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Monday, April 21, 2014

(WPPS 2014) The DJs Bring All the Boys to the Yard (Part 2 of 3)!

by Bebe Sweetbriar

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.


One of an elite crew of DJs who has headlined every major event on the gay party circuit - twice, often more - Manny Lehman credits his highly-acclaimed performances in 1999 at both the White Party in Palm Springs and Montreal’s Black & Blue Recovery Party as the catalysts that sent his career soaring into overdrive. A pivotal gig at South Beach’s Club Amnesia soon followed, as did later residencies at the legendary Twilo in New York City, Miami’s Crobar, Factory and Here in Los Angeles, Nation in Washington, D.C. and New York’s Avalon (aka Limelight) and Roxy. Complementing this perpetual flurry of nightclub bookings are frequent guest spots at world-renowned weekend dance events like White and Winter Parties in South Beach, Chicago’s Fireball, Cherry in D.C. and Gay Disney in Orlando, many of which have become perennial gigs.

International stops regularly include such exotic locales as Tel Aviv, London, Ibiza and, Paris, Rio de Janiero , Mexico City, Montreal, and Japan, Thailand, Amsterdam, and Sao Paulo, Cologne, and Nice, among others. From parties at 10,000-foot snow-covered peaks requiring helicopter transport to beach parties in Thailand, Stadiums of 30,000 people, and even SONY Picture’s Opening Night for the Cannes Film Festiva, Lehman has done it all. Manny Lehman has also left an indelible mark on dance music culture through his various roles behind the scenes. During his stint developing new talent as an executive at A&M Records, Manny discovered powerhouse diva CeCe Peniston. He later executive produced her first single, "Finally," which went on to become one of the definitive club anthems of the early 90s.

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?

Manny Lehman: Celebratory! It is the 25th anniversary! I also want to celebrate as well. I been playing at White Party for Jeffrey Sanker for years. It’s a honor to be part of such an amazing weekend!

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

Manny Lehman: I can’t say what mix, but i love that edgy big room sound. The kind of sound that Tommy Love, The Bent Collective and Rosabel have. I love that energy feel-good stuff with an edge.

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!?

Manny Lehman: Hmmmm, good question! It could be "Last Dance" (laughs) but, I think maybe "I Will Survive" (again laughs).

BeBe: What are your Top 5 songs on your playlist?
Manny Lehman: 1. "Can’t Remember To Forget You ( Razor & Guido Mix) - Rihanna & Shakira, 2. "Here We Go (Ranny Mix) - Consuleo Costin, 3. "Dominate Me" - Bouvier & Barona Featuring: Amber Dirks, 4. "Bombs Away" - Gia, 5. "Addicted To You (Deep Influence Mix) - Avicci

BeBe: What is your next big gig following WPPS?

Manny Lehman: All the gay prides are coming in fast. So as summer quickly approaches, I will be gearing up for a scorching summer! (www.djmannylehman.com)


A Colorado native whose musical roots were fueled by hip-hop, 80s, rock and EDM, Shane found inspiration in artists like Seb Fontaine and Judge Jules. In the late 90′s, his DJ career kicked-off when he scored his first gig with ColoradoRave.com during one of their popular festival events. One night was enough to convince not only the crowd, but festival promoters, that he was ready for more and shortly after he became the company’s top resident. After leaving ColoradoRave, he continued to work closely with friend and party promoter Ryan Dykstra. Dykstra’s successful long-running night at Club Pure gave Shane a chance to meet and befriend several well-known DJ/producers like Kimball Collins, George Acosta, Guy Ornadel, and Jon Bishop..

Years of hard work and determination later, Shane landed some well-deserved time alongside several major global headliners. His big break came in 1999 when he played alongside George Acosta, officially solidifying his name in the Denver nightlife scene. Shane quickly became a regular fixture in the DJ booths at Denver nightclub’s Traxx 2000 and Club Matrixx, earning praise and respect as one of Colorado’s top DJs. Big names like Tiesto, The Crystal Method, Deep Dish and Digital Assassins were taking note which helped him secure coveted opening spots, working with them at events.

A decade later, Shane has risen through the ranks to become not just an international DJ, having headlined major events in the US, Canada, and Mexico, he’s become a brand. In 2012, he launched HAUS of STIEL, a hybrid DJ/production/promotion company fusing his signature sound & style with a visual performance element that his throngs of fans - known as HAUS HEADZ - have adopted as a "persona" of sorts when attending his events. Shane continues his DJ domination with residencies at clubs in Denver, San Francisco, and San Diego, headlining signature club events all over the country, producing his own regular podcast, and developing new music projects, both in the studio and in the clubs.

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?

Shane Stiel
: I’d like the audience to walk away feeling happy and ready for an awesome weekend. Being that I am spinning the Friday pool party I want to give them something that is hot yet not going to wear them out. In keeping with my signature sound I am going to be bringing some daytime house music realness. Something Unique. Something Cute. Something Fierce. Something HAUS!

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

Shane Stiel:
OMG, do I have to pick just one? Whew! There is a new Queen Of Disco mix by DJ PP that I am loving right now. However DJ Grind and Toy Armada just released a hot mix of Kylie’s "Into the Blue" that I am really digging and plan on playing out more in future gigs.

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!?

Shane Stiel:

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

Shane Stiel:
1. "Queen of the Disco" (Hazaro & Jerome Robins Mix) - DJ PP, 2. "Into the Blue" (Grind and Toy Armada Mix) - Kylie Minogue, 3. "Downpipe" (Original Mix) - D. Ramirez, Mark Knight, 4. "Up and Down" (Original Mix) - Vlada Asanin, 5. "Show Me What To Do" (Hoxton Whores Remix) - Navajo, Pablo Ceballos

BeBe: What is your next big event following WPPS?

Shane Stiel:
My next big event will be at Gay Day Orlando for One Might Weekend at the Friday Reunion Pool Party. So don’t miss out!! (www.shanestiel.com)

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