It won't be long before promoter and party host Mark-Ashley Dupé is running everything round these parts so we thought we'd catch up with him about his myriad of projects he's got on the go sooner rather than later. In addition to being a host at mega-popular nights This Is Circus and Room Service, he also runs The Bloc Party, Dupés Den (part of fabulous night SOS) and Hectic here at Superstore along with Tom Stephan and now has started a new online venture called DD.TV...
You’re a promoter and a party host- what other strings do you have to your bow??
I am an entertainer by nature. I like to try and take every opportunity to express myself creatively, but dancing is what I feel I'm able to do that the best! I danced in Boy George's music video Turn To Dust at the end of last year! That was a lot fun and reminded me how much I missed dancing professionally!
How and when did you make the transition from host to promoter?
I started hosting at Jim Warboy's night SOS at East Bloc last July. He gave me Room 2 to take control of and put my own mark on. I was able to choose the name (Dupés Den), the sound and DJs! Jim was basically my mentor and I was able to co promote alongside him, which was scary because I had never done this before and was learning as time went by. But the reward was watching everyone cramming into this small room because they not only loved the music, but wanted to be part of the atmosphere, which is like no other!! Dupés Den blew up so quickly that I had to learn quickly or get swallowed up by it all! In November last year Wayne Shires from East Bloc approached me about putting on a charity benefit for World Aids Day with Tom Stephan and that was when The Bloc Party was born, then a couple weeks later did my very own night called Clique 15 at Dalston Superstore which lead to them approaching me about doing something again. At the same time Tom Stephan had just finished doing Meat and I love his music so we teamed up and everything got a bit HECTIC!
With about four nights you’re promoting on the go, how do you ensure they’re all suitably distinctive?
Because they all have different vibes, but all the vibes are addictive ones… Dupés Den at SOS is part of a night which draws in a really eclectic crowd because it’s a Warboy event, so everything he does is always out of the box, maybe sometimes even perceived as odd or taboo, but always ahead of trend. Now we have three rooms, playing three different types of music to three different crowds, but as the night goes on you have this colourful mash up of old, young, ghetto, eccentric individuals all shacking out together to good music! The Bloc Party was an expansion of Dupés Den, everybody wanted more space, so the The Bloc Party flips the normal set up and puts the more urban sound in the main room and making the house like a boutique room in the back… Every Sunday I get a different crowd alongside my trusted regulars, but everybody leaves happy because the music is good and the atmosphere is attitude free, and we are all like a family from staff down to clubber, which is most important!
Tell us about how Hectic came about…
Dan Beaumont and Mikki Most had approached me last year about doing an event at Dalston Superstore and Tom had already approached me about starting a new project with him, so we teamed up together as we knew that the end result could only be one Hectic Party! Dirty tribal house beats downstairs and the baddest of R&B, UK funky and bashment upstairs! We wanted it to be fun, intense and care free! Just come and get sweaty to good music!
What’s it like working with Tom Stephan?
I love working with Tom. He is so relaxed. For someone with his level of success as a DJ and producer, I feel he is very down to earth and humble. I haven't known him for that long, but have got close quite quickly, he always seems to see things so rationally, which is always best in an environment which sometimes can be quite fickle.
Superchumbo (aka Tom Stephan) - Fire
What’s your top tip to throwing an amazing party?
You got to love the sound of your party and get involved!! Don't separate yourself from the people that have come to invest their time and energy into your event! Dance with them, talk to them and show them that you are having just as good a time as they are… it’s a party! It’s supposed to be fun!!
What do you look for in a night from a clubber’s perspective?
I want to be able to wear my own clothes, style and attitude without feeling like I have to conform or rebel, I just wanna have a good shack out with my friends!
Can you explain about the origins of Dupé’s Den and subsequently DD TV?
Well Dupé is my surname and I always wanted my own little den where I could go and dance to my favourite tunes in an attitude free environment, so when Jim Warboy gave me to opportunity to run Room 2 at East Bloc, Dupés Den was born, a safe haven for young people to come and express themselves (whether they are gay or straight) whilst listening to music that makes you want to just keep dancing till you have no choice but to leave, either from exhaustion or time was up!!
DD.TV started when I started making short videos with pictures, video clips and information about previous and up coming events! I thought it would be a good way of promoting Dupés Den originally, then it got loads of hits and people started to ask me about it. Its still in working progress as it’s a one-man team, so I do what I can when I can!
Where do you plan to take DD TV?
Well it’s based around informing everyone about what is going on in club land! Interviewing promoters, DJs, host and other public figures relevant to a diverse polysexual culture in 2012. I would love to eventually become as successful as SB.TV, but I'm happy at the moment just kind of doing it for the benefit of showing a true raw representation of how colourful and creative the gay scene is at the moment without having to conform to old stereotypes of what it "means to be gay".
What are your plans for world domination (or at the very least London domination)?
Haha!! To keep smiling and keep London dancing to proper feel-good music!
Mark-Ashley's night with Tom Stephan, Hectic, returns to Dalston Superstore on Saturday 31st March from 9pm - 3am