Season 1: Episode 12 - The Cost of Love and DJs with Queer House Party
Queer House Party is an award-winning DJ collective, community platform and queer party that’s accessible, radical, DIY and punk AF. Born out of economic need in lockdown by three housemates, QHP co-founders, DJs Nik and Seren (AKA passer and Wacha) let us in on the value of accessible online queer spaces -- and the ins and outs of how they built a community of thousands in isolation.
They dish on how their relationship has been tested by working and living together. What relentless DJing does to ones love of music. And what to do when our passion projects burn us out.
This is the twelfth (!) episode of The Cost of Love with Haley McGee. Welcome.
Haley McGee is a love idiot. She’s also an actor and the author of the forthcoming book, The Ex-Boyfriend Yard Sale. On The Cost of Love Podcast she’s talking to a wide range of experts to try to figure out if the cost of love is worth it.
Each episode features a conversation between Haley and someone in the know, and they dig into that strange juicy place where love and money collide.
This episode is all about the cost of love and XXX with Nik and Seren AKA passer and Wacha-- DJs, activists, community organisers and co-founders alongside Harry Gay of Queer House Party (QHP).
In part 1 ‘Everyone’s a Love Idiot’ Haley grills Nik and Seren with a series of questions that attempt to quantify their romantic history - apart and together. They cover everything from how many relationships they've been in, how many heart-breaks they've had, to how much compensation they deserve from an ex who did them wrong (calculations include; buying a £400 synthesiser, commissioning a synthesiser cake, and the cost of an immediate break up).
Then, in part two, ‘Brains Over Braun’, we apply Nik and Seren's expertise to the concept of the cost of love. We cover:
How and why Nik, Seren and Harry came to found Queer House Party, and the first signs of its success
Nik and Seren's relationship as a couple with QHP -- how it started and how it's going, what was envisioned and how it's changed over the last year
The progression from following a financial need to serving the need for radical, queer online spaces
How they learned on the job, took advantage of gaps in experience and have been there for each other
Beat by beat, how one might experience attending an online QHP event
The relationship between passion projects and burn out and the costs of producing parties every week in their own kitchen
What the effect of making a home space a work space is on our relationships, how we might learn to assert boundaries, and the real cost of glitter curtains
How their relationship and that between team members and flatmates have been put under pressure, managed, and grown
The price of social media on our wellbeing and motivation
The fragility of unfunded projects and the incredible support that can come from our communities
How QHP have divided the labour, and stayed away from gendered stereotypes
The experience of starting something from scratch, how hard it is to be patient to let it grow and what the effect of imposter syndrome is on work ethic
The financial structure of QHP and where they hope it will go in the coming months and years
The value of gathering, and the healing power of music for themselves and for their queer communities; getting to enjoy being seen in a safe way.
In part 3, 'Free Hugs' Haley, Nik and Seren answer listener questions covering topics including the difficulties that come with inheriting money, splitting assets and the intermingling and untangling of money and emotions when relationship end.
Haley wraps up with a note on the relationship between fierce passion projects and burnout - leaving us with Robert Frost's After Apple Picking.
Understandably, Nik and Seren had a lot of music to choose from when remembering falling in love and their biggest heartbreaks. But they're played out by one they both acknowledged as a biggie - Maps, by the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. Click the link to listen to the whole song.
About Nik, Seren & Queer House Party
Nik, A.K.A. Passer, is a non-binary DJ and activist, running nights and events and fighting fascism, sometimes simultaneously. Their DJ collective GLAMTIFA seeks to bring the politics back into queer clubbing, and in their mixes they blend sounds from around the globe, instructed by their experience studying music and running the radio at SOAS, with dancefloor fillers and underground sounds, old and new.
Seren, A.K.A., Wacha is an activist, artist and DJ, but mainly a fringe with a human attached. In 2020, they founded Disruptista, an workshop scheme aimed supporting female and non-binary KS3 state school students to critically engage with their curriculum and community to develop an activist project or campaign, and this year they’ll begin training to become a Mental Health Social Worker. Working at a grassroots level with an abolitionist and anti-capitalist stance, and championing the vitality of art and joy produced by and for the community is central to their practice.
Alongside Harry Gay, they both co-direct Queer House Party, a DJ collective, community platform and award-winning queer party that’s accessible, radical, DIY and punk AF.
QHP was founded in the midst of the pandemic to respond to a need for the queer community to find strength and solidarity together in the face of economic and social distress.
Renowned for iconic, queer throwdowns Queer House Party is the virtual LGBTIQ+ party that brings you the best drag, performers, and DJs from London and beyond all in an accessible online community space, broadcasted live to wherever you are.
After DJing and throwing parties across the county for years now, housemates, activists, and community organisers Harry Gay, Wacha and Passer came together on the first Friday of lockdown to throw an online party to give queers across the globe a sense of release and community whilst in isolation. Months later they've built an online following and are continuing to throw events for the virtual masses.
Queer House Party has worked and collaborated with Cybertease, United Stripers of The World, Drag Syndrome, Quiplash, Bricks, The Barbican, BFI, and Guildhall to name a few. Queer House Party keeps their politics and activism central to their events, creating a space that is not only accessible for the whole LGBTIQ+ community but kicks off and campaigns for a wide range of issues that we care about.
Books & Some of the Other Things Mentioned
Black Lives Matter (UK)
Other music mentioned:
Jealous Guy by Donny Hathaway
Call Us Out by Purity Ring
Miss Honey by DJ Moana
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Writer and Host - Haley McGee
Producer and Editor - Maddie Haynes
Editor - Eva Lunny
Assistant Producer - Eliza Cass
Music and Audio Production - Robert Moutrey