Joey LaBeija [CuntMafia/NYC] interview
One of the very first people to reach out to CVNT (or Cunt Traxx as it was just called back then), with some very kind words about the music, was Joey LaBeija. It was only right that I returned the love by interviewing Joey first for an ongoing series covering upcoming legends. She really is from the House Of Labeija, bitch, and she’s as talented with a set of CDJs as she is with a weave or a dip dye.
How is the ballroom/vogue scene in New York right now for you?
The ballroom scene here is really cute. Much respect to everyone involved with Vogue Knights, they really give the children a place to call home. But personally, that isn’t my scene. I joined the House of LaBeija to dj in the name and bring ballroom culture to the underground/warehouse scene that I am involved in. These parties have a VERY mixed crowd and I am usually the only dj that plays vogue beats. Usually, after the first 8 bars of my opening song, a circle opens up, the cunts come out of the woodwork & start dipping. I get such a high from watching them go off.
How did you get into DJing in the first place?
My whole life, I have always sought out some creative outlet. In high school I used to charge kids $50 to distress their jeans. Then I started charging my girlfriends to glue their weaves in. That turned into me going to beauty school and I’ve been doing hair ever since. Once hair became a job for me, I felt uninspired and stagnant so I started making tee shirts with my best friend. That turned into a bit of a success for us, and a consultant friend suggested we grew our brand by throwing parties or learning to dj . A lightbulb went off in my head when he said that because music has always been a huge part of my life and making shirts was getting a bit too expensive. So I bought some equipment and taught myself to dj in my bedroom.
What’s the best place you’ve ever DJed at?
The BEST party I have ever played is a monthly warehouse party in Brooklyn thrown my good friend and sagittarius sister Contessa. Nightlife in New York is so segregated; parties are either gay or straight, house or hip hop. The CuntMafia Warehouse is the only party where all the children harmoniously coexist— blacks, whites, gays, straights, hood rats and hipsters. I really discovered my ‘sound’ through this party, experimenting with music and making sure I play a set that EVERYONE can twerk to. I love Contessa so much for giving us all a place to come together, get wild, and make history.
And the worst?
Now I’m not lying when I say I have never played a bad party here in New York. BUT I will say I have worked for some really TERRIBLE promoters here :)
How did you get inducted into the House of LaBeija?
One day I was talking to my friend (now sister) Jamil about wanting to join a house. We had known each other for a while from the club scene here and started to grow close when I found out he lived just a few blocks away from me. A few weeks after our convo, he and my other sister Celso told me they talked with the Royal Members of the House of LaBeija and that I was going to be inducted the following week. My induction was done on stage in front of a club full of people after the house did a performance. It was the most magical moment in my life.
What are your all time top 3 tracks?
Big Momma Thang by Lil Kim
Back That Azz Up by Juvenile
Knuck If You Buck by Crime Mob
And what’s your current top 3?
The acapella version of Body Party by Ciara is currently on repeat 24/7 for me right now.
No Tea by Pipes
Bubloy by Rizzla & False Witness
What is your favourite hairdo you’ve ever had?
My favorite is my current hair. It’s always some sort of rainbow. I owe my best bud Jenna, I give her free reign to do whatever on my hair and she ALWAYS turns me out. It’s the only thing that makes me feel cunt every day.
And what is the worst?
I used to have this platinum blonde pompadour when I was 18. I also was really into wearing these bright red Sally Jesse Rafael-esque eyeglasses at the time. That whole look was a mess. I wish I could take it all back but I can’t….so instead, I deleted every picture off Facebook.
What’s coming up in the near future for Joey La’Beija?
Right now I am also working with Contessa on making the CuntMafia Warehouse into an even bigger production than what it already has been. Bigger warehouses, new talent, sponsors THE WHOLE NINE YARDS DARLINGGGG. We want to take all the resident dj’s and bring this party around the world. I’m also in the works of planning a European tour in September right now. First stop is most definitely going to be London! See you then?