SEXSHOOTERS: IT’S ABOUT THE MUSIC, REALLY!
By BeBe Sweetbriar | bebesweetbriar.com
Music is the universal language! It can easily express joy, sadness, excitement, anger, and yes… sex! No words required. London-based DJs SEXSHOOTERS (David Hart and Claudio Girardi) are just like that. Without spinning one song they exude “sex”. (Clearing NSFW imagery from my head) But, in their short and illustrious DJ careers, David and Claudio, a real gay couple, are focused on creating a distinct SEXSHOOTER sound, regardless of what we may be focused on when listening to them. When they return to San Francisco for their second time in a year to steam up the dance floor at Locoya’s CIRCUS After Hours Party at Beatbox June 25, the SEXSHOOTERS won’t be shirtless, they won’t be putting on a “show”, but they will be sexy because their MUSIC tells us so.
BEBE: DJ duos are not unheard of, of course, and many are blood related, i.e., Perry Twins and Disclosure, but a gay couple is unique. Do you consider yourselves trailblazers?
SEXSHOOTER CLAUDIO: I think we are pretty unique. A real gay dj couple is unheard of, as far as we know. We both came to the realization that we’re the sort of people who thrive off being around their partner so it made sense for us to start working together and we’ve had brilliant time exploring the world and playing our sound ever since.
SEXSHOOTER DAVID: Well to be honest we have never really thought about it like that, but now that you ask… we also think we stand apart from other djs (by having) a very strong and unique brand identity.
BEBE: Speaking of unique brand identity, it’s no secret “you’re too sexy for your shirt”, and you know it. You guys utilize your double dose of sex appeal to market yourselves. With that said, how difficult is it to keep Sexshooters about the music you play?
SEXSHOOTER DAVID: For us it’s all about the music! I HATE having my picture taken anyway, especially when we are playing!
SEXSHOOTER CLAUDIO: We often get booking enquiries where they either want us to dj topless or ask what kind of ‘show’ we do… We have to tell them that although we have a racy image, we like to just provide an amazing and energetic set.
SEXSHOOTER DAVID: With NO show… can you imagine a dj doing a ‘show’? …though upon saying that, we could charge a lot more for a ‘special live couple show’ (laughs).
BEBE: Last year, Sexshooters made their debut in America which included a stop in San Francisco. Reflecting back, how important was that tour for you in solidifying a relevant spot in the international DJ world?
SEXSHOOTERS: It was amazing as it was our first US trip together! It’s a long road to make your name in the DJ world, let alone in the States, so we were very grateful to be booked across this period. We love it over there and are super excited to be coming back!
BEBE: This visit to SF for Locoya’s Circus party is a bit different, in that, it is during our legendary Pride celebration, and you’re playing an afterhours party. Any adjustments required in the Sexshooters’ sound for this engagement?
SEXSHOOTER CLAUDIO: Most likely we will drop our usual trademark set of sexxxed up high energy tunes to keep the Pride celebrations going into the morning!
BEBE: When I spoke with you last year, you were only a year into your DJ careers and hadn’t really begun producing music, but had a desire to. Where are you in exploring producing music?
SEXSHOOTERS: We are two broke boys trying to make something of ourselves so producing is something we are getting into. We are teaching ourselves along the way! We have made tons of mash-ups, bootlegs and remixes, so the next step is actually releasing something original from our studio sessions. We are also taking our time to discover the perfect sound that represents us, as we play all genres of House music from Deep to Tribal, so we currently enjoying playing with different sounds.
BEBE: One thing I (who am I kidding, we) love about watching you two (wait for it……) is how much fun you guys appear to be having. Being a real couple in a relationship spending working and private time together, how do you keep the fun going and fresh?
SEXSHOOTER DAVID: Thanks! It’s nice to hear that smile emoticon …we are addicted to one another so fun is never an issue!
SEXSHOOTER CLAUDIO: We are together 24/7 so of course we fight, but we also laugh a lot, create a lot, travel a lot… and have a lot of other fun too, if you know what I mean!?
BEBE: Oh, boo, we are all on the dance floor imagining what you mean!
SEXSHOOTERS join DJ Misha Skye for Brian Kent Productions presentation of Locoya’s CIRCUS After Hours Party on June 25 at 4am at BEATBOX. www.locoyahill.com
This is among the final events at Beatbox. In a press release released May 31st, Beatbox owners Brian Kent, Paul Saccone and Andy Zivic announced that the venue has been sold and will be closing its doors on July 3rd – just a week after the clubs 5 year anniversary celebration, “We plan on going out with a bang…”, said co-owner and General Manager Brian Kent. Each of the club’s owners plan to continue producing events, no information as to the new owner’s direction of the venue has been announced.
PEPPER MASHAY DIVES INTO A NEW LIFE
By BeBe Sweetbriar | www.bebesweetbriar.com
“Let’s get soaking wet!” Chil’, how many great memories come to mind when thinking about that lyric from the Showtime series Queer As Folk theme song and dance floor mega hit of 2000 Dive In The Pool by Barry Harris featuring the distinctive voice of Pepper MaShay? Well, most of us are still creating memories from that lyric line because Dive In The Pool is a dancehall classic that has solidified Pepper MaShay’s rightful place amongst the greatest dance music artists. MaShay has made sure not to be classified as a one-hit wonder as were so many of her peers of that early period of the new millennium by making follow up hits with Harris’ I Got My Pride (#2 Billboard Hot Dance, 2001) and her first solo chart-topper Lost Yo Mind (#1 Billboard Hot Dance, 2006). Pepper has continued to record, your clubs and Prides across the country for the past 16 years and along the way took a dive into a new life when she came out finding love with her now wife in 2011. Making a rare San Francisco appearance at Beatbox (recently announcing its upcoming closure on July 3) for its 5th Anniversary/PRIDE Saturday Party on June 25, Pepper MaShay, truly a part of our community, will be taking a dive with us this time around!
BEBE: During the time you came out with Barry Harris’ Dive In The Pool in 2000, dance music fans were not staying committed as much to one artist. There were so many one-hit wonders. But we seemed to stick to you in anticipation of the next hit. Did you ever think after years of singing R&B music that dance music would become your genre?
PEPPER MASHAY: Not at all, baby! I had other inclinations of writing my own songs. It never occurred to me that dance music would be something that I’d really want to get involved with, but I had these divas I was doing (studio) sessions with around L.A. tell me I needed to do this music because my voice was a fine match. Then I started doing background vocals with Barry Harris and Chris Cox (Thunderpuss) filling in for Austin when she was away on the road performing. Then my whole attitude changed after working with them.
BEBE: Here we are 16 years after the major success of Dive In The Pool and here you go still putting out charting music with your new single with Anderson & Thacher You Stop Breakin My Heart (#21 Billboard Dance CLUB Songs 6/11).
PEPPER MASHAY: It’s amazing, I know! After singing Barry’s Dive In The Pool and I’ve Got My Pride, I’ve tried to take matters in my own hands and write my own songs. With You Stop Breakin My Heart I was coming off a divorce, an ex-husband….It’s a song about cleaning house.
BEBE: With your new song’s breakout success on the charts, will you be touring more to promote it beyond your visit to San Francisco during SF Pride to perform at Beatbox’s 5th and final Anniversary/Pride Saturday Party on June 25?
PEPPER MASHAY: I hope so! You all excite me! When you are bonding with the people who have given you a lot of Love and respect, you have no other choice but to show yourself, to be a part of that energy that they are giving you. I am so happy to be around, to be alive, to have found my soulmate in my wife, to have a renewing of my life!
BEBE: Now that you are truly living amongst the community that has given you so.much support over the years, you seem to be re-experiencing parts of your career success from a different perspective with your wife. How does that feel?
PEPPER MASHAY: It’s a really good feeling, and a feeling I can relate to and relay to all my older fans who have stuck by me. Back in the day, a lot if kids would come up to me and say ‘Miss Mashay, I came out to your song.’ I had no clue about what they were really telling me. Now I understand. I never thought I would one day want to marry a woman who would love and take care of me, and bring our two families together. So, when I see (the crowds) hands up in the air on the dance floor waving at me, and their smiles on their faces living their lives without giving a damn, I can relate to it! I’ve come full circle.
Pepper MaShay performs at Beatbox’s 5th Anniversary/Pride Saturday Party on June 25. More info at www.Beatboxsf.com
You Stop Breakin My Heart by Anderson & Thacher feat. Pepper MaShay now available on iTunes.