We are no stranger to the monthly Big Bad Soul BBQ that is Hard French, but I am a baby when it comes to soul music. Resident DJ Brown Amy caught my attention with her medicinal set opening for Big Freedia. The powerful confidence of the female vocals mixed with masterful instrumentation of the horns and bass were a well-needed change from the synth-heavy submissive pop music that dominates a typical night out. Hawa confessed, “I honestly don’t know how to dance to music like this.” Though it wasn’t a 60’s prom musical where everyone knew the moves, it felt amazing to feed off of the strength of the vocalist and take on her character.

Before we knew it, the music shifted. We turned our heads to see Brown Amy stepping down from the stage. My friends and I instinctually exclaimed “WHAT? NOOOO!” Luckily when somebody screams like that, those nearby often turn around in concern. When Amy turned around and I a) blushed b) explained, “THAT WAS A GREAT SET!” Classy, right?

As embarassing as that was, Amy linked up to share some deep insight in this browntourage interview:

The name “Brown Amy” started with a friend explaining which Amy you were. How did that offhanded remark evolve into to your self-identified DJ name? Were you Brown Amy before you were a DJ?

My friend Mary gave me the name trying to differentiate me from all the other Amy’s that were in our friend circle and it just stuck. I was asked to DJ one day and when they asked me for my DJ name I didn’t really know what to say so I blurted, “Brown Amy.” Yes, I was Brown Amy before I was a DJ. It, as a DJ name, just kinda made sense.

You pay a lot of justice to underrated female-lead tracks. On the flipside, do you ever find yourself holding back on playing songs with great instrumentation because the lyrics are too backward?

It’s really important to me to be aware of the music that I DJ. The 60’s was a really intense time for social movements and social struggles, especially in the United States. Struggles with racism, classism, sexism are reflected a lot in the music and there are a lot of songs that I don’t feel entitled to play because it may not necessarily be my place to represent those struggles. Also, being a Latino person playing 80% African American music makes me think twice about what I’m DJing. Even if a song has a killer instrumental breakdown and the sickest beat; I won’t play it if the lyrics are addressing issues or struggles that haven’t impacted my home community or my own experience. A lot of the songs I DJ are about falling in and out of love, something many of us have experienced.

You throw one of the hottest parties in San Francisco. We all know DJ’s have a certain power status in party situations. That being said, has anything crazy happened to you because of your DJ status?

Hmmmm.. I’m about to DJ at the zoo, playing music through headphones so we don’t disturb the monkeys(!?), which is WEIRD and crazy. I’ve DJ’d internationally, in museums, to 2000 people, to 5 people, in a fucking mall; it’s all crazy! It’s also crazy(and kind of awesome) to have some burly dude come up to you while you’re playing and say, “Can you play something else? Because this sucks!” Honestly, I never really intended to be a DJ. I’m actually just a record nerd that happened to DJ a party that happened to get popular, so this whole experience is kinda crazy.

As a collective, is there an intentional impact that Hard French wishes its party-people to walking away with?

We try to create a party that all of us as a crew would all want to go to, a kind of event that, if we got the fb invite, we’d say, “Oh, that looks fun and unique.” It is also important to us to try to create a space in the community where everyone feels welcomed; that’s why we don’t put people or faces on our flyers. We’re not going for one demographic. We’re going for anyone that wants to french, dance and cruise.

Following up on what was a legendary pride party, and a set at FABULOSA, what’s the ultimate fantasy for you as a DJ?

To DJ for the Queen of England…just kidding, she looks pretty bitchy. Probably to go on a DJ tour in Mexico because I LOVE TACOS and my people. VIVA LA RAZA!!!

FREE ASSOCIATION TIME! What comes to mind when you hear the word browntourage?

pride, change, power, ownership, future, perfection and FUCK YES!!