As dance floors have started to fill back up post-pandemic, fans have been clamoring to see Junior Vasquez take his rightful space in the DJ booth above the dance floor. Vasquez acolytes everywhere are now getting their wish as the famed nightlife icon heads to Quantum in Brooklyn on May 6th, 2023 for the aptly titled event, Together Again. I sat down with Junior to talk about his post-pandemic perspective, his current relationship with a certain pop icon, and ultimately, what he wants his legacy to truly be.
Michael Cook: It’s been a while since we’ve spoken and even longer since your fans got another quintessential Junior Vasquez event. They are finally getting that with Together Again on May 6th at Quantum. What is it like to be back?
Junior Vasquez; I’m doing well. I’ve had a long rest, but now I am ready to be back. I’m actually going to be back in a real DJ booth and a club that is really a club, so I am really excited. I did play there once before, but I am glad to be back. The club is awesome; I think they have redone some of the video screens as well, so I am really excited about this gig. I haven’t done anything this big since COVID actually.
MC: What is is like to return to the booth since the pandemic?
JV: It’s incredible. It’s what I do and it’s who I am. Doing it this way is really exciting for me.
MC: How much of a challenge was COVID for you as a performer and what has changed now?
JV: I was sure to get totally vaccinated, definitely. I don’t go out that much, so I didn’t have to worry about that. I take care of myself and my health is really good, so I got through it.
MC: What can everyone expect back at Together Again on May 6th? People are already anticipating what they will hear and the surprises that you may drop for them on the dance floor…
JV: Well I think that I have a surprise performer, I’m not going to say who it is just yet. There will be a screen behind me with montages and photos of things that I have done. I’ll be playing new remixes that I have just done, including Whitney Houston. That is what I expect. I don’t expect it to be over-packed, but just the right amount of people there. My parties are definitely all walks of life; gay, straight, whatever. I am hoping that all of my past tribe will show up, I am sure that they will. I think that the club is ready for me, I am ready for the club, and I am ready for the whole event!
MC: Wait-you’re going to be premiering a brand-new Whitney Houston remix at Together Again? Any way you could tell me the name of the single we’re going to hear?
JV: I don’t know if I can do that…okay I can. “I Wanna Dance With Somebody”. From the movie soundtrack. She’s my girl….
MC: I am sure you have seen the way that Kevin Aviance has truly stepped into the spotlight and gotten the flowers that he so rightly deserves. During the days of Arena when he was leading runways on the dance floor, did you see that star power in him at that time?
JV: I did. I actually put him up on that stage. Kevin is an Aviance, and I am an Extravaganza, but in the House of Vogue. We connected; those houses had a DJ and I was voted in for their DJ. Basically with Kevin, he has come a very long way and I think he pulled it together a lot right after COVID as well, as far as I’m concerned. I am so happy for everything he does now and I hope he keeps doing well-because I love him.
MC: It’s great seeing ballroom and house get recognition from people like Beyonce?. This is arguably the first time that vogueing, house anthems, and the ballroom scene in general have gotten this kind of recognition since Madonna did it with Shep Pettibone and the landmark anthem “Vogue”.
JV: Yeah, and I’m gonna bring that back that night. I have ideas for that also, for the runway!
MC: Has Quantum truly rolled out the red carpet for you to make that evening magical?
JV: Doc (Quantum owner) and Atom (Production Manager) are really doing a great job also. That is where I am comfortable as well, it needs to be in the exact right position. Sometimes I would have to move my arms out too far or too high, but there it is perfect. They have a front panel that goes up and down that you can put flat or at an angle, like I had at Sound Factory. Quantum has really rolled out the red carpet for me and I really appreciate it.
MC: When you step into a booth anywhere in the world, does everything that you have done in your career come rushing back to you?
JV: Oh yes; yes! I am going ten pm to four am, and we may go later. That is a short event for me to play, I am usually the twelve to thirteen hour DJ so I have to squeeze a lot into that time. I am starting an hour early, so when they come out I will have something playing. I don’t want an “entrance”, but I am going to be there and it makes it more fun to see me in my element.
MC: Is there anyone out there spinning right now that reminds you of yourself in those iconic days?
JV: Angel Moraes is one of them, Angel is really, really good. Victor (Calderone) and Danny (Tenaglia) are probably two, they came up at the same time. I like to go hear them because they are different.
MC: During our last conversation, you were ready willing and open to work with Madonna once again, who you famously remixed with the track “If Madonna Calls”. Have you heard from her as of yet?
JV: No, but she did dance to “If Madonna Calls” recently. She is just doing her thing, she has been like that since day one with Shep Pettibone and everyone else. I sent her flowers for Pride with a note, but did not hear back.
MC: Do you ever look back on doing “If Madonna Calls” and have any regrets, thinking that maybe if you had not done it, your relationship with her would have been fleshed out differently?
JV: No, no regrets at all. After I did a couple mixes of it, other people have remixed it also so it’s not going away. That is what Madonna and I have done together. It’s the same thing as the Sound Factory, her dancers, and her voguing scene. I don’t regret doing it; but I am the same way as her so if someone had sent me flowers, I would have thought “oh”….
MC: What do you want to tell people that they are guaranteed to get at Together Again?
JV: Well they’re going to get drama, a different sound. I am not going to go back too far, but it will be eclectic as far as music. They are going to see me at work, which is what they missed. For me, it’s great for me to be doing it, for my tribe.
MC: Could we see you this year for New York Pride perhaps?
JV: We have some things percolating for Pride….
MC: Do you ever look back on your career and think of what you want your legacy to be? What do you want it to be?
JV: Arena. That hit the high note for me; that was a high note. It was a year and it had a fabulous ending, with the last night and everything. I will probably be remembered for that. I was like a god up in that third tier, and I just had that connection. I got to rule that dance floor and that club for that year and it was wonderful.
Follow Junior Vasquez on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ djjuniorvasquez/?hl=en
For tickets and info on Together Again at Quantum in Brooklyn on May 6th check out the website: https://ra.co/events/1681308