WAK LYF DJ collective celebrates one-year anniversary at Kitty Cat Klub
Tonight, Twin Cities art collective WAK LYF celebrate the one-year anniversary of their monthly dance parties at Dinkytown's Kitty Cat Klub. Known for having no genre boundaries, the events (always on the second Friday of every month) have uniquely collided rave and house party traditions with a twist of the internet age for an experience so unique that it's landed the parties mentions in Fader, Mishka and XLR8R.
We spoke to one of the crew's DJs, BUJUFANTA on what the past year's meant to WAK LYF and what makes their dance parties, such as tonight's LYF SUX stand out.
What was the genesis of WAK LYF?
Well, it kinda came out of a bunch of gigs some buddies and I were doing. We had a weekly gig at this Asian fusion restaurant, and that's where we first had the idea. Then we moved to a different club, and it's just been gelling over the years at different gigs. Me and my buddy Stu and another buddy Nate, we came together over a shared vision of a boundary-less party that had a visual component. We were intrigued by a bunch of music that was happening at the time and wanted to represent our interests. Me and Stu are house and U.K. music heads, we also like old school rap, '90s alternative and old school rave. The aesthetic gelled visually before we gelled musically, but it kind of developed over time.
Now that you're hitting the one-year mark, do you feel the WAK LYF mission statement has changed at all?
Not really at all. Our goals are still pretty similar. Our goals are to have a good time, represent various musical interests and champion stuff that we don't see championed much around here like grime and throwback stuff. We want people to not really know what to expect but always know it will be good. We also want to bring the internet aesthetic to real life, but it's simply always been about having a good time.
Given how different your tastes are, when you prepare for a show do you go in surprising each other or do you have any idea what each-other is playing?
I think it's a combination of both. All the guys kind of have a musical character, but spontaneity is a part of each of our characters. It's kind of all about not knowing what to expect, the type of experience we're trying to provide for each other is that none of us want to be predictable.
You've also released a few mixes under the WAK LYF banner. Do you see those as an extension of the events, or their own entity?
They're totally an extension of the events. The mixes are party mixes and the events are parties and the point is to have a crazy party and make people move. What we're able to do on the mixtape is catch a vibe that's only hinted at and kind of growing.
Given how unpredictable the show is, has an audience reaction ever caught you off guard?
Yeah. The crowd is turning into the best part of the night and I've definitely watched crazy stuff happen unfold before my eyes playing music, and that's kind of why I do it. But, to be specific I think would be in bad taste. But yeah, crazy stuff happens every month.
Earlier this year you shared a bill with Lil B. How was that experience?
The Lil B show was awesome. It was also super intense because, when we played it, we didn't know what to expect and the fans were fanatical about Lil B. It was really cool to see people so into the vibe that they were there for. It was a cool opportunity, Lil B's a good rapper and he has incredible presence. It was an honor to be included on that bill.
Now that your monthly at the Kitty Cat Klub reached the one year mark, what about it do you feel most proud of?
I think the thing I'm most proud of is just having people respond to the vibe of the events and get involved in the content surrounding the events. We've done streams before the party and they online following is pretty fun. We're all having a good time before the event even happens, so when the party actually happens we've already stepped into the vibe, so it's like a coming out. I'd like to send a very special 'UGH- FML' to: Neuport, JVF, hosts and guest dj's over the last year!
An example of WAK LYF's signature style
The WAK LYF LYF SUX One Year Anniversary is tonight, Friday, December 14 at the Kitty Cat Klub
21+, Free, 9 p.m.
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