July 01 2018

JoyRide Reggae

New York-Le Bain
We chat with NYC agitators Phillip Leeds and Ebony Brown as they bring their reggae dancehall party, JoyRide, to Le Bain, once a month. Next one: Thursday, August 9th, featuring resident DJs Stretch Armstrong and DJ Gravy.
LE BAIN: You’re two very busy New Yorkers. Why and how do you make the time to curate a brand new party? What has been missing in the NYC nightlife?
PHILLIP LEEDS: 
The idea of joyride came about very organically. Ebony, Stretch, Gravy, and I have all been friends and also around nightlife. We had various conversations about sweaty dancehall parties, how reggae parties are mostly in the outer boroughs, and how much (Ebony and I) love when Stretch plays dancehall. 

EBONY BROWN:
 The main things I find missing from NYC nightlife are authenticity, culture, and connection. Nowadays, people go to a party to show off on social media, but don’t actually participate. It’s cool to snap some pictures, maybe go live for a minute, then put your phone down and get loose! I love individuals who know how to contribute to an experience. A great outfit, good energy, and a free spirit are my favorite nightlife ingredients!
Phillip Leeds and Ebony Brown

Phillip Leeds and Ebony Brown

"NYC will always be a concrete jungle!" –Ebony Brown
You’ve seen it all, haven’t you? Tell us about a night/party/club that has been influential to you?
EBONY: The two parties that really got me open were Soul Kitchen and Sticky Mike’s. I was a baby, like 18 or 19 years old, fresh out of the DMV suburbs, and was absolutely amazed. There was so much expression of freedom through rhythm and movement. The sounds, the smells, the visuals…everyone was on the same frequency. The vibe was magnetic. I was hooked instantly!

PHILLIP: When I was a kid in the ’80s, I would sneak out and go to clubs like Area, Nell’s, and Save the Robots. There was still the extravagant and over-the-top vibe of nightlife's golden era. So, I was interested when the opportunity came about to try to recreate some of the magic. 

Could you share one track that embodies the mood that you want to create in Le Bain's skyline? 
EBONY: Oh, that’s easy…"Telephone Love" by J.C Lodge. That song is infectious. Takes me back to when I was a boy-crazy teenager and fell in love with reggae. I can still wind to that all night long! Add in the pool and the skyline…soooo sexy! That’s the vibe.
"Telephone Love" by J.C Lodge

Speaking of the skyline, it has been reshaping big time in the past decade. There might be a NYC real estate renaissance. What about the streets? The underground? Tell us one thing that makes you certain NYC is still the “concrete jungle where dreams are made of.”
EBONY: You can build as many skyscrapers and condos as you want, but as long as “the hood” exists in NYC, it will always be a concrete jungle! The flavor comes from the streets. It’s from the people, the communities, the immigrants, the diversity. That’s rich. That’s JOYRIDE. We’re taking you back to the essence.

PHILLIP: T
he changing skyline brings new venues, and that creates new outlets for culture and also can create whole new scenes. I’m a very nostalgic and often find myself pining for the old New York, however I try to keep any bitter feelings at bay and welcome and embrace this new world. By doing these events, I try to keep a little of the old New York in the new New York

On Thursday, August 9th, Le Bain presents JoyRide
Music by Stretch Armstrong & DJ Gravy
Hosted by Wildcat Ebony Brown & Phillip Leeds
The Standard, High Line | 10pm

Header photo by Neil Aline