Now that the weather is warm and the summer months are upon us, Brooklyn and NYC are about to stock pile with amazing events happening practically every day of the week! Yet, there is no better party than a boat party sailing in the Hudson as we dance to the sun setting over the beautiful skyscraper skyline. One can even say those moments feel almost magical.
This summer, local event producers, Fiction NY, are bringing three shows featuring Sandrino, The Drifter and a surprise guest to be announced. The organizers take care to combine audio and visual productions with musical innovators to create a night you won't forget.
Stay tuned for the announcement of the summer closing boat party on Saturday, August 19th with a special surprise guest DJ!
And just so that you can get a real feel about what vibe Fiction NY represents, Fiction founder and resident DJ, Joe Foxton, has given us a beautifully melodic exclusive guest mix for our Magnetic Mag Soundcloud, which you can listen to here:
Magnetic Mag took the time to chat with Joe Foxton, co-founder, Steve Graham, and member, Gilles Wasserman, about Fiction NYC's origins and what their brand is all about:
Magnetic Mag: When/where did Fiction (NYC) come together? Who were the original core team?
Joe Foxton: Fiction was born on a rooftop in Bushwick when Steve Graham and I got talking about how much we love intimate parties, especially when they’re on a boat.
Steve Graham: I had just moved to New York from Florida where I had gained quite a bit of experience throwing a series of very successful boat parties as well as club events. Joe and I started scheming about our first party together, and before we knew it, we were off and running.
Joe Foxton: One year later, we were blessed when Irina Kotik and Gilles Wasserman joined the Fiction team, bringing a deep knowledge of music and refining our direction musically. Their dedication to top quality and innovative sound has raised the bar even higher and inspired us all to push harder to create a great night out for New Yorkers.
MM: What is the event brand's purpose? What do you seek to bring to the NYC/BK nightlife community?
Joe Foxton: Our main goal with Fiction is to produce the kind of intimate parties we would want to attend with a laser focus on comfort, cutting-edge music, exceptional sound and lighting, and an experience where you can connect through music with other partygoers around you.
In your opinion, what makes an event great? Is it all about the ticket sales?
Joe Foxton: Not at all. There are many factors that go into a great event. Firstly it’s always about the music. Excellent music attracts excellent people, which is the second crucial ingredient. We’ve been endlessly amazed and blessed about how fun, respectful, and music-obsessed our crowd is. It’s a huge source of happiness for us.
Steve Graham: Equally important is the sound system and how it is tuned. We spend a lot of energy and resources on the right system and making sure it is tuned right.
How does visual and art factor into a successful experience next to audio production?
Joe Foxton: Visuals and decor are a really important part of curating a vibe for our events; restraint is so important. People respond subconsciously to an environment that feels just right, where the visual environment is classy yet not pretentious, escapist but not nihilist, mesmerizing but not intense and overbearing. We really don’t believe in full on, in your face party lights. However we do put a lot of effort into our lighting and finding the right balance whilst ensuring it is a fit for the music that our artists bring to the table. When the lighting and visuals are right, the crowd is happy, and the DJ feeds off the energy and in turn creates a very memorable performance. We’re really happy to have John Houle on our team who has a passion and true talent for curating lights and visuals that is second to none.
How do you choose the talent for your lineup? How often to you emphasize lineups made of local NYC talent?
Joe Foxton: We have to be in love with their music, all four of us are total music nerds. We try to find artists who are innovators in their space and are not yet fully recognized for their talent in NYC. Artists who are bringing something fresh and exciting to the table, yet with a respect for dance music’s rich history is the kind of talent we look for.
We also ask around to make sure that they are going to enjoy our company and vice versa. This is really important as we want our artists to have a great time from the moment they land, and always feel relaxed and welcome. It gives us great joy to connect with talented people from around the world that speak the same music language as us, which in turn creates a scenario for them to turn out their best performance.
Steve Graham: For the first few years of Fiction, we also hosted a smaller event series called “Sideshow” where we highlighted NYC’s amazing local talent, who we selected with much the same criteria as our international guests…exceptional taste, beautiful personalities, and deserving of more recognition. Earlier this year, we decided to pause this component so we could direct our focus towards hosting bigger events.
What was the first Fiction event? Who played? Where? How was the turnout? Any hiccups?
Joe Foxton: Yes, there was a hiccup! It came in the form of an epic thunderstorm just before our first ever boat party which was a themed event called “Espionage." We worked with a lot of our close friends and put a lot of effort into bringing the Espionage theme to life - we even prepared top secret spy missions to carry out during the course of the party, which we handed to everyone as they boarded. The lineup consisted of Ostrich & Mightykat from Montreal, Dory of Cityfox/Listed, as well as Steve Graham and myself, Joe Foxton. It was hosted on a Circle Line Sightseeing Cruise where we still hold all our boat parties. We were all ready for an epic first event, when an hour before boarding we were setting up sound on the boat, the skies fell in the most dramatic way, with thunder and lightning striking the NYC skyline skyscrapers.
Steve Graham: We thought that it was over before it started, but then just before departure time the skies cleared, and we saw a long line along the pier. It was such a beautiful sight to see so many dance music lovers braving the storm, ready to turn it out despite the deluge. Needless to say the event was incredible, and one of our favorite memories.
Which, in your opinion, was the event that is considered the best Fiction NYC experience that have you curated? Why?
Joe Foxton: They have all been amazing and special for different reasons. Though if we had to pick one, it would be the Something Happening Somewhere showcase this past March, with Nuno Dos Santos, Love Over Entropy, and Baikal at a beautiful hand-carved furniture warehouse space called Mona Liza Studios. Something magical happened that night where the quality of music meshed with the beautiful venue and the perfectly curated lights and visuals by John Houle. The vibe was truly special - people still thank us for that evening.
How was that event done differently from the first ever? How has Fiction NYC evolved since 2014?
Joe Foxton: It was on a larger scale than when we started in 2014, but the ethos is essentially the same. We love intimate vibes, and we’re avoiding the temptation to grow too big and lose that energy. As time has gone by, we’ve de-emphasized the party themes and put more focus and budget on the music, and crucially, impeccable sound. Through the entire journey, we’ve worked with the amazing team at Reynard Productions who also provide sound for Cityfox; they’ve become a very welcome part of the extended Fiction family.
This summer you are launching a Boat Cruise Summer series! What would you highlight about them?
Gilles Wasserman: The talent. These are some of our favorite music innovators right now. We’ve spent a lot of time listening to their productions and sets, and we’re excited to be bringing them to New York to play on the water.
Why have you chosen to showcase, Sandrino and The Drifter for two of the events?
Steve Graham: The Drifter is an easy choice…he’s one of our favorite people, and has totally rocked the dance floor the past two years that we’ve brought him over for a boat party. It has evolved to become our signature event that we all really look forward to.
Joe Foxton: Alongside Frankey, Sandrino is responsible for some of the biggest underground deep house anthems within our sound over the last few years. He has a talent for music with soaring anthemic melodies that at the same time manages to feel sophisticated and cutting edge. He hasn’t played a NYC boat party before, but his bright and innovative music is going to be absolutely perfect for a sunset cruise.
Any clues to who the surprise guest will be in August?
Gilles Wasserman: They are two artists whose previous Fiction sets have been amongst our very favorites, and they are both respected across the dance music world as top innovators in their craft. We’ll be announcing the lineup very soon.