Kimani Gordon

The up-and-coming DJ talks about broadening the sonic horizons of gay New York.
December 28, 2012

DJ / Trainer / Dancer

On a recent Thursday at G Lounge, a handful of very naughty elves were dancing on the bar, presumably burning off steam after a very demanding day of toy making at Santa’s Workshop. Successfully helping the go-go dancers maintain their holiday cheer was a face in the DJ booth increasingly familiar to many gay New Yorkers: DJ Kimani-G.

If Kimani Gordon knows what it takes to keep a crowd dancing, it’s because he started out on the other side of that Plexiglas divide, as both a go-go dancer at Splash and a personal trainer at David Barton Gym. “I started making pre-recorded mixes for my group fitness classes. They were a huge hit and people started asking me where they could download [them],” Gordon explains. “So I put it up on SoundCloud; other people starting hearing it and saying I should start working as a DJ.”

From his first gig last year at Michael Formika Jones and Mark Nelson’s epic DMFAO party, Gordon has gone on to build a name for himself at venues all over town. In addition to Thursday nights at G Lounge, he’s done deck duty at Invasion Thursdays at Bar 13 and Mondays at The Cock, plus nights at XL Nightclub and the F Word at Splash.

On all these nights, Gordon has attempted to add greater variety to the standard gay-night-out playlist. “The good parties are becoming less just one type of music. It can’t just be tribal, it can’t just be house, it can’t be Top 40; it has to be a mix of everything and that’s how you include everyone in the party.”

Gordon says his main goal is to get gay crowds more comfortable with a greater variety of music, arguing the only way to accomplish that is through exposure. “You have to warm people up to music and let them hear it out a few times. But I love that you can introduce [a new song] to someone, and it can be so different to them two weeks later than when they first heard it.”

Most important, however, is still to just keeping the crowd dancing.

“My rule I use when I DJ is that if I’m not dancing to it, the crowd’s not dancing to it, and if that’s not happening, I should change the track.”