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DJ Harry Gay on Queer House Party: ‘Our crowd is loving, hedonistic, and at times unhinged’

DJ Harry Gay catches up with Attitude as he brings Queer House Party to Kinky Trade this weekend

By Charlotte Manning

Harry Gay
DJ Harry Gay tells us all about his inspirations over the years (Image: Courteney Frisby)

Harry Gay has recently been named by Hunger Magazine as a breakthrough creative of 2023 and is pretty busy this year, with no sign of things slowing down. 

As the founder and co-director of London-based DJ collective Queer House Party, Harry leads a new wave of London dance-floor revolutionaries. 

He’s is fresh off an arena tour supporting Years and Years, and can be found throwing parties at major festivals and sold-out venues both across the country and internationally. 

Harry has recently launched PASSIONS, a high energy hard dance party alongside Ms.G. Expect a rowdy blend of hard house, filthy bootlegs, and slaggy bangers.

In a chat with Attitude, he tells us about his main influences, his go-to tracks and exactly what it takes to make a hot remix. 

Harry Gay
Harry remembers listening to Ibiza Anthems and Ministry of Sound in the car as a kid (Picture: Harry Gay)

How would you describe your sound?

Harry Gay: Genre-bending queer-thumping chaos, taking you through a blend of hard house, campy techno, nostalgic pop, bass-fuelled acid, and heavy breaks. I love to mix new sounds with rave classics. I add a few ridiculous edits thrown in to keep people on their toes.

Which DJs have influenced you most?

When I started Queer House Party, it was alongside my good friends and DJs, Passer and Watcha. Being able to grow and take on the club and festival circuit together with our own distinct sounds has been really special. There’s a new generation of predominantly working class, queer, and no f**ks given DJs who don’t subscribe to outdated techno-bro rules. I’m on the up with them: Areola Grande Latte, Victoria Peckham, Spinks, Ms.G, Thempress, Rita Lin and Aunty Nora, to name a few. We all learn from and support each other. I’m influenced and inspired by these legends most days! In the words of queer rave UOKHUN?! the future is “a middle finger to pretentious clubbing culture” – it’s hot, heavy, and very camp.

Which track are you loving right now?

‘Get Crackin’ by JKS. It’s a ‘Bucky Done Gun’ MIA techno edit on a Raw Compilation, and I can’t get enough. It has everything I need – nostalgic 00s vocals, hard-driving techno kicks, an acid bassline, and breaks. The track is a journey that switches between heavier industrial sounds and lighter vocal-based sections.

Which record introduced you to dance music?

My dad would play Ibiza Anthems and Ministry of Sound complications during long car journeys when I was a kid. It definitely sparked my interest. When I hit the clubs in London from a young age, that’s where it really began. Soaking in the music from the gay bars and queer clubs, Sink the Pink, Handsome, The Joiners Arms, East Bloc, and Dalston Superstore, are a few nights and venues that were on rotation in those early days. 

The dance record that changed your life?

212 – Azealia Banks. This song will forever be the moment. Happy to fight about it.

Which song in your DJ catalogue is your secret weapon?

Anything by the godfather of Hard House – Tony De Vit. His remix of ‘U Found Out’ in particular, never fails. It’s instant serotonin.

What’s the go-to club to DJ at for the energy?

Queer House Party, of course! Our crowd is loving, hedonistic, and at times unhinged. The people who come through the doors make the club, and the energy from our community is unmatched. Our resident hosts, Liv Wynter and Taali Not Charlie, do an incredible job of getting the crowd going, and it gets WILD. It’s a testament to the work that goes into producing our events, and I’m forever grateful for the queer joy and chaos that takes place on the QHP dancefloor.

Who would be your dream person to DJ with?

There are so many – Eats Everything, Meg Ward, UNIIQU3, Dance System, Sherelle and I. JORDAN are all up there!

Name an up-and-coming or underrated DJ we should look out for

2 Girls 1 Tuck are a trans DJ duo born in the basement of Dalston Superstore. They’re made up of Dragme2Elle and Karlie Marx. I’ve seen them play a few times now, and the talent is unrivalled. We’re talking Hi NRG, speed garage, donk and 160bpm self-produced edits. Get to know!

Which ‘guilty pleasure’ song would you love to play at a party but never would?

There’s nothing that I wouldn’t play at the club – if it slaps, it needs to be shared. I’m a big fan of a trashy mashup: The Satisfaction of Being a Sick Bitch – LCDXOXO x River Moon x Benny Benassi and Vengawap – Vengaboys x Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion are my top two. No more guilt, just pleasure! Play what you love, even if it’s ridiculous. 

What’s your starting point when looking for new music?

I don’t limit myself to one platform, style, or genre. A SoundCloud deep dive is a great place for edits; Spotify radio’s a great way to find more of what you love, and their tailored playlists by producers and DJs are always good too. Bandcamp is a solid platform for making sure your favourite artists and producers get paid for their work! Going out and seeing others play is probably the best way to get inspired. Sometimes you need to get creative about what should be played in the club as there’s so much music that I overlook, and then try it out, and it works. I never thought I would hear Bjork’s Hyperballad in the club until Saoirse played it at Homobloc, and it was life-changing.

What makes a hot remix?

Take the song and flip it completely. Bring your own energy into the track – which, for me, is hot, heavy, and hard.

Which dance record represents your outlook on life?

Gotta Let You Go – Dominica 

Kinky Trade is on Bank Holiday Sunday, 30 April, 6pm until super late at EGG London, 5-13 Vale Royal, Kings Cross, London, N7 9AP.