DJ extraordinaire Josh Harrison has described the ascent of his LGBTQ club night OUTHAUS in an exclusive interview to celebrate his DJ set for Pride Powerplay, supported by Swatch.
Swatch, the innovative Swiss watch brand that tells us ‘TIME IS WHAT YOU MAKE OF IT’, is living up to its good times ethos by partnering with Attitude to deliver four sensational DJ sets that premiere on Attitude’s YouTube channel as part of the Attitude Pride at Home, in association with Klarna (17-27 June).
The Pride Powerplay, supported by Swatch, is delivering four stellar sets series of live music including an exclusive performance from Josh Harrison, founder of queer club night Outhaus, that premieres at 6pm on Sunday 20 June on youtube.com/attitudemag
As well as Josh, chart-topper Joel Corry, HOMOBLOC Manchester's Will Tramp and UK Black Pride's Mark-Ashley Dupé, will celebrate Pride with exclusive sets you can catch on YouTube.
Ahead of Outhaus and Josh Harrison's DJ set on Sunday 20 June from 6pm, we caught up with the London club kid to discuss his favourite Pride anthems, partying post-lockdown, and the "camp, fun, uplifting, feel-good bangers" he'll be spinning during his Attitude Pride Powerplay, supported by Swatch.
Tell us about OUTHAUS...
OUTHAUS is a disco night that celebrates all things queer. It’s a space where you can come and express yourself, revel in all things camp, dance with friends, and meet new people and pose. The people that come really embody the definition of a ‘chosen family’ in our community. Our dancefloor is outrageous! Plus, we showcase some of the best queer performers in London for a full night of fierce entertainment.
How did you build your DJ career to starting your own night?
I actually started the night before I started DJng! To be honest, i’m a total control freak so I started to DJ because I knew exactly what I wanted OUTHAUS to sound like, and then I totally fell in love with playing music for people. I used to be a dancer and in some ways, it feels very similar - i’m just on stage in a cowboy hat and heels having a camp old time!
Who are your DJ idols?
I have a total mix! I LOVE Honey Dijon who is obviously an icon, and I probably listen to more Purple Disco Machine and Dimitri from Paris than anyone else. I’m also madly obsessed with Melvo Baptiste; effortlessly cool.
What can fans expect from your Attitude Pride Powerplay DJ set, supported by Swatch?
Camp, fun, uplifting, feel-good bangers. Please move any fragile furniture in your proximity before playing because you WILL dance.
How exciting and important is it to be part of Pride celebrations at a time when the LGBTQ community has been kept apart for so long?
Pride is always such an exciting time. I get so much from being around other people in the LGBTQ community, especially performers and people who express themselves in creative ways, so now that we can do that a bit more, I feel so excited and energised to be around people that give me inspiration.
What is it about music that brings people together, even when dancefloors are closed?
It’s a bit cringe to say ‘universal language’... But it’s a universal language. We all have memories attached to songs, a first kiss, our first Pride, our first gay club. Dancing together to music I truly believe changes something chemically in our brains, it’s a huge rush and something we really need.
What are your favourite Pride anthems and why?
Oh no, this is hard! OK: 'I feel Love' by Donna Summer, 'You Make Me Feel' by Sylvester, 'A Deeper Love' (the Aretha Franklin version), Madonna's 'Vogue', 'I Want Your Love' by Chic, and 'Rain On Me' by Lady Gaga and Ariana Grande for a bit of new!
‘Time Is What You Make Of It’ is the spirit captured in the latest Swatch campaign - after a year of social distancing and lockdowns, what are you most looking forward to doing with your time this summer?
Travel. Seeing the world. It’s something I didn't realise I would miss so much but, I miss my family in New York and my friends in Spain from when I lived there. I get so much energy, inspiration and life from being in other parts of the world and taking in all the culture that our planet has to offer - I find it really hard to be in one place for a long time... So get me on a plane!
Swatch has always been a natural supporter of the LGBTQ community. What does this kind of support mean to you?
Companies that support the LGBTQ community all year round are really leading by example. As a community, we are so aware of brands jumping on the bandwagon of Pride. It is so important to remember that Pride started as a protest and that LGBTQ charities need support all year round. Integrating our community organically into campaigns throughout the year - not just Pride month - is crucial for representation.
Being portrayed in ways that aren't tokenistic pushes for us to be seen in everyday settings, for us to be taken seriously and heard. As a community, we aren't walking around 365 days a year with a rainbow flag, so when I see us being represented in normal life settings, featuring people who just happen to be LGBTQ without a label being whacked on the top, I feel proud.
Swatch, which prides itself on celebrating life – and, with it, a commitment to diversity, inclusivity and equality that dates back to the founding of the brand in 1983 – has an outstanding record of working on inspiring collections with and for the LGBTQ community (Attitude cover star Mika among them).
Though you can keep the party going right through Pride season by dipping into Swatch's CELEBRATING LIFE SINCE '83 COLLECTION in the form of three all-new pieces.
First up, ALLA PARATA (‘At the Parade’) model (above) – ablaze with striking rainbow colours and graphics. Delivered to your door for just £83, it’s a style statement and a show of solidarity all in one.
LET’S PARADE (below) with a semi-transparent matte white strap and bright and bold print makes the perfect statement, yours for £104. Be Proud!
Finally, PARADONS features multi-coloured crystals, vibrant movement elements and a polished stainless-steel strap, at £207.
The Pride Powerplay, supported by Swatch, is part of Attitude Pride at Home, in association with Klarna, that runs from 17-27 June at attitude.co.uk, youtube.com/attitudemag and on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Attitude Pride at Home, in association with Klarna, is to benefit the Attitude Magazine Foundation for LGBT causes – this year supporting ten amazing organisations including AKT, Black Trans Foundation, Curly’s Legacy, Elton John AIDS Foundation, The Food Chain, Kaleidoscope Trust, LGBT Youth Scotland, Mermaids, Stonewall UK and Switchboard LGBT.
Each will receive at least £1000 courtesy of our sponsors Klarna, Bentley, Clifford Chance, Slingsby, Swatch and Taimi, as well as individual supporters.