Joe Kay’s Celebration of Life Brought Us Together

Words by Brinsley Chadavenzi

Joe Kay’s built a name based on celebrating new and exciting sounds the past few years. His celebration of life event in Ace Hotel for his 30th birthday was no different, and was truly about the music. A case study of how we like to enjoy ourselves through sound and technology. The curation of music is an art-form in itself and even more important in the streaming age: with independent curators utilising their ear for new discoveries. It’s a spirit that lends itself to oldschool DJ-ing and soundsystem culture digging for the finest, and ultimately to contribute to the musical conversation.

There’s big results when we do this well, we preserve a day, we preserve a window into a past life. The musical community is an extension of this individual pursuit  of expression and preserving. However, community is a unique force that reminds us of togetherness too: when we serve something higher than ourselves. It was a night that showed love to the past, modern and post-modern all at once.

Classics, underground digs, remixes, slow jams – everything was fair game. Every DJ works to bounce off the energy before and stays loyal to momentum building. It’s the attention to taste making and crafting moments wìth the music that moved the larger than life crowd, that elevated it beyond a normal club night with contemporary songs.

Exactly what Soulection stands for. Even after being moved from the lower floor (due to a partial flood in the basement), to the main lobby – the energy persisted unraveringly. It’s a rare glimpse into what happens when unique circumstance and a talented line-up (courtesy of Sean Gran, Sharnie, Full Crate and Joe himself) pace the mood of the night. By the end of the night, a lightbulb in my head went off. The music of tonight made me us feel alive and that’s probably the best way we can celebrate life.


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