POWER OF LOVE: LINK UP AT DESERT GOLD
Desert Gold, our righteous ritual beneath the mountain returns for a double weekender of holy chaos, sunbathed sound and glorious poolside parties. This year we’ve invited in a days-long list of legends and surprise stars to fill our cups with ethereal infinity. Enter LINK UP, the joyous day party born by the Pandemic as an outdoor, inclusive and safe space founded by DJ and Soulection creative force, Andre Power. In advance of the ecstatic, sun-drenched communion, Andre digs into his Philly roots, inciting dance parties on a global scale and what drives him from, building a positive and loving community to Boyz II Men.
You seem to find inspiration across many artistic mediums, with the through-line being community. What drives you to keep building and innovating across culture?
Community is the thing that has pushed me to work hard in this industry. I’ve noticed how important it is for people to be a part of something positive and helping individuals find that is beautiful to me. Another driving force in my career is inspiring young men, especially young black men, that anything and everything is possible.
As someone who travels the globe, from London to India to LA, animating spaces and people providing an outlet for release and joy — is there one thing that you feel unites the various cultures you engage?
There are a couple things that unite the cultures I engage. The first thing is the ‘want and need’ for positive and loving community these days. There is so much negativity in the world and we consume so much bad news throughout the day, everyone is constantly searching to find their peace and that peace comes in the form of these loving and inclusive communities I’ve spent years building. The other thing that unites the cultures, is the love for music.
What was the first record you bought OR first track that you can remember really hitting you?
I was raised on a lot of soul, r&b and Motown sounds with my hometown being Philadelphia, so those sounds have always had a special connection to me. The first album I asked for as a kid was Boyz II Men “II” album.
Majority of the album hit the billboard charts but I remember being connected to the song “Water Runs Dry” the most. Being an adult now and looking back at that time, it’s amazing how this music still connected to me without having any knowledge or experience in the content and the songs, but to me that good and timeless music.
You’re about to kick off Desert Gold weekend one at Ace in Palm Springs. When you think about building a set, does place inspire the tracks you’re selecting?
Absolutely. The setting, location, country and region all play a factor in the set you will hear from me. My influence and music background is so broad and diverse, so each place I perform you get a piece of me, but also a piece of the music and culture that connects me to that place. When it comes to a setting like Ace Hotel and Swim Club in Palm Springs, expect to hear upbeat, funky, electronic sounds with a 80’s/90’s bounce but also some classic,good and fun dance music.
Would love to hear about what inspired you to launch LINK UP.
Starting LINK UP was inspired by bringing people together after such a difficult time, Covid-19 pandemic. I started LINK UP at a small venue in my neighborhood solely for people to reconnect in person, listen to good music, dance like they’ve never danced before and sip natural wine while doing it.
3 TRACKS THAT INSPIRE YOU?
The first song that comes to mind is “Wake Up Everybody” by Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes. Not only is this another artist from Philadelphia, but it’s one of the most uplifting songs of our time. It’s also the first physical vinyl my late grandfather gave to me when I told him I was becoming a DJ.
The second song that inspires me is “Gypsy Woman (She’s Homeless)” by Crystal Waters & Basement Boys because an uncle of mine is actually a member of The Basement Boys. This song has to be one of the most popular house music songs of all time, and it’s inspiring to know that it will continue to stand the test of time.
My last song, “In the Waiting Line” by Zero 7, isn’t only inspiring but it’s one of my favorite songs for many reasons. It reminds of the time when I first moved to California from the East Coast, and how the canvas was just a blank white canvas, and the possibilities were endless for what I wanted my life to be from that moment. That move to San Diego was tough but it was really the beginning of my adult life and also my creative life, and Zero 7 was the soundtrack for that time. The song is also used in the film Garden State, which is a great film, but I also connect with the film in many ways.
** Feature image of Andre Power DJing at Dreamville Festival in North Carolina. Photo by Virisa Yong courtesy of LINK UP
Ace Hotel New Orleans | April 27, 2023
PLANETS ALIGN: SIX OF SATURNS WITH TEEDRA MOSES & THE ARTIST JADE
Six of Saturns is our annual ode to the sounds, visions and fabled collaborative spirit of the Crescent City. For two weeks during the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival we gather to revel in the beats of the bayou, its musical legacy and commune with stage legends + artists of every feather. No two artists could be more reflective of this spirit than Nola born Teedra Moses and The Artist Jade who share the stage on SoS’s inaugural weekend.
Ace Hotel New Orleans | February 23, 2023
WILDS OF THE INTERIOR: A conversation with phlegm
A conversation with phlegm, a New Orleans born and based artist who works in face painting and self portraiture. He is inspired by Black cultural tone from across the diaspora; pulling inspiration from the Black Masking Indians of New Orleans, the Dogon of Mali, the Fulani of Nigeria, and the Zouli dance of Ivory Coast.wilds of the interior is a collection of work that aims to answer his question, “what parts of myself are hidden to me?”.