Interview: Meet two of Portland’s reigning queer DJs

0

Megan Andricos – aka DJ SAPPHO – has been a DJ since 1999. She started out in Bellingham, Washington, before moving to Rose City in 2003, where she started Koritsi Komma Records (aka “Party Girl” in Greek). David Silver, aka SILVERSOUND, has been touring for over a decade. Both have performed at the monthly Opal Underground Holocene parties and also sneaked into other queer gigs around Portland for years. OWe caught up with them both to chat about the Portland scene, their behind-the-stand stories, and the most reliable pump leads.

PORTLAND MONTHLY: What’s your favorite song to get the crowds moving in Portland?

SAPPHO: There’s an older gospel song that was released by a group called the Joubert Singers in 1985 called “Stand on the Word.” You play this song and you have a dance floor of people singing. Oh, and Robin S’s “Show Me Love.” It’s a great anthem for queer nightlife.

SILVERSOUND: If you’ve got a bunch of people in a room and they’re not really moving together to the beat yet, and you’re just throwing out a big song that everyone knows… like, sure, that might get some movement a bit crowded, but it’s a bit like giving candy to a baby. You just had a super hot baby. That said, for 90s house in particular, the song that consistently gets the most enthusiastic response is Robin S.

What’s the queer nightlife like in Portland right now? How has he changed?

SAPPHO: Since we opened up during the pandemic, it’s been really vibrant and well supported, because I feel like people have been sitting at home with a lack of real community. There was an online community, but not a chance to come together. This is probably the strongest I’ve seen in a while right now.

SILVERSOUND: I see this real resurgence of small gay clubs and bars opening up: Rebel Rebel, Queen’s Head, The Eagle. Gay-run spaces that have gay people on staff who allow them to fully exist in their homosexuality at work. It makes everything so much more comfortable and so much safer.

What do you think makes Portland a queer nightlife hub?

SILVERSOUND: Portland has grown over the past seven years, there are more people thriving and making art here. We have just enough people to do cool stuff. It’s just a numbers game: the more people there are, the more queer people there will be. And the more gay people you have in one place, the more gay people there are who have real taste and want to go to cool dance music parties where we play groovy rave-y records from the 90s instead of ” I want to hear from Britney again.”

Do you have any favorite memories from your time as a DJ in Portland?

SAPPHO: Until 2014, I mostly played straight clubs and wasn’t exposed to queer nightlife as much. Then I went to a party where I heard people playing music I liked and people dancing to it, and I was like, “Wow, this is a space I could belong in too.” And it gave me the push I needed to find my tribe, and then also gave me an artistic opening where I could be free to be the artist that I really wanted to be. Since then, almost every time I DJ, it’s always such a joy for me, and it’s such an honor to have the opportunity to share music with everyone.

Why is it important to have a nightlife space dedicated to the queer community?

SILVERSOUND: Queer nightlife gives us a place where it doesn’t matter who you are, or where you live, or how you present yourself, or how you are perceived in normal life. You can show up and walk through the door of this club, and when you’re inside, you’re part of the community and the family and you’re free to be your true, authentic, amazing, and honest self.

What would be your ideal night out for a Portland resident looking to get into queer nightlife?

SAPPHO: I’m involved in a party called Opal Underground in the Holocene, that would be a good place to start. Our mission is to book local artists, especially trans, non-binary, black, indigenous and people of color – and looking at the Holocene lineup, they have a lot of nights that look like that. And from what I’m told, there will be plenty of Pride events this year: everything from drag queens RuPaul at a three-day warehouse event to underground raves and late-night parties and daytime parties.

Share.

Comments are closed.