Words by Megan Martin
This is Lauren Flax. She’s small and smiley. She’s got dark hair that falls over her eyes and it sticks to her forehead in the New York summer humidity.
“You’re catching me at a funny time [in New York].” She giggles, “After being in Europe DJing for a month, my eyes have been opened…” City life has been good to Flax, she’s established a credibility and a huge following in the New York party scene, as well as in Chicago and parts of Europe. And somehow, she’s managed to balance sweetness with bad assness.
Flax is walking quickly down N 5th in Brooklyn in tight red pants and white shoes that she bought at a military store in London (“Only 15 pounds!”) Nothing about her—from her blackberry she holds close by at all times to her homemade tattoos to her soft voice and big brown eyes—even whispers an air of pretentiousness. She must not be from New York.
“I’m from Detroit. I lived in city proper until I was about 10 then my parents moved us to the suburbs. That’s where I learned cuss words…”
Flax never speaks as if she’s by herself. She uses the term “we” as if she’s got a mouse in her pocket, and yet you know she’s not talking about the same person or people. “We moved to Chicago.” “We moved from the Bushwick dorms to Williamsburg.” “We were really drunk one night and snuck through a hole in the fence to be by the water.” It’s this collective spirit that makes Flax so cool.
“I just make friends everywhere I go.” It’s true. Our first introduction was through a group of guys originally from Long Island—friends since childhood, covered in tattoos, heavy drinkers, always a bit wary of outsiders—they all adore Miss Flax. And who wouldn’t? Even the club owners are happy to have her on their bills—because she brings the “we” with her. Whoever that we may be, Flax is always part of a party—either at her gigs or on what she refers to as Sunday Fundays.
Back to that first introduction, Flax plugs in her iPod to speakers that manage to stretch from a kitchen window to a Brooklyn rooftop. She starts dancing around in Nikes to her latest craze: Yacht Rock. You know it, your dad listened to it in the 80s while washing his thunderbird in the driveway with a cold one. It’s Kenny Logins, Tito, Hall and Oates and Michael McDonald. It’s ridiculous, it’s funny, and people love it.
Flax notes one show where she played Yacht Rock for three hours straight. “The dance floor was packed the whole time. I ran out of songs to play!”
In the Djing world, it’s key to be on the cutting edge. The context of this article begins months before it’s published date, and though I haven’t talked to Flax in a few weeks, I’m sure she’s jet-setting to a new kind of tune already. For Flax, it’s all about the hustle. “Hustle Harder,” is more or less her mantra for work and life.
“I almost missed my flight in Iceland at 4pm!” she laughs about her latest excursion through Europe. Running through the airport, she tripped over herself only to fall and chuck her blackberry at the front desk woman.
“I got to London and had to go straight to my next gig. I puked right when I was supposed to go on at 12:30am and then just kept drinking.”
That’s Flax, and I suppose, that’s the Hustle.
Lauren Flax’s Play List of Firsts
First 5 at a Yacht Rock Party
Gerry Rafferty “Baker Street”
Carly Simon “You Belong to Me”
Kenny Loggins “This Is It”
Steely Dan “Hey Nineteen”
First 5 After Puking in a London Toilet
Nightcrawlers “Push the Feeling On”
Mu “Paris Hilton”
Le Knight Club “Santaclaus”
SLUTT “Stop Copying Me”
First 5 When You Bring Home a Hottie
DJ Assault “Ass + Titties”
DJ Funk “Shake That Ass”
DJ Deeon “Let Me Bang”
R Kelly “Feelin’ on your Booty (Jitset mix)
George Michael “Careless Whisper