Today’s post kicks off a new segment I’m adding to the blog where I chat to different people, covering varying topics from LGBTQ+ issues to relationships and careers. To celebrate the first birthday of Daddy Issues I got together with my good friend Borja Peña who happens to be the co-founder of the London party that is fast becoming an international movement.
JS First of all congratulations on the first anniversary of Daddy Issues! I see so many pictures on Instagram of people wearing the infamous t shirts, which are brilliant btw. Tell me about Daddy Issues and how is started?
BP Thanks! I’m super proud of this baby! It’s a really funny story actually, I have a painting I did years ago in my flat of two guys and my friend Douglas came to visit and he said “that looks like ying and yang, good and bad, daddy issues” and I was like that is a great name for a club!! I ran the idea by my friend Oly who had worked with me hosting some of my nights before. He said “everybody calls me daddy” and I really want to make some t shirts with that … long story short we ended up merging both ideas and daddy issues was born, he is more focused on the overall look of the brand while I concentrate on the music and production of merchandising but we bounce all ideas off of each other. It’s really fun to see it growing slowly and the support of the people that keep sending us selfies! What about you? What drove you to start this blog and where do you find the time having your amazing company and all?
JS That’s so cool. You and your friend Oly took an idea, ran with it and now you have an infamous club night with legendary merchandise. I mean, how cool is that!
In answer to your question. I’m interested in brand building and the actual branding itself which can have a massive impact on the success of a product. What you guys have done with the t shirts is brilliant, it’s a fun and effective way to promote the club night and create another revenue stream at the same time. Genius! Last year I started the blog which I run in my free time. I love creating content so I’m always happy. It started off with a focus on skincare and lifestyle and now it’s a bit more fashion focused which just kind of happened. Now I’m also interested in talking with people about LGBTQ+ topics.
So, the main venue is Tipsy in Dalston but I’ve seen it popping up at international venue’s. How are you feeling about ‘Daddy Issue’s’ 1 year in?
BP It has had a phenomenal response, our first outing “daddy on tour” was in San Francisco at the legendary venue “the Stud” funny you talk about LGBT topics as this venue was about to be closed and a group of amazing queer folk from San Francisco created a cooperative to keep it open, I was closely following on this because I’m close with some of them, Paul that I met in burning man and Oscar that I met playing in New Orleans we decided to test the party there and it was so great to see the response and I have to give a shout to my BAAAHS family ( my camp in burning man ) that shared the event and came down in full force !! It was like a family event and we will do another soon! We are also launching in Los Angeles as Oly moved there recently and we have a crazy following there so we are so excited to have our first party there on the 22nd of June, I’m so proud of Oly he went to a new city and in a few months he is throwing the first party, what a great person to be working with! And we’ll be in NY this September too… we can’t complain! And again I cannot be thankful enough for our friends as they are the ones pushing this forward and asking clubs to have us in their cities, so much love.
JS It’s interesting as I’ve heard about a lot of gay venues closing down. The scene is changing, in some parts due to gentrification of areas which drives rent prices up and perhaps because the gay community doesn’t need to be as separate as it once did, in major cities at least. On the Daddy Issues website you mention how inclusive the night is, not only amongst gay subcultures but you also welcome heterosexuals to come and join in which I love. What is your opinion on the gay scene today and how it’s changing?
BP Well I do like the fact that it is changing and evolving! In London we are so lucky because there is something for everyone. Whatever music you are into there is probably a place for you .. having said that I think what has happened is that the scene has become a bit predictable, the parties I always enjoyed more were when people from all persuasions got together, it’s much more fun when you get to meet people different to you so you learn things from them. There is nothing worst than a place where everybody looks the same … luckily there are only a few places like that in London. The future is dancing all together, that’s where the magic happens …. do you feel the same in terms of what people wear? Remember how crazy London was years ago?
JS I’ve always had a great time on the gay scene in London and like you say there is something for everyone. I used to go to the dance clubs full of muscle boys dancing topless, there is a certain look, it’s a tribe and everyone looks the same. I remember when we used to go to the Joiners Arms in Shoreditch, now that place was diverse, talk about a melting pot. I think you have a different point of view from others, you embrace that mix of characters where others are often more comfortable with people that are similar. Perhaps that’s one of the secrets to your success!
BP Well the good thing about doing anything in east London is that, it always feels more diverse, people are more open to new things and meeting different people, there is a fantastic choice. You mentioned the Joiners! It’s actually reopening as an event down the road from where it used to be and yes for me those nights where so much fun, very much focused in the social side of going out, you can find the “circuit” formula all over the world with millions of parties with the same concept that sound and look very similar and they are great for people who are into that … for me I always wanted to explore a bit more and discover new places and this night with Oly is a result of that ….. kind of like a pick and mix of all the elements that I found interesting in all the places I have played before in a very small scale so we all get to meet each other … I like small parties there is something very special and you feel the connection, you have to come and bring your boyfriend!
JS I want to come next time I’m in the UK and I’m sure Christian will be up for it too. For now I have my ‘Daddy Issues’ t-shirt for a slice of the party!