Friday | May 13th
10PM - 4AM
𝐌𝐮𝐬𝐢𝐜𝐚𝐥 𝐉𝐨𝐮𝐫𝐧𝐞𝐲 𝐁𝐲:
➤ 𝐀𝐍𝐀𝐍È | NULU MOVEMENT
➤ 𝐁𝐞𝐧𝐧𝐲 𝐒𝐨𝐭𝐨 | Dane. Here. Now.
Special opening set by 𝐂𝐡𝐫𝐢𝐬𝐭𝐢𝐚𝐧 𝐌𝐚𝐧𝐭𝐢𝐧𝐢
Celebrating 𝐊𝐞𝐯𝐢𝐧 𝗪𝐢𝐥𝐥𝐢𝐚𝐦𝐬's Birthday
📍 𝐌𝐨𝐨𝐧𝐑𝐢𝐬𝐞 | 1327 Willoughby Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11237
Come and feel the magic of MoonRise.
From the islands off the West Coast of Africa comes the artist Billboard magazine described as “combining earthiness with glamour and roots-deep house music knowledge with pop wise diversity”.
The singer, songwriter, producer and DJ follows up the 2006 Japanese release of her debut album “Ananeselections” with “Ananésworld™ ,” a mixture of dance, reggae, rock, R&B soul, world and Caribbean influences.
Anané Vega has the crowd in the palm of her hands, the same ones that introduce the next sequence of sonic fuel. Her crowd’s fiery dancing is reignited and a sea of raised hands begins to clap in ritualistic unison. Her music choices are unexpected, yet beautifully curated. The scene is oddly spiritual and miles away from where the night’s commander began her journey of self-discovery.
Anané Vega was born in Cape Verde’s capital city of Praia, located on the island of Santiago, to a Portuguese father and a Cape Verdean mother. Cape Verde, a former Portuguese colony, is located off the western African coast. During the time when Cape Verde was fighting for its independence against Portugal, her family was unexpectedly uprooted after they received death threats because of their Portuguese ties, thereby forcing Anané and her family to unwillingly vacate the island. After some time in Portugal, they relocated to the United States in search of expanded opportunities.
Self-identity wasn’t an easy discovery process for Anané growing up in a foreign country. Her mix of Portuguese and Cape Verdean heritage already had produced traumatic events in her past, and now she was struggling to understand how her racial diversity fit into her new country. Additionally, her parent’s traditional values were contrary to her expectations of what she should and would become. A woman, according to traditional values, was to mind the house, raise children and not consider herself equal to men. During a childhood trip to New York City, she noted to her mother at Rockefeller Center that she would one day very much like to live in such a vibrant city. Her mother cautioned her against such impulses and reminded her of a woman’s familial duties. Rebellion against these constraining expectations was becoming a necessity.
From an early age, Anané would financially support any extracurricular activities she wished to pursue, thus quickly learning the value of a strong work ethic. She would use her earnings from a factory job and waiting tables to go on day trips to NYC. She auditioned during one of these trips and received a call back from an MTV dance show. She was starting to believe that NYC was a viable option. Also around this time, she participated into pageants and was awarded the distinction of representing the United States as both Miss Cape Verde and Miss Portugal. This honor further illuminated life’s possibilities as she was now rubbing shoulders with foreign diplomats and ambassadors. Her childhood dream of being like the artists and musicians, whose pictures she pinned to her wall, was now not too far from the truth.
She finally mustered the courage to move to NYC. With a hundred dollars, a bag of clothes, a one-way ticket and friend’s couch as a bed, she made the jump. She was quickly discovered by Click Model Agency in the streets of NYC and began to study dance and theater. During this time she also met her future husband and world-renowned DJ entertainer, “Little” Louie Vega. Her choice to rebel against what was expected of someone like her had paid off and she was finally doing things her own way.
Anané Vega’s foray into djing wasn’t conventional considering she never had the intention of becoming a DJ. Although her DJ husband would constantly complement her on her tasteful and entertaining musical curating at home, she never took it more than a friendly compliment. She already had experienced success as a singer including her debut album, AnanésWorld. However, it wasn’t long before she was given the opportunity to actually DJ a night. A trip to visit an NYC friend who happened to manage the SubMercer, an intimate and exclusive lounge underneath Soho’s Mercer Hotel, turned into an offer to DJ an upcoming night. Anané’s career as a DJ had begun.
Her opening night at SubMercer went smoothly and she was hooked. She used the opportunity to play the music that she loved, which includes the afro-tech sound her label Nulu Music helped popularize. She blended all types of music together to create a unique experience for her audience. Her monthly engagement at SubMercer, Anané’s Selection gained a following. She described the experience as follows, “I love the ability to put all music together to a point where you can manipulate a party and get it going. You can interject any music and it’s not an awkward moment, you have the crowd in the palm of your hand. It’s not a shock, people will be grooving and want to know more about your music.”
Additionally, since a lot of her recordings as a singer get remixed for the club, she can use the DJ opportunity to bring a unique experience to her crowd by singing and dancing the music she plays. This differentiated approach was quickly noticed during the next WMC conference after her first winter djing in NYC. European agents approached her and they were eager to bring her act to Europe. At one point in time, Anané recalls djing in Italy to a crowd of over five thousand and looking at her assistant and wondering how she had made it this far.
Anané would go on to accomplish a great number of feats, which included singing the opening song “One Dream” at Super Bowl XLI during her husband and their group’s- Elements of Life- appearance. She was personally invited by Cirque du Soleil to partake. She was honored with the invitation to perform at the President Obama’s Ambassadors Ball as well. Her global appeal also grew s she was invited by Nelson Mandel’s party, African National Congress to appear as the only female artists on the bill and perform and speak in front of 10,000 kids for a large community event. She used the opportunity to promote her message of female empowerment and cites the experience as one of her favorites.
Currently, Anané and Louie are headlining their Sunset Ritual brand, an outdoor party held at prestigious beach clubs around the world and drenched in the sounds of House, Global Disco, Afro tech and Old School. Sunset Ritual has toured the Mediterranean every summer since 2010, including a two-year residency at the Blue Marlin beach club in Ibiza. Just this past year, from the 21st of June until the 20th of September 2013, the Sunset Ritual’s good vibes were back in Ibiza, this time at the famed Ushuaïa Hotel. Anané and Louie also released the first Sunset Ritual cd/dvd combo. Then in the summer Sunset Ritual will resume across beaches of Ibiza, Formentera, Italy, and Greece.
Anané Vega is also responsible for her music labels, Nulu Music and Nulu Electronic which already boasts an impressive more of 50 releases and is signing artists from all parts of Africa, Usa and Europe. Her labels are extremely well regarded for bringing the afro and electronic sound to a wide audience. And in 2014 in Los Angeles, Anané finished an intense 9-week course to become a certified Bikram yoga teacher.
Be sure to follow Anané as she traverses the globe in her continuous journey of artistic self-discovery on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook by searching for 𝐀𝐧𝐚𝐧𝐞𝐬𝗪𝐨𝐫𝐥𝐝.
For Benny Soto, it began, as it has for many New York club land veterans, with a visit to 84 King Street in downtown Manhattan. He says, “I had already been going out, but the first clubbing experience that really mattered was the Paradise Garage…just walking in there, it looked different, it sounded different, it felt different. As soon as I walked in, I knew I was home.”
For Soto, then a poor kid from the South Bronx, the Garage opened up a whole new world. It was through the club that he met, and befriended, the late Keith Haring, eventually serving as the iconic artist’s studio assistant. It also expanded his aural horizons: “Because of the way that Larry Levan played,” Soto says, “I became more musically open-minded.” But perhaps importantly, the Garage provided an avenue for escape. “Back then, I didn’t have much joy in my life,” he admits, ‘Clubbing gave me a way to get away. Places like the Garage, though they were primarily gay, were so inclusive; it didn’t really matter who you were, what mattered was the freedom that you could find there.” And that feeling—that passion for freedom, both musically and personally—would set Soto on a path that has led to a lifetime in club land. He had no idea that it would also lead to a career, but even in those early days, he recalls, “I was very curious. If I was at a club, I would be checking out the sound and looking at the lights, trying to see how it all comes together -it was like a Broadway show, except the show was the crowd itself.”
Eventually he secured a gig doing odd jobs at another iconic address, 6 Hubert Street, only blocks away from the Garage. The spot had once housed Area and Club Shelter; during Soto’s time there, it was Vinyl, home to the iconic Body & Soul. It was Body & Soul resident Danny Krivit who convinced Soto to take the next step. “He said to me, ‘I think you should be a promoter. People like you, and you have great energy. You’d be good at it.’ Of course,” Soto adds, “I had no idea what ‘being a promoter’ even meant!”
But Soto quickly learned, and learned from one of the best; the late, great super promoter Rob Fernandez. “The first big thing we did together was Roger Sanchez at Vinyl. I can even remember the date: 2/2/02. I was learning so much—contracts, dealing with managers, hospitality riders, everything.” Soto continued working with Fernandez until his sudden passing in summer of 2015—but at the same time, he was gaining the confidence to branch out on his own. Danny Krivit was an early partner (2002), teaming up with Soto to launch what became the still-vibrant 718 Sessions; another stone-cold vet, DJ Harvey, was an early accomplice as well. From its inception, until its closing, Soto was an integral part of the promotion and bookings team at the now revered, and recently closed, Output in Brooklyn, NY. The dates started coming fast and furious—flash forward to today, and Soto, who currently spends his time promoting shows around NYC and juggling various independent projects, is in the very top tier of NYC’s party wranglers.
So what’s the next step for a guy who’s spent the better part of his life in dance clubs? DJ’ing, of course! “I’ve been going out and listening to DJs for 30 years,” he says, “and after that amount of time, I think you almost have to learn something. You gain a sense of what to do.” But as anyone who has spent time in the DJ community knows, there can sometimes be attitude toward those perceived as usurpers. “Sure, there’s been a bit of controversy, like people asking, ‘Oh, so now you’re a DJ, too?’ I just answer, ‘No. I’m Benny Soto.’ I’ve given my life to music, and this is just another layer of that life.”
Nowadays, you can find Soto opening up for superstars or holding it down at after-parties, often spinning back-to-back with his fellow dance-music lifer, Nervous Records label head Mike Weiss. “Very few people have the legacy that Mike does,” he says. “I mean, the Nervous catalog…those were some of the songs that shaped the sound of global club music.” But Soto’s got his own musical identity as well. “I love to play music that feels good to me, that matters to me, that say something to me. Danny Tenaglia said the best thing to me: ‘You have to listen, and you have to find the candy.’ And that’s what I try to do—find music that’s special, that can take you to a different space.”