Voyager NYE 2018 is excited to have Ballroom champion MikeQ performing at this year’s event. I lobbed a few questions Mike’s way hoping he could shed some light on the growing niche that is the Ballroom scene, and his place in the community, having worked with names such as Missy. His answers are genuine and humble, a refreshing persona from a highly sought-after DJ. We can’t wait for his performance at Voyager.
Check out the convo & get ready to welcome in 2018 with MikeQ.
Jack: In your own words, how would you describe Ballroom? What does the scene mean to you?
MikeQ: Ballroom, I would say, is this amazing culture filled with creativity and fun and entertainment. It combines Dance, Music and Fashion, and so much more. It is a way of life for some, a competition for many. Overall it is this thriving, underground LGBT community that provides a safe space for us. To me, it means more than just an extra curricular activity but its also what has sprouted my amazing career in music and its everything to me for that.
J: How did you get into DJing/producing?
M: I got into deejaying and producing in 2003; Producing first, after going out to the local NJ/NY underground weekly gay parties which exposed me to ballroom and its music. From there I started to create and post online and gained popularity via that. Soon after, I became the resident DJ at both weekly parties and more just off the music I was putting out with my first gig being in 2005 and the rest is history.
J: Is there a difference between Vogue and Ballroom?
M: Yes, well Vogue is a dance that is a part of Ballroom, which is the bigger picture. But there is so much more to the culture that goes beyond the oh-so-popular “Voguing.”
J: What lasting impression do you want to leave on Ballroom music? Has the scene changed since you’ve been active?
M: This is an interesting question because I am not sure if I’ve been asked this before but I think the impression I’d like to leave on ballroom music is just to be—I don’t know—someone who did not start this but was able to come into a genre of music that belongs to this amazing culture and really get into it, be somebody to the world because of it that has spread it to the masses in what way I could and kept people moving at Ballroom/club events with great music.
J: What do you want your music to do for people? What feeling does it evoke?
M: Simple: I want it to be something they can move to. That is what music is all about. Whether you are at a ball, the club, the gym, at work—anything—I want it to be something for you that gets you going and makes you enjoy that moment of sound just a little bit more.
J: Is Ballroom destined to remain an underground, niche scene? Where do you see the Ballroom scene going in the future?
M: Ballroom is most certainly moving beyond the underground in tons of ways and that just cannot be stopped. I wouldn’t mind a nice chunk of it to remain “underground,” if just to keep its originality a bit because things tend to get lost in the mainstream. It’s already in so many places outside of itself. In the future I see it everywhere like it is now. You may not notice, but tastes of ballroom are all over contemporary fashion, music, dance, film and anything else you can think of; It’s major entertainment and also has been coined a sport.
J: Where is the Ballroom scene most popular? What are your favorite cities to play in?
M: Well, now everywhere. But NYC will always be the mecca. All over the US, Paris, all over Europe, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Canada, Australia. I’ve been to balls and ball-like events globally now since 2011. And it may sound cliché but every city is my favorite. Some more than others, but being me coming from NJ, I didn’t expect none of this life so I am grateful to even be able to get on a plane and be MikeQ anywhere else.
J: Who/what is Ballroom for?
M: Ballroom is first and originally for the Black and Latino gay community, that’s where it originates. As time has moved on it’s sort of become open to more than that: all races, more female participation, the youth, the older, here and there so if you can find you a spot in this and be genuine with it, it can be for you.
MikeQ will be bringing Ballroom to Voyager 2018, so snag your tickets here!