On October 3rd, the little party that could celebrates TWO YEARS at the infamous POWERHOUSE.
Blake Blackwell chats with Ky Martinez about the HOUSE PARTY scene and the future of this bumpin’ little monthly get together.
What inspired you to start HOUSE PARTY? I felt there was something missing in SF on a Friday night. I wanted to start a party that really served up something different. My vision was to find a venue that we could actually transform into a large living room and allow people to let loose to some amazing house music. Essentially creating an experience that really felt like a house party.
What brought you to Powerhouse and how did they work with you to bring your vision to life? Two years ago I was pitching a few ideas for new parties to several different bars. Scott Peterson (manager at Powerhouse) loved the HOUSE PARTY idea and we immediately started throwing ideas at each other. The Powerhouse staff have been a second family to me for years so I was really excited to be working with them. We felt it was a perfect place that we could actually transform each month.
Was there any push back or obstacles when you first started? We did have some feedback in the beginning that this kind of party would never make it at Powerhouse. Some people felt that out style and music wouldn’t be accepted at a bar like Powerhouse. But we set out to prove them wrong. We wanted to impress the regulars but to also get a whole crowd of new people to start coming to Powerhouse who might have never been there before or felt that the Powerhouse was too extreme for them.
How did Guy Ruben become your resident DJ? Did you beg him or did he beg you for the spot? <laughs> Guy was the DJ for the party that we supplanted. I had worked with Guy before and have always enjoyed his style and his professionalism. Once the idea was pitched and accepted then I went to Guy to explain what kind of party and atmosphere I wanted. He really fell in love with the idea from the start. I had a very particular sound I wanted so from the beginning and even now Guy and I have worked closely on the sound and vibe. We are constantly sending each other new tracks for the party and tossing around new ideas almost daily. I can’t even imagine this party without Guy. Scott and Guy have been the perfect partners since day 1.
HOUSE PARTY has always been about the people, the vibe, and the music, but what about the charitable side? I know you didn’t just throw a party without wanting to give something back. Charitable work has been a big part of my life since I was very young. Any party that I throw will always have a charitable side. Many people don’t even know that we donate each month. For the first year we were donating to a different charity each month. This second year we have donated to Folsom Folsom events most of the time. Folsom Events has been a perfect partner to make sure our donations go to local charities. They are always so grateful for every dollar we donated. Over the past two years into we have donated around $12,000 to local charities. We donate a large portion of the door, all the funds from jello shots and even all coat check funds are donated. We are so proud of the popularity that HOUSE PARTY has gained but all the money we raise really put the cherry on top.
Where do you see the party going over the next year? Any big surprises we can look forward to? I know you haven’t stopped thinking up new and interesting ways to blow peoples minds. Our two year anniversary is coming up next month on Friday Oct 3rd. We plan on taking things to a whole new level. We have some new furniture coming in and a brand new look for the walls. We have some special editions planned as well … we are constantly playing around with themes but at the same time keeping with the vibe of the party. We are an underground party so it’s important for us keep evolving but also to not change the concept too much. We are lucky enough that people love the party so much that they are constantly giving us ideas. We have had some people ask us to take the party bigger but for us having this party at Powerhouse is exactly what we were going for. Taking the party to a bigger venue would take away all that underground vibe we have worked so hard to create.
You’re amazing and all but I know you didn’t do this all by yourself. Who has been your supporting cast or were you always just the front man? <grin> I may have been the creator of HOUSE PARTY but it wouldn’t be the party it is if I didn’t have such an amazing relationship with Guy Ruben and Scott Peterson. However, when you really break it down, the real backbone of the party is my husband Juan Martinez and our two hosts Mohammad Vahidy and Johnathan Lay. As the host of the party they are constantly promoting and are there every month making sure everyone is having an amazing time. I’m so lucky and thankful to have them hosting, they really help us take it to the next level. For our 2 year anniversary BeBe Sweetbriar will be performing and Johnathan will be producing and choreographing the show. Not to mention both Johnathan and Mohammad will be the back up dancer. We are all super excited about this performance and can’t wait for everyone to see what we have in store for the next year.
HOUSE PARTY happens at Powerhouse the FRIST FRIDAY of Each Month.