September 05 2018

Stefan Ringer & Ash Lauryn: Underground & Black

New York-Le Bain
We chat with Atlanta house's power couple, Stefan Ringer and Ash Lauryn, before they share Le Bain's decks all night, on Saturday, September 29th.
LE BAIN: Ashley, you’ve been running your blog Underground & Black since May 2017. Can both of you tell us your own definition of being underground and black?
ASH: Underground and Black is simply being a black person actively involved in an underground scene or community, and in my instance, that community is underground dance music. Underground and Black is also about the preservation of black faces in dance music – the art form was created in black community, and its important that the roots of this music are equally represented, and never forgotten.

STEFAN: 
To me, it is basically doing what you like. Not what others want you to do or what others think you should be doing. Following your own path, your own interests, basically just being yourself, and contributing to what you like, contributing to your scene.


"I want Atlanta to be a destination for house and dance music." – Stefan
You two are based in Atlanta, and Stefan is from there. Tell us one of your favorite things about living in Atlanta and how it inspires you as artists. 
STEFAN: What I like about Atlanta is the artists and creatives who reside here. There are a lot of people here who are doing great things, who also aren't afraid to collaborate. Atlanta is a "big-small city." Everyone kind of knows or knows about the others who are making moves. That being said, the scene we are in has grown so much over the past few years. I remember when there was barely events to go to on the weekend for the music I'm into. Now there are events nearly every weekend and during the week. Living in Atlanta inspires me to do work harder to put on for the city. I want Atlanta to be a destination for house and dance music. 

ASH: One of my favorite things about Atlanta is the amount of successful black people that live there. Atlanta is a mecca for black culture, and although it's in the South, it is still very much a progressive city. I also like the fact that our dance music community is pretty close knit. There’s never too much drama, and people support one another for the most part. 

Ashley, you were born and raised in Detroit. Could you tell us about your teenage years in Detroit and your first connections with the dance music scene?
ASH: I was born in Detroit, and grew up in a suburb called Rochester Hills about 30 minutes outside the city. Both of my parents were born and raised in Detroit and most of my family members lived there, so I spent a lot of time within city limits. My first introductions to dance music in Detroit were on WJLB – the infamous radio station that was home to legends like The Electrifying Mojo and Jeff Mills. Fast forward to some years later, my older sister introduced me to the Detroit rave scene and started bringing me along when I was as young as 14. As I grew older, my affection and passion for the music got deeper and deeper, and yeah, here we are today!

Ash Lauryn's NTS Mix

Stefan, I read Kai Alce has been one of your mentors. He’s one of the godfathers of the Detroit scene and he’s been based in Atlanta. Beyond Kai, how do you connect to the new Detroit scene? 

STEFAN: Over the years, I've met the younger movers and shakers in Detroit. I can't say that I'm close with them, but there is this common acknowledgement that we all have. I respect everyone doing their thing. 
You two will share the decks all night at Le Bain. Tell us what your approach to it will be and what kind of night we’re heading into! 
ASH: We typically just show up and go with whatever feels right in moment. It's great to feed off each other’s energy in the moment while keeping the set in sync. I like to keep things upbeat and happy as of late, so expect some soulful, sexy sounds, and, of course, some vocals!

STEFAN: I try to feel out the crowd and see how things work initially. I usually start a little slower, then move on to the faster stuff. Honestly there is no formula. 

On Saturday, September 29th, Le Bain presents
Ash Lauryn and Stefan Ringer (Atlanta)
The Standard, High Line | 10pm