New figures from the New York Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment first economic impact study of local nightlife illuminate the centrality of nightlife businesses to the city’s financial fabric, down to each dollar. New York is home to more than 25,000 nightlife establishments that collectively rake in $697 millions dollars in tax revenue. “Nightlife,” by the 80-page report’s definition, encompasses the entertainment activity that occurs between 6 p.m. and 6 a.m. The word “nightlife” breaks down into five categories: bars, arts and culture, venues, food services, and sports and recreation. Food is the foundation of the New York City nightlife economy, accounting for the most jobs, employee compensation, and economic output in the context of the city’s five nightlife categories.
The booming nightlife businesses that span New York’s five boroughs sustain 299,000 jobs, with more to presumably come, given the report’s indication that nightlife is outpacing the other sectors that comprise New York’s economy. Non-nightlife related positions in the city notably bear witness to a job and wage rise of 3 and 4 percent, respectively, whereas the jobs and wages associated with nightlife are charting individual increases of 5 and 8 percent.
The study’s venue-focused examination of metropolitan nightlife growth also found progression evident in the number of venues that have opened in New York. Although a number of New York nightclubs like Output, Cielo, and Highline Ballroom have announced their imminent closure, Brooklyn and Queens nevertheless saw a 10 percent annual growth in the number of venues located therein. Brooklyn and Queens’ upward trajectory of new venue introduction compares to the city’s overall hike of 4 percent. Brooklyn boasted the largest surge of nightlife activity of all of New York’s five boroughs, to record a 5 percent annual growth rate. The city lays claim to a comparative nightlife establishment growth rate of two percent. New York venues equip a whopping 19,900 employees with jobs, and $373 million in wages, not to mention $1.2 billion dollars in direct economic output.
“Nightlife is a really powerful economic driver, and important cultural industry that deserves the respect, attention, and support of the city,” said Ariel Palitz, former nightclub owner, and current senior executive director of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s newly instituted Office of Nightlife. “[The study] really does help us to lay down the groundwork to inform the office, as well as the city, more exactly and definitively what a major part of the economy nightlife is,” Palitz added. “We’re looking at this data as a roadmap to what really needs to be addressed. In the past, the presumption of nightlife has been that it’s in the dark. But in actuality, it’s really the other 9-5. And it’s a huge part of the economy that needs to be taken seriously with respect and support to make sure it thrives and survives.”
Beloved clubbing institution Beta Nightclub will soon close its doors. Heralded as one of the preeminent sites in the country for bass, the iconic Denver venue will host its final event on January 5, 2019.
Beta management did not cite a specific reason for the nightclub’s imminent closure in their official statement, published on Facebook. “It is with that reflection that we acknowledge the need to take this time to reset, recalibrate, and re-familiarize ourselves with our promise. Our reputation reflects our integrity and we want to remain true to what we stood for,” the owners wrote.
As it prepares to shutter, Beta joins the long list of dance music venues that have announced their closure in 2018, including The MID in Chicago, The Electric Pickle in Miami, Cielo Nightclub in New York, and most recently, Brooklyn’s Output Nightclub. Hopefully, others will rise to fill the void.
New York City is synonymous with dance music. Yet, in recent years the city has seen club after club shutter their doors. Pacha NYC, Cielo, Space, Webster Hall have all closed their doors permanently. After a spiral of rumors yesterday, Brooklyn’s internationally recognized club, Output has announced it will be closing forever on the first
Output organizers confirmed the club’s rumored closure in an Instagram post. Output additionally responded to the speculation in a tweet, wherein nightclub management stated that the club’s final, closing event will be held on New Year’s Eve. The reasons for closure were not driven by their building being sold; see full statement for details.
Brooklyn-based sanctuary of underground sound, Output Nightclub is said to soon shutter, according to news source, Big Flash. The report of Output’s closure follows the rumored sale of the Williamsburg building for $7.4 million. Located at 74 Wythe Avenue, Output will “continue normal operations as per a long term lease that is in place,” but will likely halt all event production at the end of said lease.
The news arrives as yet another unfortunate development in the context of New York City nightlife and music culture. New York has born witness to the decline of seminal venues like Pacha NYC, Webster Hall, and Roseland Ballroom in recent years. The Meatpacking District’s Cielo nightclub will also follow suit, ending its 15-year legacy of iconic operation.
Through the years Mija has proven to be one of the most artistic DJ’s in the industry. Though her production knocks, Mija has set herself apart with her dominant and unique sound in live performances. Rising to prominence in 2014 with the help of the OWSLA label and label head, Skrillex, the Phoenix native has
Output in Brooklyn is easily my favorite club I have ever been to. Tucked away in a corner of New York City were the elite pay thousands for bottle service, lies an oasis of pure, unadulterated dance music. No phones to take pictures with, no VIP to separate partiers – just one of the best
NYC, what are you doing on Friday? The correct answer is going to Output to experience a night of music featuring Oliver, Jenaux, FDVM, The Golden Pony, and more.
Good Looks Collective and Dancing Pineapple are presenting this takeover at Output in Brooklyn featuring a curated lineup that also features emerging talents Qrtr, Jergo, OLWIK, and Lebanese Delight. There’s something for everyone so get prepared for a long night. Doors open at 10:00 PM and the music will thump until 4:00 AM.
To kick off its fifth year of operation, Brooklyn’s Output is hosting a four-day celebration from January 25-28, which will welcome back familiar faces like that of Jamie Jones of Hot Creations, Seth Troxler, and Grammy-award winning local Louie Vega along with many more.
Since the venue’s birth in 2013, with its converted warehouse allure and world renowned sound system, it has gained international recognition, even securing the 2017 Electronic Music Award’s Club Of The Year. The event will host parties and performances in both its main space, as well as its more intimate, adjunct setup, the Panther Room.
More Event and Ticket information can be found on Output’s website.
The name “Black Coffee” has been one of high interest as of late on the house circuit. Cutting his teeth in the South African underground during his youth, the beloved icon — born Nkosinathi (Nathi) Maphumulo — initially broke into the scene in the early 2000s and worked his way into becoming a household name around just a decade later in 2015 as the “Breakthrough DJ of the Year” at the DJ Awards. A year later, he became the first South African to win a BET award.
Nathi’s continued success comes a large part from his keen talent at dismantling preconceived notions of what himself or others from his region sound like. Instead, his ultimate and unwavering vision is to paint worldly, class imagery with his carefully-crafted sets while also moving people with original productions that he hopes will be carried far into the future. His unrelenting humility and passion also set him apart from the fact, as fans feed off his infection energy worldwide.
The past summer season has been yet another monumental one for Black Coffee, who was chosen to lead one of Hï Ibiza’s first residencies. While one might feel a certain pressure playing a venue that was once the iconic space, Nathi navigated his residency with poise and distinction, enchanting each crowd with his blend of memorable hooks, subdued rhythms, and creative melodic manipulation. Additionally, he curated a caliber roster of artists joining him for his residency which represented the best of fellow South African talent.
Ahead of his next round of tour dates, one of which includes an October 21 show at Brooklyn’s Output (tickets here), Black Coffee took some time to talk more about these artists he nurtures, the South African dance scene, new bodies of work, and more.
You’re wrapping up your first season at Hï right now! How is playing that club? Do you think it can fill the void that Space left?
It’s been such an amazing experience. As a DJ I’ve always envisioned a residency in Ibiza, and to have a club to play at for the city. I never expected it to be on this level. Hï is the ultimate for me. It has been one of the greatest experiences of my career. I’ve learned so much from it!
Do you think it can fill the void that Space left?
Definitely, definitely. The very big room was something that we are always very much aware of. Normally I have my reservations and fears about making it work and every night it would be at full capacity. And between those nights I would do shows outside on the island and because of that now I’ve started seeing the difference and the impact that the residency has because of all these places I go to. Now, most people go to Hï in Ibiza and it has somehow grown my audience as well.
You mentioned fears and reservations, does playing big rooms normally make you nervous?
I get nervous everywhere, because I consider all I do a little bit differently. I always walk into a room to educate people on a different sound. Education is good, but it’s not a pleasant thing at times and I always get nervous at that fact. Whoever’s playing before me, no matter how underground the music is, it’s definitely a sound people in Europe are accustomed to, or anywhere for that matter, and here comes me who’s gonna come with a different sound, blend it with different things. I never take anything for granted or think they [the audience] will know who I am. It’s just going to happen. Whether the venues big or small, it’s the same for me.
Tell us more about the artists you chose to play alongside you? What made them stand out?
These are artists I really respect and most of these guys have been doing it for awhile on the island. The entire idea was when we mold this night we tried to create a certain vibe or sound in the room. For everyone who was chosen they were chosen on what they’re bringing in the room. It was all based on a preset we had. Ok, this is what we’re doing, this is what we want to achieve because Hï is a very big club. We wanted artists that are related musically to what I am doing.
How has the South African scene grown and developed over the years? What do you think is needed to make it into a dance music mecca, or is it already in your opinion?
It still has a very long way to go. Music there is a big thing. Dance music is a huge thing. You go to different parts of Europe and dance music doesn’t exist in communities, only in the night, in the dark, in the clubs. Obviously at the festivals too, which is a seasonal thing, but the difference with South Africa is that it’s constantly there. On the radio, house music is constantly in people’s lives, which is cool, but then there’s no control or there’s no culture. For instance, mostly when people go to South Africa they will send me a message: ‘Hi, I’m in South Africa where do you think I can go for a great night out?’ And I never have that answer. Because we don’t have much of the house music clubbing scene. There’s no structure in that sense. Music is there. It’s everywhere. There are clubs but clubs are just for entertainment. On nights you’ll get a hip-hop DJ or a house DJ or the live act or a live house singer. All of that is there but there’s nothing for the house music scene at all, and I think it starts there — with creating a home. When there’s a home there’s also education and then we can start bringing the same lineup I was having here at Hï, so that the locals will start to get educated on what’s happening internationally. For now, we’re just small and local. We love our local sound and it’s cool but we’re not growing on a bigger scale. We’re still like homegrown so I just feel like we need more clubs that will specialize on the scene and we can start interacting with the world and bringing different people vice versa and local artists will start going out as well. We need to create that cultural exchange of some sort.
Do you feel that a house club would be a good means of cultural exchange or do you feel it could possibly diminish the integrity of music South Africa’s established?
Yeah, I think it will add value. What’s been established there is there. It’s not going anywhere.
We need a place where you wanna go and just listen to house music., you know? A place where you get to hear of new local DJs that you didn’t know existed, along with some international DJs you didn’t know existed as well. In that sense, everyone is growing also. Young kids who DJ, maybe even aren’t producing music at all, they’re just DJs and at this point and there’s no place like that here because the venues are booking established acts for business. So there’s no home for house, but I want to change that.
Would you say then that as a successful DJ, it’s more important than ever to show off budding local talent from the homeland if the chance is given?
Extremely, extremely. This is all I do all the time. The music that I play most of it is music from directly unknown DJs. Some of them have no recording deals or anything. So I’m always looking for stuff to play. Actually, one of the DJs were bringing for the closing, his name is Enoo Napa. He’s like one of those DJs who has been releasing music with no record deal yet, but has literally been dominating my sets this summer. Then I proposed let’s bring him and this is his first trip overseas.
Along the way, I’ve wanted to pick up those young ones that I feel like have potential. But it mustn’t only end with Hï. I was in Berlin playing at Watergate and they have this party called Rise. And it’s literally about playing Afro-House music and they will have South African DJs playing with the locals from Berlin and I was saying to them, ‘I want to be able to take that party to South Africa so we can start doing the same exchange. ‘This month we bring two Germans the following month we take two South Africans to Germany.’
An exchange residency, in a sense.
Yeah! This is how I feel it’s going to go! If we can do it with Rise, we can do it with Djoon in Paris, and someone else in Japan and start doing collaborations. Bringing a Japanese DJ in Angola on Friday, he goes to South Africa on Saturday. For me, I think this is how we can grow the culture. This is how we can expose people to what’s happening in the world. And those elements will grow our city locally as well.
What are three tracks that have played large roles in your rotation at Hï, and what do you think makes them work particularly well on the dance floor?
One has to be a song called “Zow Music” it’s a remix by Lalou, an African producer who lives in Geneva. It’s a European-inspired song with an Afro beat. It works so well with what I do, because that is what I try and look for in my sets. My sets are not pure African tribal,you know. I try and borrow from both European and African worlds to keep it very unique. Because of the sets I’m starting to play with these elements, even back home, the producers are starting to understand the sound that crosses over. Some producers are young and they only know South Africa, their dream is to eventually grow and start doing shows outside and being recognized outside as well. I try and play music that connects those two worlds. This song is one of those songs.
Another one that’s been very strong is by Da Capo called “Resistance,” featuring Renee Thompson. I can’t really explain this one. I think it’s in the vocal approach and how it’s produced, how Da Capo worked his magic on the rhythm of this one.
A third one I can think of is, its a South African song, by Styx & Bones that is remixed by Manu. The song is called “Amasoon?.” The song is also on another level. Manu is originally from South Africa but he lives in France so he understands you know that bridge I was talking about also. Most of the music he creates, its a reflection of who he is, an African man who lives in France. These are the songs that I can say have been very strong on the sets at Hï.
What sorts of things are in line for Black Coffee for end of year/next year?
Because of the tour I’ve been really, really struggling on production work. I think that’s one thing I would like to establish, not given a single, but be to be able to get back into the groove. It’s always a complex thing for me to work in production. But once I start I get into that loop you know. So I’m expected to release a single on Ultra by the end of the year. But first, I mean the goal for me is to get back into production work and start working.
From what I understand, South Africa has so much value in albums themselves, are you still planning to continue creating albums as your body of work?
Yeah! Yeah, I’m working on an album to release possibly February or March next year. So lazily I have I been having ideas down. I think of this one song I did with an artist from London called Tom Misch. Very young, very, very talented kid. We were talking about working and so we went to the studio last month and did something. So far that’s the only song that has direction!
Even last night I was working on it so the whole idea by the end of February or March I release an album.
Sounds like something we can look towards that’ll be intersecting various styles with South Africa.
Yes, but also the world. My idea with this album is I wanna go across all genres. I’ve done a song with Burna Boy from Nigeria and a song with Swizz Beats and that’s the kind of album I want, someone you wouldn’t expect on a Black Coffee album. *Laughs* You know. Like guys from the world, have a Pharrell… if I can find a Pharrell. That’s the kind of an album I want, it’s not just, you know, more, more dance and techno based it’s everything that I’m inspired to do at the moment. Slow-tempo, mid-tempo, up-tempo, doesn’t matter.