Listen To Ladyfag's Summer of Pride Mix Ahead of LadyLand Festival & U.S. World Pride 2019
Previously hailed as a club "sorceress" by the NYT and the "reigning queen of nightlife" by Vogue, Toronto-born, New York-based event producer Ladyfag has built a career as a party master. Over the past decade, the impresario (née Rayne Baron) has dazzled with repeat curated LGBTQ soirées across the 212 like Holy Mountain, Battle Hymn, 11:11 and Shade.
After producing last year's first-ever LadyLand Festival in Bushwick, she's turned her full attention to conquering the festival space. Then described by Billboard as "equal parts Coachella, Berlin nightclub, and queer warehouse rave," the first LadyLand spin featured sets by Kim Petras, Tommy Genesis, CupcakKe, SOPHIE and more. "This is punk rock," she told the rain-drenched crowd in between sets. "This is what New York fucking City was about, and still is about!"
The second annual LadyLand bash will return to Brooklyn Mirage this weekend (June 28-29) as part of the first-ever U.S. World Pride 2019 with a Ladyfag-curated lineup that boasts "drag icons, house musicians, performance artists and emcees," and includes sets by Gossip, Honey Dijon, Pussy Riot, Mykki Blanco, Allie X, Yves Tumor and more.
To help kick off the festivities, the queer icon curated a Pride-themed mix exclusively for Billboard. “I'm a big fan of celebrations no matter what they are, from Valentine's Day to Christmas to Chanukah to National Ice Cream Day!” she says. “Each June I wish everyone - even telemarketers that try to call me - happy Pride!” The festival has brought the event producer “so much joy” over the past year since its inception. “The first one was such a special moment I want to have it all the time. In a way I do, since I spent all year knowing that I was planning another & listening to so many new artists with a different ear.”
For the nightlife guru, music is a “visceral” experience. “It can take you back to so many moments of love, and heartbreak, and of Pride's past,” she explains. “Obviously there are many songs that are traditional gay anthem that we hear all the time, but here are some songs I'm obsessed with that are by queer artists or allies that have either played LadyLand, are about to play this year or I hope will grace our stage one day soon!"
Give the playlist a spin and also check out her track-by-track captions for each song below.
Gossip - “Men in Love”
“It's Gossip's 10 year anniversary of their iconic album Music For Men. When I saw that they were doing a reunion tour for it in Europe, I was already plotting how we could convince them to rewind and instead fly out here before the tour starts. Their first show back together will officially be on the LadyLand stage. And while I know hearing the first notes of "Heavy Cross" will make the crowd go crazy, I have to say hearing them sing "Men In Love" during World Pride in honour of StoneWall's 50th anniversary makes me want to cry tears of gay happiness!”
Kim Petras - “Can’t Do Better”
“The song is a self-fulfilling prophecy, cause I swear you can't do better than Kim Petras! Last year she performed at LadyLand and we had a freak sudden rainstorm during her set...and instead of it ruining the moment it became a rallying cry with the audience singing it back to her. It was an iconic moment, and is one of my favorite Pride moments ever.”
Deee-lite - “Power Of Love”
“This is my ultimate Pride anthem. I know it's not the traditional one with the divas that people always play. But I also don't need a rainbow flag all the time as my personal flag of identity. Lady Miss Kier is my forever club icon & to me this is the ultimate song of celebration of club culture & love....spread love!”
Allie X - “Not So Bad In LA”
“Allie X is a serious upcoming talent to watch! Her hooks are infectious, and her lyrics & voice are quintessential pop magic. And this could be seen as throwing shade to LA, but it's actually more of a love letter to everyone who dreams of making it there - and anyone who has met her or worked with her will tell you there's not a shady bone in her body. She is a nice Canadian girl after all! It was actually hard to pick between this song and "Paper Love," they're both on repeat at LadyLand HQ.”
SOPHIE - “Immaterial”
“Cause we are living in a material world...and I'm an immaterial girl! Cause not all pop queens need to wear big pink bows... SOPHIE's sound, look, production is breathtaking. She was the headliner of the King's Hall (the stage that's in the warehouse of LadyLand) and the crowd were all trying to stuff in there to hear their dark queen.”
Skunk Anansie - “Weak”
“In today's times we forget how groundbreaking seeing the lead singer, Skin - a female, gay, black, shaven head, woman front a rock band. But in the 90s, she was a pioneer and a hero to lots of young queerdos. 'Weak' is a song that gives strength to the broken hearted...and Skin is definitely a heartbreaker.”
Shea Diamond - “I Am Her”
“This song cuts your heart deep & makes the hair stand up on your arms. I think Shea is such an amazing talent, the voice, the story, the lyrics. When she wails 'I am her,' I feel like it's a cry of so many in the community who have dealt with feeling invisible, with not being listened to properly, not being cared for enough. There is a T in the LGBTQIA spectrum, and I'm trying to take the time to listen more, and I'm trying do better in being a good ally to my trans family.. We all should, that's what Pride is about.”
King Princess - “Pussy is God”
“King Princess was the lesbian pop star I wish was around when I was growing up! Last year we booked her right before her song 1950 went viral -- rightfully so, I'm still not sick of it after hearing it a million times! But she's proven that she's gonna be even bigger & have more viral hits. I love the thought of a song called 'Pussy is God ' blasting through the hetero world. Queers, unite & take over!”
Lizzo - “Boys”
“‘Boys’ is the soundtrack to everyone's Pride! It's the modern day 'It's raining men'....hallelujah to that! Lizzo was really sent by the gods to bless this earth with her goddess self."
Christine and the Queens - “Tilted”
“Half the time she sings in French & I don't exactly know what she's saying, but at that point it doesn't matter...I'm already under her spell & feeling tilted with euphoria! That accent when she says 'euphoria'…swoon!"
Dorian Electra - “Daddy Like”
"I love Dorian's new song and the video is so over the top camp, The Met Ball should have called them to teach them a thing or too! I love watching the new generation of queers coming up and being so fiercely proud and themselves. Dorian might be half my age but I have no problem calling them daddy...cause daddy likes!"
Cupcakke - “LGBT”
"This is unofficially the official ally anthem. When Cupcakke sings 'fuck out my way when you see me, I'm rollin' with the Lgbt" you not only get out of the way, you roll out the red carpet! She stormed the LadyLand stage last year and the crowd went nuts...we stan an ally like this at LadyLand....Happy Pride to all!!"
For more on Ladyland Festival and Ladyfag, head here.