauty".

 I had the pleasure of remixing Octavia's track "Be Somebody" with Stockholm's HOUSE OF WALLENBERG a couple of years ago, and when Petter Wallenberg approached me to find someone to publish Octavia's last ever interview, I was glad to help. Thanks to the good people at DAZED DIGITAL, we managed to get the piece up in time for TDOR, a fitting tribute to one of the first true stars of vogue and ballroom culture, and a true trans icon: 

Hi Octavia! How are you?

Octavia St Laurent: Iʼm blessed because youʼre still interested in Octavia St Laurent! Iʼm blessed because the children are still talking about me, Iʼm very fortunate.
 I wanna sing. Singing is everything to me, and itʼs a part of who I am. My uncle was Louis Armstrong, I donʼt even know if you know who Louis Armstrong was. He was married to my grandmother. My mom used to sing with Sweetheart and the Crystals. And I am ready to be out there and just do Octavia St Laurent, bring her alive, like sheʼs never been alive before.
I canʼt do anything right now because of the cancer. Iʼm just resting in Syracuse, which is a quiet place from the start. My stomach is really big from the steroids, it feels like Iʼve got something strapped to my stomach. I feel large. My arms and legs are still slim, but my butt is real big.
I gotta get back to normal. I donʼt wanna be seen by the public until then.

What are the doctors saying and what time frame are they giving you?

Octavia St Laurent: Theyʼre not giving me any time frames. I've had time frames my whole life, OK? You know how many times these doctors been telling me Iʼm gonna die? Child please, Iʼm not going nowhere. I don't pay attention to human beings, itʼs God I think about.

How would you introduce yourself to people that donʼt know who the legendary Octavia Saint Laurent is?

Octavia St Laurent: I don't know if you know this, but I am very open about my genderism. I'm always willing to educate everybody who feels different, and help them understand that you gotta love yourself, honey. Iʼm a very powerful man, and Iʼve always used the beauty of a woman and put them together. Itʼs got me quite successful through the years. And itʼs also kept me alive. Basically I love who and what I am, and I wouldnʼt be anything else.

Have people tried pushing you into being anything else?

Octavia St Laurent: Well, I wouldnʼt say they tried to push me, but a lot of transgendered and pre-op transgendered are a little shocked about my attitude in regards to not wanting to be a woman, and taking that role of womanhood. Iʼm no damn woman, donʼt wanna be no woman. I stand up and piss in the bathroom, I donʼt sit down, you know what Iʼm saying? Iʼm not trying to be a woman. Just beautiful.


Wednesday 19 November 2014

VOGUING in The Guardian

How voguing came back into vogue

The dance, invented on the streets of Harlem in the 1980s and given cult status by the documentary Paris is Burning, is back in the mainstream. Who are the new stars?
FKA Twigs (Tahliah Debrett Barnett) performs on stage at Tolhuistuin on October 15, 2014 in Amsterdam, Netherlands
FKA Twigs (Tahliah Debrett Barnett) voguing in Amsterdam last month Photograph: Dimitri Hakke/Redferns via Getty Images
The Mugler Ball, which took place in Queens, New York last weekend, was probably the most fabulous party you weren’t invited to. A sea of gay and straight scenesters gathered at a ballroom to watch a mix of new and legendary vogue dancers compete on stage. It featured all that one would expect from the drag event of the year: theatre, excitement, drama, scandal and sequinned catsuits galore. But beyond these hallmarks, it revealed that vogue ballroom culture has reached a new level of cultural influence. FKA Twigs, who has been training with the vogue dancing legend Jamel Prodigy, took the stage for a 30-second routine of classic hand illusions before gracefully sliding to the floor into a dramatic dip, which is to voguing what the triple Salchow is to figure skating (ie, very difficult). Later that night, Rihanna got on to the stage to do a little preening of her own. Afterwards, pictures from the ball went viral thanks to the stream of famous guests such as Balmain designer Olivier Rousteing, who gushed, in all caps no less, on Instagram about his “FIRST VOGUEING [sic] BALL”. READ THE REST.
Hmmm *reading glasses* full of flaws this article. I left these comments:

Crystal LaBeija is not in Paris Is Burning (that's Pepper) and didn't host the pageant in The Queen, she stormed out.

And as much as I love Mykki Blanco and Joey Arias, they do not represent vogue ball culture. I'd say RuPaul's Drag Race has had more of an influence than them, particularly voguing queens like Shangela, Milan, Vi Vacious and Gia Gunn. For a more accurate representation of ballroom 2K14 look up: MikeQ / Qween Beat Productions, Vjuan Allure / Elite Beatz, Vogue Knights (NY weekly club, often have live streams on a Monday night/morning), Kevin Jz Prodigy, Divoli S'Vere, Jack Mizrahi (who hosted that Mugler Ball), Luna Luis (of The Luna Show), Pumpdabeat (Philadelphia), Ballroom Throwbacks YouTube channel, Streetstar competition (Sweden), House of Melody (Germany) and House Of Khan (France). Here in the UK you've got the annual House Of Suarez Ball in Liverpool and Vogue Brawl in Manchester, and the monthly House Of Trax parties in London keeping it locked down with some excellent voguers. I wrote a two part article last year for FACT magazine about the history of vogue in the UK: and regularly update my vogue and ballroom culture blog CVNTY

Monday 17 November 2014

FKA Twigs vogues down

Hats off to Twigs for not only getting some real voguers involved in her videos (like UK's Benjamin Milan! check the google glass clip above) but for actually walking at Vogue Knights herself!

Friday 14 November 2014

DJ DELISH (Pump Da Beat, Philadelphia) INTERVIEW

One of the best, up-and-coming young producers in ballroom right now is Philidelphias DJ Delish. His productions take the genre's cut-up house style and add a grimey, percussive twist that ftis right in with all things Night Slugs/Fade To Mind. Wanting to know more, I fired Delish some questions about his style, influences and the vogue scene in Philadelphia...

Who is DJ Delish?

I would say Delish is another extension of my musical talents. I think Delish is still finding his way but I think he's done a good job of that so far. He's still young and learning but far from an idiot and a newbie. He's someone that I'm glad I was able to create for this world, someone who's name I wanna see in lights one day, someone who has all the passion in the world for the music he generates. DJ Delish is also someone who comes to the club/ball eager to make the night a memory.

I know you walk balls, or have done anyway – what is your category?

Well, voguing was what I was doing before I really got into the scene so I always had an itch to get out on the floor. I have walked a few balls, mostly First Friday's for fun, though. I've walked Virgin Performance which is basically the beginning stage of becoming a vogue femme in the ballroom scene. I've been walking that category for close to a year and a half.

How did you get involved in the ballroom scene in the first place?

The story behind the beginning of my involvement is strange to some. I was born in a Baptist, Jamaican household so one could really wonder how I ended up doing anything that involved a "spin" and a "dip". I was at a good friend of mine's house one day, in Northeast Philadelphia, and she played "I Don't Like That Bitch" by Jay X (Karan). The tempo of the song made me think it was a Baltimore Club song but when I went home to look it up and listen to it again, I found out that wasn't the case---at all. I found a plethora of vogue clips and just went through each one, becoming more and more interested as I went along. At the time, I was still in highschool so I wasn't able to attend any balls, as they would take place after my curfew so I continued to 
absorb the scene, or however much YouTube would allow me to absorb, and started teaching myself how to vogue, practice commentating and even make a vogue beat. Once I turned 18 and was allowed to be out of the house past a certain time, I befriended a few ballroom participants who began to teach me some of the terminology; like "Shade", "Read" and the forever famous "Work!" As time marched on, I started making more beats, becoming better and better and before I knew it, I was asked to DJ a ball in Richmond, Virginia; the first ball I'd ever attend. After that ball, I took a slight break from everything and moved back to Philadelphia, a huge "ballroom city", where I soon joined Pumpdabeat and became one of the resident DJs for the Breakfast Club which has been host to the ballroom scene since 1998. 

And how did you get into djing and producing in particular?

My father has been a DJ for the past 25 years so I'd like to believe that the want to DJ was already in my blood from birth. I would sit in his basement and listen to him play for hours and be amazed at what I'd see him do. How he would DJ would inspired me heavily as a child and that same excitement carried on into later years where I would have eventually started learning to DJ myself. I would desire to move the crowd the same way he did. 
My producing started at the tender age of 13. As a teenager, home computer music programs helped me learn how to produce music, make music edits for performers and create voiceovers. Those experiences have made me do what I do now. 

You're developing quite a distinct sound – who are your biggest production influences? What sets you apart form other ballroom producers?

I would have to say Chocolate Puma, Todd Terry/Black Riot, Masters at Work/Bucket Heads, Green Velvet/Cajmere and Vjuan Allure are my biggest production influences. Each has such a unique style that is so innovative and interesting, it motivates me to think of something that I wouldn't even think I could do. 

The thing that I think sets me apart from other ballroom producers is where my inspiration comes from. I usually don't get inspired by past music, I get inspired from sounds; regular, every day sounds, like a bird cawing or a car tire screeching. I find the rhythm in those things that have no rhythm at all and make one for it. 

What are your non-ballroom musical influences?

It's so many. Missy Elliott, Timbaland, Jhene Aiko, Erykah Badu, Nina Simone,  Queen Pen, Foxy Brown, Queen Latifah, The Gap Band, Skyy, Lil Kim, Craig Mack, Busta Rhymes, Chip Fu, Curtis Blow, Ludacris...and the list goes on.

Tell me about Pumpdabeat – who is in it and how did it get started?

Pumpdabeat is a musical cross section of ballroom consisted of active ballroom participants. To me, it is what you need for your cars, your headphones on the local transit system, in your speakers as you're in your dorm room. Basically, Pumpdabeat is for your vogue inside and outside of the club/ball. Our sound gives you the ability to allow the ball to be wherever you are. All of us, at one time or another, have walked a ballroom floor and that has permitted us to understand the passion behind the rhythm in the music. 

What can we expect from DJ Delish in the near future?

Simply put, the best that I have. I'm working on more new music with my PumpDaBeat family members and working on a CD with Kevin JZ. I'm also putting together another album that will be out in the springtime of next year. In the meantime, I'll be putting out battle beats, vogue session "Ha's", R&B songs, Live sets and more. In the meantime, you can check all of my live sets & hottest track on my Soundcloud ( and Mixcloud (

Wednesday 5 November 2014


Everybody;s talking about last week's Mugler Ball - mostly cos of guest appearances from Rihanna and FKA Twigs, but don't let them distract you from the real talent:

not least host Jack Mizrahi:

Monday 3 November 2014

CVNT TRAXXX @ World Series label launch

Cheers to Matt Thomas for this footage! Me spinning Vjuan Allure and MikeQ/Sinjin Hawke and SPF666 for dancers Benjamin Milan and David Magnifique:

Friday 31 October 2014


The Hous Of Khan's GHOUL BALL was everything!! SO glad to finally see ballroom taking off over here, with a little help from our French sisters! :) Hats off to Harley and D'Relle for making this happen, I wil try and get an interview with those guys up on CVNTY soon. In the meantime, here's footage:

Monday 27 October 2014


Major h/t to SPF666's Zak for this piece and tunring me onto Relentlessly Cunty, a dj who has devoted his career to mixing, collecitng and cataloging bitch tracks and cunty beats. This is the roots of CVNT Traxx y'all so learn it and learn it good:

Our new Originators series explores specific, underserved scenes through mixes of representative tracks and interviews with prominent artists, as conducted by Zak “SPF666” DesFleurs. The intent is to provide desperately needed historical context for these genres in the age of the Internet, a time when cultural objects are uprooted from their scenes and reworked, repurposed and reappropriated beyond recognition.

The first in our series is DJ Relentless / Jade Elektra (neé Alphonso King Jr), introducing us to the cunty voice of ballroom, bitch tracks. Relentless is best known for his Relentlessly Cunty mixes: a multi-volume series that serves as a near-comprehensive survey of bitch tracks.
His contribution is primarily an archival one: the Relentlessly Cunty mixes served as an introduction to many (myself included) to a specific element of ballroom culture that lives on in the endless Soundcloud reworkings of classics in vogue’s most recent rise in popularity.
When did you start DJing? Was it always under the DJ Relentless Moniker?
I guess it all started in 1980 when my Uncle Herbert King moved to Tampa from Las Vegas. He was blind and needed an assistant to help him at his new job at WMNF 88.5. We did a Jazz/R&B show from 1 to 4 PM on Mondays. I had always loved music and had collected records since the age of 5, but this began my love affair with programming. He always told me to “only play what you believe in and love”. I didn’t get the DJ name “Relentless” until 1996 while I was spinning and VJing for The Works and The Break in Manhattan after playing in New York City for the past 4 years. Until then I just used my real name, Alphonso King Jr.
Your uncle gave some pretty solid advice when it comes to djing (and production for that matter). So how did you initially get into the ballroom scene in the first place? What was your house?
My first residency was at Sally’s II (as featured in Paris Is Burning). Ironically, the year before I moved to New York, I watched Paris Is Burning and dreamed of being at a ball. So, when I moved in with The Electrifying Grace (who was the downstairs neighbor to Paris Dupree), I was thrilled. Then Grace got me an audition for Sally’s, right around the time that Dorian Corey and Angie Xtravaganza had weekly shows there, and Willi Ninja, Octavia St. Laurent and Pepper Labeija were regulars.

Check this mix it is EVERYTHING!

Wednesday 22 October 2014


One of my favourite new producers! Go get this EP from her Bandcamp NOW!

Thursday 16 October 2014

Monday 13 October 2014

DIVOLI S'VERE's Tuesday Tracks

Check this - a brand new series of weekly beats by one of ballroom;s finest Divoli S'Vere! There will be a new track droping every Tuesday, so follow his Soundcloud page!

Saturday 11 October 2014

Hosue Of Khan UK's GHOUL BALL

And the night after the World Series party it's the first ever ball in the UK by the legendary House Of Khan! Looks like a little holiday trip to London is on the cards...

Friday 10 October 2014

CVNT TRAXXX @ World Series Label Launch

Proud to be involved in the new label venture form Rushmore of the Hosue Of Trax! Check out the launch party this Wednesday - a sweet mid-week soiree somewhere secret in the heart of Dalston...

Monday 6 October 2014

HOUSE OF SUAREZ Ball pics & Video

WOW!! What can I say? That went OFF! Not only the production and the performances, which were as big and epic as eexpected, but also the Orphans open catwalk category, which anyone with enough nerve can walk. Last year, that lasted about 5 minutes in total (I know cos I played 2 tracks and then it ended) but this year it must have gone on for more than 20! I actually got to throw down and chop up a whole bunch of music, from RuPaul to Tronco Traxxx to Divoli S'Vere. I lost count of how many were walking, it must have been dozens! People are GETTING INTO IT. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to get great pics or video from the booth, which was a distance back from the stage, but I got some:

My regulation Suarez Ball selfie: 

And a short clip of the end of House Of Suarez's presentation:

And don't forget, The HOUSE OF SUAREZ Ball MANCHESTER will be at Gorilla next February - get your tickets!

Friday 3 October 2014


LA IS BURNING! The folks at Purple Crush have started putting on balls and they look MAJOR. I've always wanted to know more about the ballroom scene in LA. There's more info and future dates at the BANJEE BALL Facebook Page.

And more from LE1F! Performing his now-classic "Wut" (cough Macklemore stole it cough)