Bouffant Bouffant is a self proclaimed design/party machine based in New Orleans, Louisiana. With titles slipping between DJ, promoter, designer, and artist Bouffant Bouffant organizes illegal warehouse parties, selects tunes at his local leather bar, shows visual artwork at various galleries, and facilitates installation/pop-up shops nationally.
Bouffant Bouffant will be DJing at the Five after party at Soho House Chicago on February 28.
Tell us a little bit about yourself and what you do. I’m Bouffant Bouffant, a DJ and party girl pretending to be an artist and designer, but mostly delivering pizzas and staying up late.
Top 3 favorite or most visited websites and why?
Facebook.com – Because duh.
Soundcloud.com – Hunting for preferably free music.
Aliexpress.com – Source for all things knock-off, as long as you’re OK with waiting 3-4 weeks for shipping from China.
How has living in New Orleans affected your work? I love living in New Orleans. I’m from a small town in southwest Louisiana, so the south feels like home, but New Orleans attempts to operate like a Major City. New Orleans can be a lazy, pleasure oriented place, which means if you grind and put in some work people really take notice. Laws and rules here tend to be blurry which have allowed me to continually throw big illegal warehouse parties, bringing down major DJs from all over who are excited to play in New Orleans. I guess in short this city really breeds a mentality of freedom, which I love, and totally feeds into all of the work that I do.
What kinds of things are influencing your work right now? My fellow DJ and producer friends are always influencing my DJ and musical endeavors. I’m really lucky to have talented people around me. As far as visual things go I’m really turned on by international bootleg culture, from high end designer knock offs down to bootleg batteries. I’m actually obsessed with small bootleg things like that, like the batteries say duracell but the package is rainbow with no label. You know it’s fake. I’m fascinated with that world and it’s economy.
What are some recent, upcoming or current projects you are working on? I recently partnered with my best friend Johnny 5 creating a DJ duo called Babygirl. We focus on our shared love of classic Chicago and New York house, diva vocals, and all things feminine about dance music. It came together really organically and has slowly grown into us almost always getting booked together now. We’re excited to produce a few tracks and hopefully tour a few dates outside of New Orleans later this year.
How did your interest in your work begin? I’ve always been into music, dancing, and dance parties. I’ve always thought it’d be fun to have the opportunity create a vibe and feed off the energy of a room with my musical sensibilities. As for the the visual side of Bouffant Bouffant, it started with a printmaking class my final semester at The University of New Orleans. I bought $0.99 T-shirts and printed inverted Yves Saint Laurent logos on them and sold them for $20. It all snowballed from there.
Who would you ideally like to collaborate with? Babygirl really looks up to a DJ duo out of New York called The Carry Nation. I was lucky enough to have DJ Will Automagic from The Carry Nation play our big new years eve warehouse party down in New Orleans. It would be a dream to collaborate or do a remix for them at some point.
What do you want a viewer to walk away with after experiencing your work? As far as DJing goes I just want people to dance and have a good time. When I play I try to take everyone on a ride or create a vibe that everyone can collectively feel and respond to, hopefully by moving there bodies. I feel like parties and dance music should be light hearted, fun, and a little sassy. When I see people bouncing around and smiling, I feel like I’m doing my job.
What’s your absolute favorite place in the world to be? I’m a total Italophile, obsessed with all things Italian. I traveled through Italy for a couple weeks last summer and found a totally blissful moment in the church San Luigi dei Francesi which houses Caravaggio’s trilogy of St. Matthew. The choir just so happened to be practicing when I walked in. The sensory overload it created was one of the most powerful things I’ve ever felt.
What are you really excited about right now? I’m really excited about New Orleans actually. It’s a beautiful and vibrant place full of creatives and there seems to be a spotlight brightening on the city right now and more creative people migrating here. It’s exciting to be on the ground floor and exciting to see what the future holds.
Most embarrassing moment? I thought it would be a good idea to pretend to be at Art Basel Miami last December by posting photos to my social media pulled from Google images and stealing photos from friends that were there. I posted photos of me renting daily Ferraris, partying at the Versace Mansion, swimming in indoor pools, going to the best night clubs, you know, “art stuff”, all while delivering pizzas in New Orleans. It got embarrassing when I had to explain to artists and DJs that I respect that I was pretending to be there and couldn’t actually meet up, some of them got it and some didn’t.
Can you share one of the best or worst reactions you have gotten as a result of your work? Babygirl was recently booked for the entirety of Mardi Gras weekend at The Phoenix Bar New Orleans, which is a historic, dark, sex/leather bar. It was fun to hear the compliments of our selections paired with the stories from upstairs.