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MRNY Interview :: DJ Boris
New York City
by Mark Thompson & Robert Doyle
February 7, 2010   winter party schedule Bookmark and Share
A few years ago in New York, there began appearing all over the city, on t-shirts and hats, on video screens and subway platforms, the three-word phrase: Believe in Boris. The ubiquity of the sentiment was a testament to the immense popularity of the resident deejay of the city’s largest nightclub, Crobar (now M2), who, for the three-year duration of his residency, regularly filled the 30,000 square foot club every weekend.

Born in St. Petersburg, Russia, Brooklynite Boris Inzhin took up deejaying while studying at the Institute of Audio Research in New York—and thereafter, secured gigs at Exit, Spirit, Roxy, as well as the fabled club Warsaw in Miami Beach—before settling into Crobar in May of 2004, and ultimately, Pacha in 2006.

The recipient of two Club World award nominations for “Best Resident DJ,” Boris was also in the top five of the America’s Best Deejay poll—all of which are significant achievements, to be sure—and yet, arguably, the gig that got the attention of the gays was the Saint-at-Large’s designation of Boris to headline the 30th anniversary of the legendary Black Party in March of 2009.

That night at Roseland, Boris’s driving, sexy beat made believers of those who previously might have been resistant—and now, with the announcement of Boris to headline ORBIT, the Sunday night main event of Winter Party Festival, Boris intends to convert any and all final hold-outs.

MRNY: Congratulations for your upcoming gig at ORBIT, the Sunday night party of Winter Party Festival. We just heard that Logan Presents and SuperMartXe London have joined you and Winter Party and the Task Force. That’s a serious crew of partymakers.

BORIS: Thank you.

MRNY: You have a long history with Miami.

BORIS: Yes, I’ve been playing in Miami since 1998.

MRNY: You’re almost a native.

BORIS: For years, I’ve been doing major holidays at venues like Warsaw and Groove Jet—and of course, Space where I’ve been a resident now for three years.

MRNY: Back in the day, you held a residency at Warsaw, the fabled gay playpen in South Beach. Tell us about that. Was that one of the more insane chapters of American nightlife?

BORIS: Those once-a-month Wednesdays at Warsaw… [laughing] That was a real fun party. They would have these crazy drag shows on stage during the night. One time they had a go-go boy on stage with pretty much nothing on—and an older woman.

MRNY: Cougar!

BORIS: One of the drag queens opened a hotdog bun and basically took off the go-go boy's shorts and filled the bun—and the older woman started to eat. [laughing]

MRNY: Good times. The old South Beach.

BORIS: It was a real free for all then—but in a good way...

MRNY: Of course. [laughing] You’re also known for some pretty crazy parties during Winter Music Conference. What is it about the vibe in Miami that works you?

BORIS: The vibe in Miami is great! People just want to come dance and unleash. It’s all positive energy.

MRNY: Wow! That’s so great to hear. Sometimes Miami gets an attitude rep—and you just defused it. Excellent!

BORIS: I always look forward to coming to Miami, especially during WMC when it's not only the locals, but also people from all over the world.

MRNY: Truth is, you’re a native New Yorker—via Russia. Is it true that Miami is the sixth borough of New York? Is there a difference in the musical vibes between those two towns?

BORIS: [laughing] Maybe for me it is, since I’ve been playing here for forever. It’s not that different due to the fact that there are so many people that have moved here or are always visiting Miami from NYC. People In Miami are similar to New Yorkers in the way that they love and know their music. If they don't like you, you will know about it...

MRNY: Yeah, neither place is exactly filled with wallflowers. They’re vocal—all the time.

BORIS: [laughing] But if they like you, they will embrace you and be loyal to you and your events. I’ve been fortunate to have that in both cities.

MRNY: That’s something of an understatement, Boris. Adored and revered is more like it. Your three-year residency at Crobar New York (now M2) is legendary. For one thing, you hold the attendance record there—a night that’s been designated as one of the Top 100 Moments in nightclub history. What do you remember about that?

BORIS: Wow, what a night! It feels like yesterday. We did 5,400 people on my classics party. You couldn’t move an inch. I remember seeing the bouncers carry the waitress through the crowd.

MRNY: One giant mosh pit.

BORIS: I remember saying I didn't want this to end—and we didn’t, not until two pm the next day. What a party!

MRNY: With certain deejays that held certain residencies at certain clubs in certain eras—let’s say Larry Levan at the Garage, Victor Calderone at the Roxy, Junior at Sound Factory, Danny at Vinyl—the residency became almost larger than life. Yours at Crobar resulted in the “Believe in Boris” phenomenon. How did that happen?

BORIS: It was the first night of my residency at Crobar and the lighting booth had a red ticker going where you can write all sorts of things on it and Mike D, the lighting guy, wrote "Believe in Boris" on it.

MRNY: So it’s Mike D we all have to thank for the tag.

BORIS: He kept flashing it throughout the night and from there on in, it stuck. It’s become our brand whenever and wherever we do events.

MRNY: You’re known for a dark and driving sexy beat. How would you describe your own sound?

BORIS: A journey. I try to tell a story with my music, whether it be a driving beat with a sexy bassline with some dark drums or a nice, techy groove that will keep people dancing.

MRNY: For years, you played a massive Friday night party at the Roxy in New York—and now you have your residencies at Pacha in New York and Space in Miami—and all of them are primarily “straight” parties. How would you describe the difference between “gay” parties and “straight” parties—and how does that have any impact on how you play?

BORIS: I would say some of the more straight parties want it a bit harder—more driving in your face type stuff as opposed to a gay event where they like some vocals, maybe some lighter stuff...

MRNY: We do like a female vocal now and again… Who’s making music now that’s making you shake?

BORIS: I like all sorts of different guys—from the techno guys like Paul Ritch, Marco Caroloa, Christian Smith to some of the housey guys like Dennis Ferrer.

MRNY: You studied at the Institute of Audio Research in New York. Does it make a difference going to school for music production—or do you learn from experience? Tell us one of the best lessons you learned from being at the Institute.

BORIS: To be honest, you can pretty much learn everything on your own by being hands on with everything. Education is always good, but I learned everything after school.

MRNY: [laughing] Oh, that’s an opening.

BORIS: [laughing] Best lesson I learned was to do it yourself.

MRNY: Stop. This is getting too loaded. Let’s get serious. Winter Party Festival brings more than 10,000 people from around the world to help raise funds for the Task Force and local service organizations, primarily to fight for LGBT equality.

BORIS: I am happy to be doing this event because I am all for the fight for equality.

MRNY: The Space Terrace is going to be insane for ORBIT on that Sunday night! Winter Party and the Task Force have brought in Logan Presents and SuperMartXe, who produce Europe’s most ridiculously hot party.

BORIS: It’s all about making people dance and have a good time.

MRNY: If you haven’t been to those parties, you should check out the vids on YouTube. SuperMartXe and Logan Presents produce the most amazing stage shows, with some of the hottest European dancers—and featured singer Therese.

BORIS: I look forward to rocking it!

MRNY: When you headlined the 30th anniversary of Black Party last March, you remixed a number of classic tracks. Will you be debuting anything from your upcoming CD on Sunday night at ORBIT?

BORIS: I have a ton of original stuff that I’ve been working that I will play that night.

MRNY: Your third CD compilation, “Believe In Me” has two discs, titled “2am” and “5am.” Why those times? Are those the sweet spots of a party? And incidentally, what’s the CD to be called, Believe 4ever?

BORIS: No set time or name for a new release because we have just started talks on which label we will go with.

MRNY: You’ve been the recipient of two Club World award nominations for “Best Resident Deejay,” as well as the subject of cover stories and feature articles—and yet, someone wrote that you still possess the gift of humility—which, to some, is not always a quality associated with deejays and producers. How do you manage that?

BORIS: I try to have balance. When I’m not playing, I try to do other things besides play music, whether it be going to sports events or doing things outside or just relaxing with some friends over nice dinners.

MRNY: The recipe for the good life. Thanks for taking the time, Boris—and most of all, for bringing your sexy vibe to Miami for Sunday night’s ORBIT of Winter Party Festival.

Join DJ Boris and opener DJ Tracy Young for the official Sunday night Winter Party Festival event, ORBIT, on the 7th of March at the brand-new, all-weather, A/C Space Terrace in downtown Miami. Hosted by Michael Stanley and Chyna Girl. The perfect all-night dance party—and when it’s over, head to after-hours for Aftermath @ Nocturnal, right down the block, with DJs Hector Fonseca and Alyson Calagna.

Join the party boyz on the FREE party bus shuttle, running back and forth from the Surfcomber Hotel from 9pm - 7am
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