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Stud1nt Becomes Teacher

stud1nt is a Queens-born DJ whose hypnotic club tracks that cover a broad range of disciplines result from their classical jazz piano and guitar training combined with an enthusiasm and attentiveness across a multitude of musical genres. As a member of Discwoman and queer art collective KUNQ, stud1nt is a rising force in the New York club scene, and their next stop is headlining Zone One at Elsewhere on December 1. After traveling to Berlin, Lisbon, and São Miguel island in the Azores of Portugal, stud1nt has shared some of the tracks that keep them going around the world and on long airport security lines.

1) Loui$ – Pink Footpath

Are there significant club music scenes in Lisbon and São Miguel? How do they compare to New York?

I didn’t get a chance to explore music in São Miguel, but I went to the Príncipe Discos’s night called Noite PRÍNCIPE at Musicbox in Lisbon. I’ve been a long time fan of the label. Their music sits at the intersection of house, techno, kuduro, kizmbo, tarrachinha. It’s the sound of a euphoric fever. The music and energy in the room was absurdly good. I was lucky enough to catch Nídia, who I’ve wanted to see live for a minute, and she dominated!

2) Kelela – Bluff

From the perspective of a New York-based DJ, what stood out to you most about the Berlin club scene?

Serious funding for the arts and music from the government. Attention to detail within club spaces. Commitment from the crowd to come out to a show, rain or shine, day or night, to fucking dance for hours, even days. It just felt like the music, the labor of artists, and the catharsis provided by artistic spaces isn’t taken for granted.

3) Luke Vibert – Spiral Staircase (AFX remix)

You included one song by reggae/soul artist Sonya Spence from the ’80s. Do songs like this influence your music, and how do you incorporate them?

They definitely inspire my own productions and the way I think about making people dance. I love infectious, groovy bass lines whether it’s in pop, soul, electronic because they emphasize how much music is a feeling, a vibe, a frequency. I’m also so inspired by the power of vocalists to realize a track more fully. The production of “Let Love Flow On” alone is so lovely but Spence’s vocals give it that extra sweetness and edge that another instrument couldn’t. I’m way more intrigued by the interplay of warm melodies and harmonies than super crisp, atonal, 3D-esque, digital sounds.

4) Sonya Spence – Let Love Flow On

What drew you to the Gateway Experience?

Truthfully, I came across it randomly thanks to YouTube’s amazing algorithms! I have way too many playlists I put together based on genre or feeling. I think “Twin Freaks” was suggested based on a techno playlist I made. I love the music of Twin Peaks which this track samples. It’s dark, nostalgic, and very musical. It’s the perfect surprise when the thudding drums cut out and you’re washed over with this ethereal presence that comes out of nowhere. Sometimes I get bored with techno if it’s not sonically dynamic and this track is just the opposite of static.

5) The Gateway Experience – Twin Freaks (Original Mix)

Kelela’s new album was among the best albums of 2017. As the year comes to a close, what are some of your other favorite releases from this year?

Jlin’s Black Origami, SZA’s CTRL, Moses Sumney’s Aromanticisism, Arca’s Arca, and YATTA’s Spirit Said Yes!

Interview by Natalia Barr

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