June 03 2019

The Lady & The Duchess

New York-Le Bain
On Thursday, June 6th, Le Bain presents the new party '7th Heaven' featuring two nightlife agitators and rising star DJs: New York's The Duchess and Detroit's LadyMonix. We sat down to discuss the power of music, the difference between NYC and Detroit and what makes for the best New York nights.
The Duchess, you said: “New York is where I belong, with all its extreme highs and lows, up and downs.” Tell us about the last time that feeling hit you. 

THE DUCHESS: Damn honestly it was a few weeks ago at Le Bain! Maurice Fulton was playing all night. I've been going through some really hard personal stuff over the past year–going out dancing for me is one of the only ways I can truly escape and release my more stubborn demons. City living is hard. It's a challenging time for us all right now; politically, socially, economically...I need to check-out sometimes or I'd truly go crazy.

How was the night?

It was real New York journey from start to finish: first, I was uptown at an engagement party–really heteronormative and conservative crowd and I was out of my element but attempted to take the best and leave the rest. Always nice to have an excuse to dress up and be fabulous in any case! Then I made my way downtown to Le Bain for about 10:45pm. I love hearing what The Greats play to open. Opening for yourself as a DJ is such a rare pleasure... It's a beautiful slot to play and can be exciting and vulnerable in the right hands. Maurice is always dope but he was really on one that night. 
The Standard
"[Music] was a gift that was given to us and we get to develop it, explore it and perhaps, if we are lucky, push it forwards." –The Duchess
What are you looking for when you go out?

Exactly what I got that night: pure freedom from existence for a few hours. The crowd was lovely too. I felt safe. I closed my eyes and just danced. Then I rode across the bridge into Brooklyn and to an after-hours party happening in the back of a thrift store in Bushwick. We literally had to walk through a wardrobe to get to the spot! Only in New York...

LadyMonix, you’re from Baltimore and lived in LA before moving to Detroit. You said about Detroit: “This is home.” Tell us about the last time it struck you.

LADYMONIX: I wouldn't say this strikes me, but more of a continuous feeling of being in the right place finally. Growing up in Baltimore is a huge part of who I am, but was never going to give me what I needed to grow. Los Angeles was and is still so important to me. That's where I fully realized the power of a dance floor, but it was still missing something for me. Detroit has what I've been needing in a creative work/life balance. 

What did you need?

I love being able to step out any weekend into an intimate space a hear the music I connect with the most while seeing everyone get all the way down, and being able to be around so many working artists who aren't watering down their medium for anything. I stay inspired and wanting to do better here, and for that I will always feel at home. 

About DJing, The Duchess you once said “This is deep shit, it literally comes from the earth and the stars.” 

THE DUCHESS: Oh yeah... That's taken from another interview I did with [the NY fanzine] Love Injection recently... I am wildly passionate about music. About the art of DJing. About the ways in which all different peoples and cultures come together and make noise in response to our state of existence. 
LadyMonix and The Duchess live from Detroit 

Can you explain?

THE DUCHESS: Music came from the cosmos before we even existed. All of the sounds we sample, manipulate, create today originated in the natural order of the entire Universe–it's just logical. We think we made this stuff but we didn't. It was a gift that was given to us and we get to develop it and explore it and perhaps, if we are lucky, push it forwards. It's the way the world speaks to us–how we can speak to each other on a deeper level–to reach greater collective understanding, compassion, unity. 

The power of music...

Our sensitive hearing, our vocal cords and nimble fingers, the rhythm in our bellies. This was given to us and passed along through the evolving generations. And now it comes to us as The Feeling by Chez Damier & MK, or Self-Help Tape by Moses Sumney, or Strings of Light by Yussef Kamaal... Taste of Bitter Love by Gladys Knight & The Pips... Burn for You by Sting & The Police... How lucky are we?!

LadyMonix you run 2 monthly parties in Detroit. I heard the city is not the easiest city to run parties or go out in. Is it changing? 

I think it has its challenges on occasion but definitely not difficult. It's different from a place like LA or NY in the sense that you're not choosing from 100s of different venues to party at, but with that said the ones that are here I feel are quite legendary. I haven't had a bad night here and can't imagine that coming.

What do you love the most about Detroit’s nightlife? 

The crowds come to DANCE. They don't need to know the song, they don't need to request shit... It's a vibe and we're all here for it.

What’s the closest thing to Seventh Heaven?

THE DUCHESS: To feel real unconditional love. To be able to love another unconditionally. Those moments when all of the man-made constructs and 'rules' that surround us are suspended for a moment and we can just Be. I can see and hear you, you can see and hear me; we are Love.

LADYMONIX: If I'm being truly honest... being on the couch with my man and my cat [laughs]. 

On Thursday, June 7th
Le Bain presents 7th Heaven
feat. The Duchess, LadyMonix & DJ Wawa
Hosted by Zhetut & Anthony Javier Savoy
10pm | The Standard, High Line