The vast majority of folks would likely not know much about the vogue/ballroom music scene, save for a vague remembrance of Madonna in a pointy bra on MTV nearly 30 years ago. The majority of people would be missing out on one of the most dynamic contributions to the American music and dance landscape. Guess what Newark!? We’ve got one of the foremost DJs of the culture right in our back yard in DJ Mike Q. Mike Q is a NJ native whose souped up mixes that include house, hip hop, and of course his staple vogue/ballroom keep asses bouncing and ballrooms on fire. We sat down with Mike Q a while back to talk about Jersey, music, and culture just as he was set to move the crowd at this years AfroPunk Festival.
GN: How did you come up with your stage name?
Mike Q: It actually was my aol SN, it was MikeQ7000 with Q 7000 meaning nothing at at… I drop the 7000 and boom. Stage name lol….
GN: Where in Jersey are you from?
Mike Q: I was born in Hackensack Then Moved to East Orange at the age of 4 and I’ve been here ever since.
GN: How did you come to DJing and Producing. How long have you been doing it? Where has your career taken you?
Mike Q: Well it was never something I wanted to do I must say. Never had my mind on it. I started producing in 2004 shortly after being exposed to ballroom culture. I was just making my beats and deejaying came maybe a year after that. So close to 10yrs (wow for me just noticing that) Blessed as I am with this my DJ career has taken me places around the globe in various countries I never expected to go to its also gotten me noticed by a few celebrities and I’ve gained a great magnitude of amazing friends and supporters.
GN: Who/What are your musical influences
Mike Q: My main music influences was basically the vogue dancing itself and the sound that ballroom music gave which was so different as well as a lot of house music, jersey club and some djs.
GN: What are your feelings about the Newark/NJ music scene
Mike Q: Well I can always remember growing up to basically what was house or jersey club music. Especially jersey club you cannot be a teenager in NJ and not have that as a staple in your life somehow. I can remember always wanting to be apart of Brick Bandits Crew before I knew that I was different and had a totally different thing going on.
GN: What do you feel you contribute/would like to contribute
Mike Q: I would just like to leave my mark as someone who started and is from the area and was able to be different and make it up and see the world. I’m not sure how much of a mark the music can make outside of the LGBT scene. But any mark is a good one.
GN: What’s next for you?
Mike Q: I’m off to Europe again for another tour. And back home to get in the studio and just keep doing what I do.
And Mike Q definitely does what he does. Check out this set featuring Kevin JZ Prodigy at New York’s Boiler Room to see exactly what I’m talkin’ about …. WWEEEERRRRRK!
Like Mike Q on Facebook here …
Follow him on Sound Cloud and blow your back out … here