Log in

Dancing in the moonlight with Damien Mancell

How are you?… and where are you ?
I’m at home in Sydney , finishing off some music . Im really good by the way…


Tell us about the new single “Moonlight” ?
“Moonlight” was written about a big night out in Sydney. its semi autobiographical. I wrote the words on a napkin in a club one night and sang them into my phone. Then I created the idea with my collaborator Steve Mellare, and we just crafted the song very quickly. I was so happy with it , i knew it had to be a single. It was the final track written for the album, along with another song “Roll The Dice”, which sounds nothing like “Moonlight”. It's my dance pop moment on the record. 


You’ve got an album in the works, what can you tell us about it?
The album is a long time coming, BUT it is coming in the next few months . I have about 17 songs already to go. The album is very electronic. quite old school dance, massive 90’s influence. I was listening to a lot of Pet Shop Boys and 90’s Rave at the time. Steve (Mellare), my producer is a massive fan of New Order and a lot of electronica. We meet somewhere in the middle. I also love the pop sensibilities of Kylie Minogue, Britney… good pop, well-written pop, so I have a healthy dose of that in there too. I have my collaborations with Chunky Astronaut and a hot feature with a female rapper MZ Sammy G, who slayed her verse in the track “Round N Round”… 


Is there a video planned for “Moonlight”?
yes Im doing it in a week, without giving too much away , think projections, lots of colours in darkness... Moody, sexy... 

 
You have Chunky Astronaut again remixing your track , and also DJ James Tobin. How did that come about?
I always have the “Chunky Man” on a single, as i think he’s awesome, and he delivers kickass remixes. The remix by James Tobin is brilliant. Im a big fan of his work as a remixer and a DJ. He’s an amazing DJ, so I just sent him a request and he said yes. Some remixers have a little ego about doing work, but he was amazingly easy to work with, and he delivered the goods. Its getting good spins in Europe, which is all I can ask for . He’s very talented, and I’m glad Ive got him now before everyone wants him. His remix of Greg Gould is hot. I would love to have him do more remixes. Who knows?


Its a great remix. Who is on your wish list of people to work with?
I would love to work with heaps of people in the dance scene in sydney but I feel its a little closed here with people not wanting to collaborate. I would love to do a track with Mark Loasby again. I would love US DJ corey Craig to do a track with me, because not only is he a friend, but he has amazing dance sensibilities. He knows dance music backwards and is frighteningly talented. DJ Andrew Gibbons from the US as well, because he’s a phenomenal DJ. 


You always have remixes on all your singles, why are they important?
I think Ive always wanted them to show a different side of what i do. I also like to showcase the DJ or remixer. Like Chunky Astronaut have their own following, and to dip into their world is fun. The same with Robot Diaries, they are nuts, but I loved the remixes I had done from them. Mark Loasby remixes are pretty spectacular to. He gets the LGBT dance floor and nails it every time. I was so happy for him when his remix of “shine” (Damien’s 2010 pop hit) went well in gay clubs in some european countries..


Where are the majority of your fanbase based?
mainly use and selected European countries, not much in Oz yet, but I hope to change that. It would be nice to break my homeland. Its good to get support from people like JOY FM, and Queer Radio here though. Im beyond appreciative.


You recently became a target for evangelical groups. What was that about ?
Keyboard warriors with too much time on their hands really. They go after “OUT” artists by flooding their emails , twitter DM’s …etc… with thousands of emails with pro christian stuff. At first it makes you angry but after a while you just get used to it. They have tried to break into my website a couple of hundred times this year. Its annoying, and makes me want to go further to piss them off. Give them something to “really” complain about. 


Do you feel that , as an out LGBT performer , doors close because of your disclosure?
its closed doors in the mainstream, with  major labels saying they don’t know where to “place me”, or they don’t know how to promote me. I think that’s a bit backward, but I see what they are promoting and I may not be bland enough for them. But i do feel that its probably better for me artistically that I get to do what I want. I write and produce myself, I commission my own remixes, I style myself, and do my own visuals. I have complete control on what I do.I love collaboration, and by owning what I do , I get the confidence to work with established people. I’ve had labels try and “straighten” me out over the years to no avail. 


Would you ever play Mardi Gras?
Love totoo... Its on the bucket list. Though Im not sure Im on the MG radar. I've always gone to the party, since 1994, so to even get 5 minutes up there would be a dream. I’ve had my remixes played there before, but as for a live show… sadly no.


Who are you currently listening to?
I love the new STEPS record, I think its one of the strongest records in years. I like the new Goldfrapp, and Im loving a lot of the remixes coming from Britney’s “Glory” album . There are some amazing bootleg mixes out there. 


any message for our readers ?
yeah, thanks for everything , head over to iTunes and grab “Moonlight”, or to any of my socials to keep up to date with my goings on.

My Birthday Bonanza

This past week, I managed to pull myself away from the computer and head out to enjoy a few bevvies and shows on the Sydney scene to celebrate the anniversary of my 25th birthday.

On Thursday night, JP and I caught up with Trent who had been talking up the "new" show at the Shift "Dreamgurlz" starring Tora Hymen, Minni Cooper and Prada Clutch. Now, for someone who has been seeing drag shows for as many years I have been alive (i feel totally ol' skool now! lol)  I wasnt really aware of this cast as they have appeared in the time i have been working way too much to party... so, apart from reputations of the ladies (some good some bad) the amount of people that talked the show up - from the venue staff to Trent, made me wary of the fact that it couldnt be "that" good... I had also heard that the show was recycled from four other venues where it had had a run also... was it that good that venues were willing to share the show - or were these performers flogging it to death to anyone that would pay for it???

So... my interest was eventually gained and it was a good excuse to start my birthday celebrations a day early.

The spot shows were funny, entertaining and I even thought that the live singing of Prada Clutch was cutely "bearable"  (kind of reminded me of the old days of Madeleine Von Mantrap belting out a tune as Sydney's "only singing drag queen"...  a few more drinks later and some inaaproriate run ins with boys who thought they had the right to touch my backside without express permission, and it was showtime.

The dreamgurlz show was alas, just what I initially feared... a soundtrack show, with limited adaptation... now thats not a negative, as for that type of show it kicked ass... its just that given the fabulousness of the original soundtrack and the fact that anyone would love the songs, makes it an instant hit...  it just isn't overly "drag" as what i used to love drag for - an ability to make the incredibly comical, diva-ness-ness out of anything and turn it into even MORE of a show... Dreamgurlz is "video clip" drag - replication with "comedy" thrown in where the replication falls soft. (ok - that sounds a tad bitchy, but i AM trying to make a point).

The interesting twists that they did have however were the male cast member, who was girlier than the leading ladies, yet sold a perverted masculinity and comedy styling that the show needed and Tora devouring a hamburger out of a KFC bucket in time with the music... truly a disgusting highlight...  

So, all in all, Showgurlz is a funny yet predictable show - and if you love the soundtrack, you would have a great time... 

In a world first, i ended up at Arq at around 2am and saw one of my favourite's, Mitzi Macintosh battling the crowds to find a new showcast for the Imperial Hotel... funnily enough, there was only ONE contestant - so they automatically went through to the next round... I can't remember the queen's name for the life of me - but she was good.

I couldn't hold out to the production show - but saw the spots, which managed to also include Tora Hymen and Minnie Cooper (what a way to make Thursday night pay gals - good on ya!) and the impeccable drag stylings of Mitzi... it was then off to bed after venturing out to the alley way where the smokers (and most of the cities strange and odd people were hanging out that night) - definitely time to call an end to Thursday's shenanigans... 

The birthday celebrations continued in earnest Friday night, with myself, JP and Marky heading to Mad Mex on Crown Street )and with me being Gluten free - its a total treat to eat out somewhere!)... the food is soooo tasty, and so are the customers... i think we chose it well that night as marky nearly drooled out of his seat.

Then it was off to the Columbian, upstairs, to have more booze and catch up with the gang... from the moment we stepped inside, the photogs were there in force, from the Star Observer snapper, Anne Marie, to other folks who treated us like stars... we headed upstairs where I had a great night catching up with all my friends.

Seeing that venue on a friday night is a real trip... a really mixed, and totally friendly crowd, and to top it off a very funny spot show from my BFF, Maxi Shield... it was just fabbo!

Thats about where my memory of the night ends, as does my birthday adventure...  we headed back to markies and had a few gin and tonics and laughed over YouTube clips that we wanted to post on Guidetogay but as the cold set in at around 2am... JP and I headed home and had a good nights rest....

Thanks to all that made my birthday anniversary a totally brilliant time - heres to next weekend when we celebrate JP's birthday...  god April is fun! 

Subscribe to this RSS feed
supports16 mardigras2014   pride2017 nycpride white Guidetogay.com accepts secure payments
for various features using
securepayment
rapidssl seal

Log in or Sign up