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Wednesday, April 16, 2014

(WPPS 2014) The DJs Bring All the Boys to the Yard, Part 1 of 3!

Sanker and his Boys               /WP
by BeBe Sweetbriar

Many things naturally come to mind when we think of the month of April; the rain showers, the beginning of spring, Easter, spring break, and yes - taxes! But, if you are active in the gay circuit party scene, April 2014 means only one thing - the 25th Anniversary of Jeffrey Sanker Presents White Party Palm Springs (WPPS). The largest gay dance music festival in the world, White Party will play host to an estimated 30,000 gay men from across the globe April 25-28 in celebration of its milestone silver anniversary. "What began as a gathering for 300 of my closest friends celebrating the rites of spring 25 years ago has evolved into men from across the world coming together and redefining the meaning of desert heat," said Jeffrey Sanker, founder and producer, in a press statement. A real testament of the evolution of White Party and to highlight its principles of unity and celebration, commitment to excellence and leading edge creativity over the past 25 years, Sanker has created the first ever White Party Palm Springs ICON Awards recognizing a select group who best embody the spirit of White Party.

Over the years the growth of White Party has definitely been heightened by the most ambitious and mind blowing audiovisuals, cutting edge design and spectacular decor transformations of party venues, and the most elaborate and innovative stage productions with spellbinding performances. But, it has consistently been the music that "brings all the boys to the yard". White Party Palm Springs is after all a huge circuit party held over 3 days and brings with it some of the biggest names in DJ music. It is no mistake that WPPS has launched the careers of many rising star DJs, and featured high-caliber DJs/producers like Dave Audé, Junior Vasquez, Victor Calderone, Freemasons, Rosabel, Manny Lehman, Tony Moran and the late Peter Rauhofer. This year the 25th Anniversary event again assembles some of the best DJs and music producers in the world; DJ Shane Stiel, DJ/Producer/Remixer Chris Cox, 2x Grammy Nominated DJ/Producer Tony Moran, DJ Chi Chi LaRue, DJ Joshua D, DJ Superstar Manny Lehman, DJ Gustavo Scorpio, DJ Alex Acosta, DJ Ivan Gomez, DJ Dani Toro, DJ GRIND, DJ Wayne G, DJ Ralphi Rosario, DJ Guy Scheiman, DJ/Producer Abel and the debut of Bent Collective featuring DJ/Producers Danny Verde and Steven Redant.

I spoke with 8 of White Party’s DJs to get a feel of their excitement in playing this world renown event, and a hint of what we can expect on the dance floor come White Party Palm Springs weekend.


TOP DJ/Producer Alex Acosta has taken over the world with his fresh, upbeat and very energetic sound, playing at the hottest music festivals and clubs around the globe. On top of that, he is a chart- topping producer, whose work is supported by several DJs and thousands of fans worldwide.

Alex Acosta’s name is not new to the DJ industry. He is the first Mexican DJ to ever headline 3 different major Circuit Festivals in Asia: gCircuit’s Song Kran (Bangkok, Thailand), HEAVEN (Shanghai, China) and G5 (Taipei, Taiwan). In addition, in America he has performed at several big festivals, such as San Francisco’s Folsom Street Fair, Motor City Gay Pride (Detroit, MI), San Francisco’s Dance Stage Gay Pride, and his debut in NYC at one of its iconic brands WORK, and Mexico’s Circuit Festival "PARADISO" in Playa del Carmen.

BeBe: Fast forward to the end of your DJ set at WPPS, how would like White Party goers to describe their experience partying to your set?

Alex Acosta: I want them to experience the same results as they do every time I play a party they attend. I want them to have enjoyed themselves, dancing to very high energy and powerful music that left them wanting more. I want them to want more of Alex Acosta’s sounds. (laughing)

BeBe: What mix do you always go to, as of late, to get a circuit party going?

Alex Acosta: You know what, most of the tracks I play on my sets are my very own versions, some I edit myself and some are my own remixes that never make it to the public. So when I work on them for my gigs, I make sure I add elements to the track where I can (anticipate) what kind of reaction the track will get from people. And, it always gets that reaction. This makes every one of my live sets a unique experience. They feel my own sound.

BeBe: If there was a song title created to best describe the vibe of the music you spin and/or produce what would that song title be?

Alex Acosta: "The Power"

BeBe: What are your Top 5 songs on your playlist?

Alex Acosta: 1."Murky" (Alex Acosta Original Mix) - Eddie Martinez feat. Josephine Halle B, 2. "The Party!" (Alex Acosta Tribe Mix) - Alex Acosta, 3. "Tribe Drums" (Alex Acosta Original Mix), 4. "DPV" (Alex Acosta Remix) - Ivan Gomez & Nacho Chapado, 5. "I See You Baby" (Alex Acosta Super Mix) - Groove Armada

BeBe: What is your next big gig following WPPS?

Alex Acosta: There are many big gigs coming up for me following WPPS. Thankfully, I already have 80% of my entire year booked. Among them, I’ll be part of the 1LIFE Festival, Madrid Gay Pride, Carnival Week in Provincetown, Guadalajara Gay Pride and plenty more that you’ll be finding out in the upcoming months. (www.alexacostamx.com)


Collaboration is defined as "two or more people working together to realize shared goals". This is the core principal of "Bent Collective." Bent Collective is an engine for collaboration with a shared goal of fusing the talents of emerging DJs and producers together to put their collective stamp on the over-ground of dance music. Bent Collective is comprised of two of Europe’s biggest talents, Danny Verde (Italy) and Steven Redant (Madrid) .

Danny Verde is a musical prodigy who has worked in all aspects of music; including house, dance- pop production, DJ, song writing, keyboardist, and vocalist. He hails from just outside of Milan in Northern Italy where his recording studio, Holab Studios, has been home to many productions with International labels, artists, and producers since 1994. Today Danny is one of the most sought after Djs and remixers on the International and U.S scene. He has remixed some of the biggest pop stars of our time including Cher, Mariah Carey, Cyndi Lauper, Lady Gaga, Avicii, Selena Gomez, The Wanted and Scissor Sisters just to name a few. Currently, Danny is booked nearly every weekend at some exotic location around the world.

Steven Redant lives and works in Spain. He started out with a popular house music radio show and then quickly moved beyond the airwaves and into the clubs. Privilege, the biggest club in the world, offered him a spot for the summer and from there it was on to Queen in Paris, and his beloved LA Demence. He has headlined gay pride gigs all over the world including : Mexico City, Paris, Shanghai, Singapore, Berlin , Barcelona, and Madrid in addition to guest spots at famous clubs Love Dance in Istanbul and Jump in Taipei. Steven has also played legendary festivals such as Mardi Gras in Sydney, Hustlaball Berlin, Circuit Festival Barcelona, Life Ball Vienna, Fuego in Puerto Rico, Black & Blue Montreal, WMC Miami, The Week Rio De Janeiro, and Florianopolis for Carnival. Steven is praised for his high energy tribal sound and relentless sets that keep the dance floor pumping at all times.

BeBe: Fast forward to the end of your DJ set at WPPS, how would like White Party goers to describe their experience partying to your set?

Danny Verde: We’re trying to create something different that goes beyond the music people are used to listening to at most of the circuit events. It takes time and work, but we love challenges like this and we’re ready to serve the best beats we have to the WPPS goers

Steven Redant: Different. Above all different. We always aim to give something original, something people will remember. We’d rather go down having tried something new than to be forgotten instantly for having served the same thing.

BeBe: What mix do you go to, as of late, to get a circuit party going?

Danny Verde: Our sound is a combination of different elements which goes from deep-house to progressive house, with sprinkles of spicy drums to make everything hot and sexy.

Steven Redant: That’s an easy one. We always fall back on our own productions, as we know exactly what they are going to do. As we made it ourselves with a specific purpose in mind during the night, we use it at that exact moment to serve that purpose. We like our dark grooves with some happier sounds over it. Something dirty that’ll make you smile.

BeBe: If there was a song title created to best describe the vibe of the music you spin and/or produce what would that song title be?

Danny Verde: Mmm, that’s an interesting question. It might be "Out of Bounds" or "Let’s Get Bent." (A little laughter)

Steven Redant: Everything has been said and done before and most likely by more intelligent people than ourselves, but I would go for "Right Here, Right Now." People come to a party, especially as big and as famous as WPPS, with big expectations. They’ve been looking forward to it; bought the tickets, met with friends, plan to make new ones. For all those people, every single time, in every single party, THIS one has the potential to be the night of their lives. THIS is the one that has the potential to be the one they will always remember. We try to share that feeling with the people. We try to give as much as we can, so hopefully we get some of that great feeling back and that’s when there is real energy flowing, and a big night (maybe the biggest) is in the making.

BeBe: What are your Top 5 songs on your playlist?

Danny Verde: 1. "Say Something" (Bent Collective Dub Mix) - A Big Great World feat Christina Aguilera, 2. "My Bassline" - Chocolate Puma, 3. "Automatic" (Danny Verde private Mash-up) - Ultranate vs. David Tort, 4. "Don’t Go" - The Cube Guyz

Steven Redant: There’s no such thing as a real top 5, that would mean we play the same set every time. Of course, we use our own tracks as much as we can for the peak moments, but we’re also fans of other producers like Gregor Salto or Chocolate Puma. Reza is doing some really great stuff.

BeBe: What is your next big gig following WPPS?

Danny Verde: It will be another White Party but in Zurich this time! The 20th anniversary party! As Bent Collective we’ll spin together on July 5th for 1life Festival in San Bernardino, California.

Steven Redant: I think there are talks about headlining a festival in Rio de Janeiro. In the meanwhile we both have fun by ourselves all over the world from Beijing to Mexico and from Sydney to Madrid. Always keeping busy. (www.Dannyverde.podomatic.com and www.soundcloud.com/stevenredant)


Director, DJ and drag diva Chi Chi LaRue is one of the most recognized names and faces in the history of adult film, her fame surpassing that of even the biggest superstars she has helped create over the past three decades. Beginning in the press department for Catalina Video (a label now owned by her company, Channel 1 Releasing), it wasn’t long before Chi Chi’s creative spark was set afire directing some of the highest-selling releases of all time. A GayVN Award Hall of Fame inductee, multi-award winner Chi Chi LaRue has expanded her trademark name and image to everything from sex toys and candles to bottled water. All of Chi Chi’s brands are sold at her novelty store, Chi Chi LaRue’s, located on Santa Monica Boulevard in the heart of West Hollywood. In 2005, Chi Chi LaRue expanded her talents to DJing and now tours internationally with the porn stars from her movies, playing to sold-out clubs all over the world.

BeBe: Fast forward to the end of your DJ set at WPPS, how would you like the White Party goers to describe their experience partying to your set?

Chi Chi LaRue: Happy! Gay as all get out!

BeBe: What mix do you always go to, as of late, to get a circuit party going?

Chi Chi LaRue: Well I’m not a circuit party DJ, so my go to is always something giddy and fun. Lately, I’ve been starting my sets with Courtney Act’s new track From Russia with Love or Beyonce’s Partition.

BeBe: If there was a song title created to best describe the vibe of the music you spin and/or produce what would that song title be!?

Chi Chi LaRue: Sissy That Walk - RuPaul

BeBe: What are your Top 5 songs on your playlist?

Chi Chi LaRue: My Top 5 right now are: 1. Brooklyn Nights - Lady GaGa, 2. To Russia with Love - Courtney Act, 3. Crazy Stupid Love - My Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, 4. Sparks - Kylie Minogue, 5. Better Without You - Flaky

BeBe: What is your next big gig following WPPS?

Chi Chi LaRue: Well it’s Gay Pride season so I’ll be all over the World. Atlanta, Berlin, Sacramento, London, San Francisco, Columbus, I’m tired just talking about it (laughs)! (www.chichilarues.com)


DJ GRIND (Stephen Massey) is one of the most sought-after DJs and producers on the gay circuit. With a sound firmly anchored in uplifting vocal house, he always strives to take his dance floor on a journey toward joy. In 2013, DJ GRIND was nominated for three JustCircuit Awards, including "DJ of the Year," and he was named an "All-Star DJ" by Matineé North America. He is the winner of the 2012 JustCircuit Award for "Best Pool Party" and the 2011 GayDays National DJ Contest.

Over the past three years, DJ GRIND has headlined at some of the country’s largest events - including White Party Palm Springs, Matineé Las Vegas, GayDays, San Diego PRIDE, Sand Blast Weekend, Splash Days, and Circuit Week Provincetown - and he’s performed at many of North America’s largest venues, including clubs in New York City, Washington DC, Miami, Chicago, Atlanta, Denver, Las Vegas, West Hollywood, San Francisco, Seattle and Vancouver, among others. He’s been a featured artist on multiple RSVP Vacations’ Caribbean & Mediterranean cruises, and he’s headlined at major clubs and events in Asia (DESTINATION Beijing, Club Angel Shanghai, BED Manila) and Latin America (LVNG Mexico City, PARADISO Playa del Carmen). In 2011, DJ GRIND supported Kylie Minogue’s Aphrodite World Tour as an opening act.

BeBe: Fast forward to the end of your DJ set at WPPS, how do want White Party goers to describe their experience partying to your set?

DJ GRIND: White Party Palm Springs is such an iconic event, and I’m really honored to be part of the lineup for it’s 25th Anniversary T-Dance. That’s such a special event for our community, and there’s really no other party like it in the world. For me, the T-Dance is really about our community coming together in celebration, so I hope that people who experience my set feel a sense of the joy, camaraderie and freedom that I associate with White Party.

BeBe: What mix do you always go to, as of late, to get a circuit party going?

DJ GRIND: I’m really proud of my new official remix of Kylie Minogue’s "Into the Blue," which I produced with my production partner, Toy Armada. We originally produced our remix as a bootleg, and we were thrilled that the label picked it up as an official mix. It’s our first Billboard #1 Dance single, so I’m especially proud of it! Plus, it’s KYLIE, my all-time favorite!

BeBe: If there was a song title created to best describe the vibe of the music you spin and/or produce what would that song title be!?

DJ GRIND: "Let the Joy Rise." You might remember that circuit classic from 15 years ago, written by Janice Robinson and performed by Abigail. That was my "coming out" song - and probably the first big anthem I ever heard in a gay club. I’m known for uplifting, joyful music, and there’s really no better song to describe what I try to deliver every time I step into the DJ booth. In fact, Toy and I are working with Abigail on a 15th anniversary re-make of "Joy Rise" for release this Summer! Stay tuned!

BeBe: What are your Top 5 songs on your playlist?

DJ GRIND: 1. "Into the Blue" (Toy Armada & DJ GRIND Club Mix) - Kylie Minogue, 2. "Tell It To My Heart" (Toy Armada & DJ GRIND Club Mix) - Jason Walker feat. Bimbo Jones, 3. "Take Me Away" (Denzal Park Club Mix) - Dave Aude feat. Rokelle, 4. "Be Alright & Happy" (DJ GRIND vs. Danila Private Mash) - Muzzaik vs. Pharrell, 5. "Open Your Eyes" (Toy Armada & DJ GRIND Club Mix) - LEAUX

BeBe: What is your next big gig following WPPS?

DJ GRIND: I feel very blessed to have some incredible events on my schedule this Spring & early Summer. On May 10th, I’ll be making my debut at Purple Party in Dallas. Then, over Memorial Day Weekend, I’ll be returning to the Matinee Las Vegas Festival to headline the Saturday Pool Party, then finishing that weekend at HERO Ruby Skye in San Francisco. And, on June 29th, I’m absolutely thrilled to headline New York City PRIDE’s iconic Pier Dance, one of the largest and most celebrated PRIDE events in the world. It’s going to be a busy few months, and I can’t wait! (www.djgrind.net)

There’s still more from the BeBe who spoke with all of the headliners for this year’s White Party Palm Springs. So check back for continuing coverage leading up to the big party weekend.

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