House in the Daytime, House in the Nighttime
This weekend the House party promotion group CÂTÉ is hosting Legendary House DJ Paul Johnson & CZBoogie of 5 Magazine at Humble Bar in Humbolt Park. Supporting DJs will be DSC and Lito. This group is relatively new, though their members are long-time members of the House community. The CÂTÉ launch party was held earlier this month on March 12th showcasing DJs Psycho Bitch, Teri Bristol and T Mixwell. I caught up with one of the four founding members of CÂTÉ for a quick chat about the group, their events, and House music.
Lauren Ignited: For those that are new, tell me about CÂTÉ and your involvement in the group.
Antoine Simpson aka “House Head Speaks” aka “H2S”: There are four members and we call ourselves the “Family of 4.” We handle every aspect of the organization. As far as my role, I hire the guest DJs for our events, co-host our events and use my social media network to promote the events.
LI: Tell me more about what will be taking place at the April 2nd event, We are Family, We are House.
AS: The name of this event is: We are Family, We are House. This is our motto. We are inviting top headliners and established DJs/Producers to play at our spot in Humboldt Park called Humble Bar. The place is located at 3018 W North Ave. There is no cover and free parking is available. Our guests will be the Legendary Paul Johnson along with Czboogie of 5 Magazine. In addition, our residents DSC and Lito will kick start the party and hosted by Divine MzE and yours truly, Antoine H2S. We expect a great turnout and hope our House Heads will support this event and know why we exercise the 3 elements of House: Love, Unity and Having Fun.
LI: What track(s) are you secretly hoping that Paul Johnson or CZBoogie will play?
AS: Paul Johnson is always working on hot new tracks to keep the dance floor packed. As long as he plays and enjoys our event, I am happy. Czboogie is someone who I love and respect. I always look forward to seeing which new track she plays, and it usually becomes my favorite. She’s amazing that way.
LI: When was your first exposure to House music? Were you hooked from the first beat?
AS: When I fell in love with House Music, I was 18 years old. I went to Jenal’s for the first time and was hooked: the music, the dancers, the women, the fashion. I knew I wanted to be part of it and worked my way towards that goal. I started as a dancer and became a choreographer. Years passed and in July 2011 House Head Speaks was created. I wanted to give my thoughts and feelings about the House Community. It went from a tiny blog to a social media network. In addition, I had an online radio show called H2S On-live: Chicago House Experience in 2012. The first station was with Electronic Rhythm which was based in NYC. The other was with UnderGroundHouse.tv. Through UGHTV, I broadcast a monthly show as well as broadcast an event called House of Sol. Due to my battle with Bell’s Palsy, I had to give up the show and stop blogging last year. Today, I am a co-founder of C.A.T.E Enterprise and use my H2S social media network as part of CÂTÉ. My place in the House Music scene spans over 3 decades.
LI: What do you admire about the Chicago House scene?
AS: No matter what happens to you, you have the support of your fellow House Heads. When I was struck with Bell’s Palsy, I thought my world was over. I had to step out of the scene for awhile to take better care of myself. I decided to informed my followers about what happened and how I was doing. The response was heartfelt. That changed everything for me. I made an appearance at some of the major events last summer. Everyone who read my posts were happy to see me out and about. It felt good to know how important you are to this scene. I was back home. I am still recovering from Bell’s Palsy but I am thrilled to once again be part of the House scene. It’s who I am.
LI: You also have another event in the works. Tell me more about the inspiration behind House Comes to Humboldt Park, how people can be involved and what they can expect at each monthly event.
AS: Our House Comes to Humboldt Park event was created for one of our family members who has lived there for many years. We also noticed this historic neighborhood has dealt with a lot of bad press. We are mostly concerned with the possible gentrification of Humboldt Park. I watched first hand the impact gentrification has had in neighborhoods like Logan Square, Bucktown and Wicker Park. The Humboldt Park neighborhood has a strong Puerto Rican history that is second to none. We want to assist in strengthening the neighborhood and at the same time bring unity to that community through House Music. We want to send a message to the neighborhood that we care and we want to help however we can. Our first event will be May 28th at the Humboldt Park Fieldhouse. We have Bassment Tape Records duo Louie Gomez and Jesse Rivera along with Alex Mr. Latin House from Slammin’ Saturdays. The party runs from 1pm to 6pm. The residents are C.A.T.E duo of DSC and Lito. If anyone would like to assist us, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or message us on our Facebook page.
LI: What else should we know?
AS: We will have 2 more events in the Fieldhouse this summer: one on July 9th and the other in September (date TBA). Our We are Family, We are House events at Humble Bar will run in June, August, October and so on. In other words, throughout the summer we will host a daytime event in one month and a nighttime event in the other. We plan on expanding our brand in other cities. April 16th one of our family members, DSC, will spin at a private loft party in Minneapolis, MN. This will set the tone to showcase events outside of Chicago. We have other things set in motion but for now we will keep those on the back burner till the time comes. We will continue to build our brand and showcase the 3 elements of House. We invite all DJs/Producers and House Heads to come out to our events and show your love and support. Those of you who are wondering what happened to HouseHeadSpeaks? I decided to make it a part of C.A.T.E Enterprise and use its social media as a platform to get the word out. Will I ever blog again? You never know. For now, I am pleased with my position and making us a household name in the community. “We Are Family; We Are House.”