SuperCity: Lucky No. 8 for Soulgasm
BY CHRISTA WITTMIER / Special to the Star-Advertiser
For as long as I’ve known about Lyanne Brooks’ Soulgasm party, I knew there was a safe haven tucked away where all I needed to do was show up and my heart would be full of love — and my feet would be moving.
House music, dancing and smiles. That’s just about it; these are things that seem very simple, yet go beyond the norm in Honolulu nightlife.
SOULGASM 8-YEAR ANNIVERSARY
With special guest Brian Coxx
» Where: Bar 35, 35 N. Hotel St.
I had a chance to speak with Brooks, 41, via email about the party’s eight-year anniversary. It’s a very lucky number and also a very long time for a party to last in this town. Congratulations!
HONOLULU STAR-ADVERTISER: Where did you go to School?
LYANNE BROOKS: Princess Kaiulani (was the) elementary school where I first started dancing at recess in the ’80s.
SA: When did you get in to dance and why?
LB: I’ve always moved to music and all kinds of music, I loved it all. But the first times I remember learning actual dance moves were as a youngster dancing with my Polynesian friends in the ’80s to funk, soul, electro, and early hip-hop music.
SA:Can you tell me where the first Soulgasm was?
LB: Lotus Soundbar in Waikiki as a Wednesday night weekly.
SA:What is your advice on keeping a party going for eight years?
LB: Personally, I believe being part of the scene and a contributor to it is what gave me a solid base to work from. It helps to understand that we are all a part of what makes things happen as a participant or an organizer, that there’s a relationship.
Some key things in keeping a party is doing good business, be willing to sacrifice your time and energy, dedication to hard work, consistency and quality of service. What you share is something you can always stand by and something people will feel besides just you and your crew, especially if you find that you’re not about following the trends. There’s a delicate balance.
If you have something different to offer you also want to keep in mind that it has nothing to do with being the biggest party or the baddest or that everyone should be in to what you’re doing. People will come and go, some will stay, whatever it is, after the event is over, what will people say about your event? Was it something worthwhile for you and them? If so, then you may have something special to keep on.
SA:What are some memorable moments at Soulgasm?
LB: A concert with Nadirah Shakoor. Having live house music sounded amazing with Nadirah’s pitch perfect vocals. Also being asked to choreograph the concert was awesome and I enjoyed doing this one number running off the stage while my partner flipped into the crowd while making the audience part of the setting was a highlight of that night as well. The crowd was screaming and feeling it heavy, it was so moving.
Every time DJ FLX came to play has always been amazing! He conjures up these deep ancestral vibes that you’ll see in the dance floor. He’s one of my top choices for DJs worldwide!
What I cherish each month the most is working with my crew, seeing my awesome friends, the hardcore Soulgasm heads, and new faces smiling and being moved by the music.
SA: Who is the special guest for the anniversary party this year?
LB: The featured guest is “The Wizard” Brian Coxx from Soulgasm NYC. He’s an amazing DJ and producer. He’s one of those that I appreciate as a music lover, dancer and a house head. I would love to see all the DJs in Hawaii come to hear him and be open to learning. He will play it all in a set and can make it whatever you want; for me that’s what makes a great DJ.
Also, all the residents will be playing from disco with Gnaraly, more classics to straight house with Yuji, the super soulful Kentaro and the funkdafied veteran DJs Min One and Matt Kee.
SA:Where are some of your favorite places to hang out in Hawaii?
LB: Bevy, Nextdoor, Downbeat and some cool little hole-in-the-walls.
SA: What are some key elements that make a great venue for your party?
LB: Good business with the venue, that is a must. Support from the venue helps too. Venue must also have decent sound and being open to your suggestions and/or support to their system.
SA:If money was no issue who would your dream lineup be for Soulgasm’s 10-year anniversary?
LB: If money was no issue, I’d have three parties, starting with a day party then peak night into afterhours with Stevie Wonder, DJ Spinna, then Bodhisatva, Osunlade with vocals by Oveous, Nadirah Shakoor into Karizma, then finally Louie Vega and Tony Humphries til the end.
However, I will gladly take Nadirah live in concert for the 10-year! Maybe have Brian return alongside Ejoe Wilson to DJ and do a dance showcase, and DJ FLX too!
SA: Anyone else you want to mention?
LB: You, Christa for always being so giving and supportive of our scene and the people in it. Having coverage of our scene has helped so much in keeping it fresh, moving and alive!
My crew Kimberly Seko, Gnaraly, Liz Miller, Yuji, Matt Kee, Min One, Kentaro, Rayne. George and the staff at Bar 35, Timo and Christian at Bevy, Darren and Willis at Asylum, Daniel Gray at Nextdoor, Paul Shih (Lotus Soundbar), Photocyclone, all the guest artists, DJs, vocalists, dancers that have come through.
My friends who have inspired me Shane, FLX, Eddie, Josiah, Ejoe, Brian Coxx, Redness, Nadirah, Terry, Naz and all those who came and/or come to dance with me at Housing Project 360. Everyone who has ever helped Soulgasm from then til now and those who come to the event! Your love is what keeps this alive and healthy. I can’t thank you enough for giving me something to look forward to and cherish in my life every month!
Christa Wittmier has chronicled Honolulu nightlife since 2004. She is senior marketing director at Young’s Market Co. of Hawaii, plays music as DJ SuperCW, is a tech columnist for Metro Honolulu and co-produces the popular Bacardi Pool Party on Oahu. Contact her via e-mail or follow her on Twitter.