By Les Poppeurs
Bouncing straight out of Paris’ burgeoning ballroom scene, the utterly fabulous Betty joins us for a French Christmas Special at the very next Les Poppeurs! She’s quickly taking over the city of light and becoming a name to know around nightclubs, ballrooms and even on the radio. We caught up with her ahead of the party to find out more…
Oh hello Betty! Please introduce yourself to the glorious readers and dancers of Dalston Superstore.
Hello! I’m Betty and I am a DJ from Paris. I throw a party called Bonus Stage in both Paris and in London, I do a bimonthly radio show on Rinse France, I’m a resident of the DJ streaming show Overdrive Infinity and I’m also part of the House of Mizrahi and I regularly DJ at their vogue balls.
You mention that you throw a party in London called Bonus Stage. What is it about London’s music and nightlife scene that you find so compelling, and what do you find are the big differences between going out in Paris and going out in London?
I am fascinated by a large spectrum of electronic music and there’s an important part of it that finds its roots in the UK, and a lot of DJs and producers I look up to are from here. It feels like there’s often a lot of exciting stuff happening in London. I love the energy there; when I’m in a club in London I feel at home. I came two years ago to play Just Jam and I met a lot of people I feel such a strong connection with. So yeah, I throw my Bonus Stage party at the Miranda Bar in the basement of the Ace Hotel in Shoreditch. It’s every once in a while and it’s been really fun so far.
Not to give away your whole set or anything, but what’s something that eager dancers can expect from you at Les Poppeurs?
I’m really looking forward to playing Les Poppeurs on the 19th and to party at Dalston Superstore for the first time. I can’t really tell what I’m gonna play yet, but my mixes can give you a taste of what I do though…
Both yourself and Kiddy Smile (who will be joining you at Les Poppeurs on the 19th) have been major elements in the voguing and ballroom scenes in Paris. What inspired you to get involved in that particular scene?
It was actually Kiddy and Mother Stephie Mizrahi that came up to me at a party and asked me to be the DJ for their House. Stephie had seen me play earlier, heard ballroom amongst many other things and thought it could be nice to have me integrated into the family. She insisted on the family aspect of this commitment; it made me realise how supportive the members of a house are towards each other.
You’re taking us for a fabulous and quintessentially Parisian night out. Where would we drink? Would we eat? Where would we go dancing? Would there be after-hours?
If it was a Friday night I’d take you to the Overdrive Infinity shoot to have a beer with a bunch of my friends while enjoying the show, then we’d go to Le Cherche-Midi which probably is the best Italian restaurant in Paris, after that we’d go to La Java which is where I throw Bonus Stage. It’s a very old and charming club, super French and a bit nasty, drinks are cheap and we can go till morning.
If you could sum up the current sound of the French underground in one track, what track would it be and why?
Fortunately I don’t think it’s possible to sum up the current sound of the French underground in just one track but I can share this track called Karidja from my friend Doline, who is also one of my favourite French producers at the moment.
You are very adept at leaping from genre to genre in your DJ sets. How did your taste develop so eclectically? What’s the most recent thing you’ve heard that you’ve really fallen in love with?
Thank you. I know it’s all too easy when you’re a DJ to stick to a particular genre or sound so you can be easily identifiable, but I like a large range of music and most of the time it makes sense to me to build bridges between my influences. I get easily bored so I want my sets to be rich and surprising. One thing I’m really into is what Loom is doing at the moment; his next EP on Gobstopper is big.
Since it’s practically next year already, what can the world expect from Betty in 2016? More parties, more DJing, perhaps original music…?
I’ve been working with some of the dancers from my House on a show that showcases the different categories of dance represented in the ballroom culture. We performed for the first time at the Badaboum in Paris recently and we’re gonna try to develop this further in the next few months. I also wanna make Bonus Stage grow and bring the party to new cities. Hopefully you’ll be able to hear my own music in 2016 too.
And finally, if you had a time machine and could go dancing anwhere/anywhen, where would you want to go?
I’d go back to June 26th 1988 to attend Michael Jackson’s concert at Parc des Princes. Bad Tour is my favourite!
Join Betty for Les Poppeurs on Saturday 19th December at Dalston Superstore from 9pm to 3am.