Remix! Slo' Mo: Slow Jams for Homos will celebrate Pride on the South Side with "Paradise at Promontory" on Friday, June 19.
Slo 'Mo, the award-winning dance party, has been grooving to R&B classics for four years. With its residency at Logan Square's The Whistler, dancing queens can attend the party on the third Thursday of every month. The Slo 'Mo family also hosts other events around the city for those who cannot make it out during the later hours.
"Slo 'Mo is more than just music," said Slo 'Mo Creator and Paradise party host/producer Kristen Kaza. "It's also about a feeling and the feeling is of positivity. R&B music is very nostalgic. A lot of people who come to the party grew up with it, so you know all the lyrics, you want to sing all the lyrics, you feel good when you're singing them and you're with other people who are singing along with you and then you see the DJs singing too, you can't not feel good in that moment. That's something that we're trying to constantly recreate, but in this organic way and as a community knowing that it's not just about us, it's also about the people."
A few years ago, Kaza was riding her bike one warm summer evening when she was inspired to create Slo 'Mo. As she listened to Janet Jackson's "That's the Way Love Goes," she felt a void and realized there were no parties that played similar songs of which she was passionate about. Wishing there was a more grown-up, sexy and classy space where she could go with other like-minded, queer women, the idea of Slo 'Mo came to fruition. Over the years she brought on DJs Tess and Audio Jack to help keep the party's sound going.
"The mission with Slo 'Mo is to bring people together for a really radically positive and inclusive environment that's centered around R&B," said Kaza, also the principal event producer of No Small Plans Productions. "The party itself has an incredibly positive and welcoming tone to it, so it is definitely a party that provides a platform for folks in the LGBT community and particularly for queer women, but everyone is welcome and I think most people always feel very welcome when they are there."
The idea for Paradise came from the energy at another Slo 'Mo event. This time, the party plays with Pride. Slo 'Mo welcomes all identities with a love for R&B music, but mainly draws in a queer female crowd.
"I think people understand that it's an environment that is mostly women and mostly women who identity as lesbian, or bisexual, or queer and it's pretty awesome to have that because we don't have a lot of spaces out there where we get to be the majority," Kaza said. "I think especially now we have the very few lesbian bars that even did exist are really shuddering all across the country and as we approached this season of Pride, most Pride events are on the Northside and most pride events are really catering to a straight and gay male community. They're not really deeply considering what queer women want or how they like to gather and so I think that's part of what makes a lot of women feel really good about coming into the Slo 'Mo environment and also why we wanted to do something on the Southside because the Northside is really where people think to go to for Pride and we have so many other amazing spaces, and neighborhoods and communities in this city."
At Paradise, like other Slo'Mo events, party-goers will hear music from the '70s, '80s and '90s. Song by Anita Baker, Sade, D'Angelo, Beyonce, Whitney Houston, Mary J. Blige and many other well-known artists will fill the room. The musical talent goes on blast this time, as the live band and guest performers, including JC Brooks and Rapper Chicks, cover the favorites, while DJ Tess and Audio Jack spin the Slo 'Mo style dance party into the night.
"For me, when I was just a partier, just a guest at the party, it was a good place to see a lot of friends that I considered good friends that I didn't see all the time," Audio Jack said. "I described it like hanging out with your buddies on Saturday or Sunday football, but this is like we're going out. It became a great place to catch up with friends and dance and bond over music."
The venue has the capacity to hold a couple hundred guests. Audio Jack compared the experience of Slo 'Mo party to having a dance party in your living room.
"This paradise party is like Slo 'Mo on a much larger scale and with a full live entertainment," said Kaza. "I think the fact that we have female DJs, that presence and energy is really incredible, it's a very male-dominated space gay or straight in terms of that industry and both DJs have such an incredible presence on stage and amazing call and response between the audience that is really passionate about the music and the DJs are [too]. They have this moment they share together and I think when you walk into the room you're like 'this feels so awesome and it feels really good.'"
For more information and to purchase tickets, visit www.slomoparty.com/ and www.facebook.com/events/1467371283554749/ .