The weather in NYC is heating up right on time and setting the stage for a new monthly party: “Strictly Lovers”, brought to you by our friends at Kinfolk 94 and Rockers NYC.
We met up with Marcus Burrowes of Rockers and Jeremiah Mandel of Kinfolk to discuss the unique vibe the party hopes to bring to Williamsburg and get the inside scoop on the Lovers Rock genre that has inspired the party.
What is Lovers Rock Music?
MB: Lovers rock is a sub-genre of Reggae music that deals mostly with love songs including covers of American R&B/Soul, Pop and Country music. The specific style evolved into an official sub-genre in mid 70’s London but the name can be applied loosely to any romantic Reggae/Dancehall/Rocksteady music.
What are your favorite artists for people to check out, and who do you feel is the most influential, and for what reasons?
MB: I like a lot of the more obscure British stuff like Natural Mystics, Revelation, Tribesman, Intense, Wild Bunch… but i think the most influential artists are the foundation jamaican acts like Sugar Minott, Dennis Brown, Freddie Mcgregor, and Gregory Isaacs. even though there was a conversation going on between both countries, they did a lot to initially influence the British scene as well as spread the music worldwide.
Where did the idea to throw this party come from? What type of people do you hope for it to bring in? Vibes you want to promote, see at the party?
JM: Marcus and I ran into each other after a year or so of ships in the night scenarios. We were just catching up and kinda figured out we both had been listening to Lovers a lot. It was one of those cool moments where you know a person for a long time, and they are a good friend, but you discover something new or in common with them that just reinforces the fact that y’all have similar outlooks on life or on the same wavelength. We rapped for a while about it and both felt Lovers Rock hasn’t seen its proper resurgence in New York…. and well, I have a big beautiful space that is the perfect vibe to throw a Lovers party in, so lets go!
MB: Reggae is serious music but there is also a lighter side. As a fan of reggae, I noticed that besides dancehall parties there wasn’t enough of a fun/dance element . I love the idea of people dancing and having fun at a reggae party. We both had the idea separately so when it came up in conversation it just made sense. I expect it to attract a diverse crowd. from the hardcore reggae heads to the cool kids… love and unity vibes.
Jeremiah, Marcus, Lets talk about the synergy you have together. Have you thrown parties together before? Kinfolk and Rockers NYC are two powerful forces. We’d love to hear about the BTS energy from two creative groups.
JM: Marcus was one of the first people I met in New York when I moved here some 12 years ago…. His cousin Shaun and I used to hang out in Seattle and just party hard, and that continued when he and I moved to New York (LES) around the same time, just adding Marcus to the equation. I think with our Island backgrounds, myself from Hawaii and Marcus from Jamaica, we just had similar outlooks, and the vibes just line up.
Respectively, we have been throwing parties in NY since stepping off the plane, but never together. When the thought of doing this night collaboratively came up, with Summer about to hit and our new space, Kinfolk 94, rocking like crazy, I guess the timing was just right and we both got super excited.
What’s next? Any plans to keep Strictly Lovers a mainstay?
JM: The Strictly Lovers line will be a monthly party at Kinfolk 94. Lovers Rock is definitely the main focus, but with people in town all the time, I am sure we will have a few guests and hosts that blend styles. Truth is, we are focused on creating a vibe that is just a good hang, and a place for friends and strangers to embrace the nights motto, “Take a Chance – Have a Dance”. The future will unfold before us, but for now we are just going to focus on making Strictly Lovers perfect.
Big up to Marcus for creating this dope cover and “Strictly Lovers: Vol 1″ a mix of music tailored to the Lovers Rock sound. If you aren’t familiar with this style of music, you can be now.
Peek-A-Boo – Errol Dunkley
6 Sixth Street – Louisa Marks
Some guys have all the luck – Junior Tucker
Someone loves you honey – June Lodge
Perfidia – Pam Hall
Sugar sugar – Doreen Shaffer
The Way You Do The Things You Do – UB40
Lady In Red – Sanchez
Don’t Test Me – Shabba Ranks feat. Deborahe Glasgow
All This Time – Wayne Wonder
Wild World – Maxi Priest
Love You – Ghost
Ring My Bell + One Blood Dub – Blood Sisters
Stay At Home – Dennis Brown
Lonely Teardrops – Gregory Isaacs
My Tune – The Cool Notes
Telephone Line – Natural Mystics
Curly Locks – Junior Byles
Rainy Day – Tradition
Photos by Eddie Grams