Interview by
Danny Calvi
Photography by
Gregorio Pagliaro
Mixtape by
Ryan Smith

Bottom Heavy

For our upcoming CLUB BUTT night in London, 27-year-old Ryan Smith cooked up this bottom heavy mixtape of man-scented tracks from his bedroom in what used to be New York City's notorious gay center, the Meatpacking District. It's as if the leather-clad and street-walking ghosts of his neighborhood's hedonistic past urged him on as he sparked one up and found his way through the mix. Listen, download, etc...

Originally from Minneapolis (where his family home sat just across the lake from Janet Jackson producer Jimmy Jam), Ryan has been obsessed with deep house and Detroit techno since he was a teenager. He’s quite familiar with the ins and outs of nightclubbing. By day, he works as a booking agent, and helps oversee the homo-tronic Discaire label. By night, he deejays and puts on his own clubnight, Wrecked.

Danny: If you could release a track by any gay artist on your label, who would it be? Like your dream release…
Ryan: I always though it would be funny to release a vocal track from George Michael. I mean, if it sounded really good and was in the sort of vein of what we normally do. We’re pretty specific about what we release.
He also likes a good spliff, Ryan…
I didn’t know that about him.
Come on, he’d smoke like twenty-five joints a day at one point.
Wow, that’s pretty ambitious.
Apparently, he’s cut back to just seven a day… I saw you deejaying with your shirt off on Facebook. Is that something you normally do?
I tend to get really hot and sweaty when I deejay, just ‘cause I like to move around. So yeah, sometimes I do take my shirt off.
Do you ever deejayed naked?
No I haven’t, except maybe in my bedroom.

BUTT - Bedroom-dj-ryan-smith
Ryan does all his mixes live, so you won't hear any overdubs or sneaky editing in Ableton...

You’re quite tall Ryan. How tall are you?
Six-foot, five-inches. I don’t know what that is in European measurements, but yeah, pretty damn tall.
Do you have a thing for short guys?
You know, I’m into all sorts of guys. I mean, short guys are cute, but tall guys can be cute too. It’s nice to get a hug from up above.
You’ve also got a really deep voice.
Yeah, it’s from my dad’s side. My dad has a pretty deep voice too.
Are guys drawn to you because of your voice?
Actually, a lot of guys do compliment me on my voice. It might just be a combination of my genes and cigarettes.
Do you smoke a lot?
Just a couple per day, but on the weekends when I drink, it’s a little more. If I’m working the door, I tend to chain smoke. Friday nights, I do the door at Clubber Down Disco with Ladyfag and Honey Dijon.
And how do you decide who to let in and who not to let in?
Putting on a good club is all about having a little bit of everyone, you know, from the fashion set to some like hip kids. All sorts of people make a good club, that’s what New York has always been about.
How do you handle drunk people, or people being really in your face?
I just ignore them, or send them on their way. You can’t argue with a drunk person.
Who gets to go to the front of the line?
Cute boys, friends and family, regulars…
And who do you never let in?
Straight girls looking for their ‘Sex and the City’ adventure. A lot of girls with heels and handbags will come in groups and want to go to a gay nightclub. We generally don’t let them in. Girls are cool if they come with gay guys, but if not I have to tell them, ‘sorry ladies…’

Download the Live from the Meatpacking District mix here (MP3)

Meet Ryan in the flesh at CLUB BUTT next Saturday, November 26. He’s promised ‘to whip out his secret weapon’, something you do not want to miss. For more information, including the heavy-hitting lineup and directions to the East London warehouse location, click on the flier. Cum-in-my-face-bookers can add themselves to the event here.

Published on 18 November 2011