Usually happy endings are the conclusion of a Disney story or the result of an extra special massage but five years ago Fortune Sound Club needed to make a Friday event that would stick and be well known not only in the city but by all the artists that played it from around the world. A clubs most important night are on the weekends but Fortune wanted to bring something different to the Friday night life in Vancouver, they didn’t want to do what everyone else was doing nor did they want to slighting be different but go so far left field that it’d be out of bounds. With that they booked artists that were rising with fresh sounds along with already well known DJ’s that pushed the envelope and stretch the idea of what is meant to be played on a Friday club night. We got to chat with Gman & Cherchez La Femme about the beginnings of the club and night plus where they’d like it to go and everything in between. Enjoy our chat below and keep in mind this was a conversation and interview that just could not be short in anyway possible.
1. How did Happy Ending Fridays get started? How did it come out?
GMAN: When Fortune opened Rizk took care of Saturday nights while I took care of Fridays. Rizk had his dream for his night and I had mine. Mine was catering a night towards art, fashion, skateboarding, quality music & everything that interested me therefore Happy Ending Fridays started. Natasha started collaborating on specific nights at first NATASHA: Well I was in the art scene and really liked Fortune and the Fridays and hooked up with you (Gman) and asked if I could bring some art show guests for some events and GMAN said yes. I had this one idea to do a t-shirt art show that was going to be for a local community t-shirt brand and give back to a girls rock camp charity GMAN: So yeah, I have a very demanding day job and I wasn’t getting any younger and Natasha would come in with these great ideas for the scene which was awesome so we started collaborating together on this. It would be like “oh i’ve got a fashion show idea and she be like I got an art show idea” and then it was like “hey why don’t you come on once a month?”. And then I can’t really remember when it was but a couple of years ago I guess I sort of planned this retirement party and the only person that I could think of out of everybody in the 20 years in the game that i’ve known to takeover was Tash as she had really proved herself and I loved working with her. I was like “Tash i’m gonna pass the torch to you, to take over this night” but at the end of the day I don’t know how much I’ve really retired because we work together on the night pretty hard NATASHA: It’s really really fun because I like to be able to collaborate with good people. GMAN: You’ve seen a lot of the stuff but man there is like 10-20 angles to the night sometimes. It’s not like we’re just hiring DJ’s and opening the doors. For example for our Anniversary there are mixes, a t-shirt release, a drawing party in the livestock room that Tash put together, Lil India ‘s doing a karaoke party, we’ve got you guys and the Winnie Cooper crew doing the middle floor then we’ve got Falcons and 16 other DJ’s and birthday parties. It’s so layered, it’s such a beast everytime that it’s just so much work then the event happens but we’re already working on the next 10 of them, it’s a constant hamster wheel that you’re kind of running on and to be honest I did really want to retire because I have a massive day job and family and it gets very tiring to do both but realistically, but Tash kept me in it because there is so much cool stuff that I don’t wanna miss. Whether it’s a certain DJ or producer or certain event or particular art show it’s really motivated me to come out and I think Tash too. I think we just really like working together that much.
How did the Happy Ending Fridays name come about?
NATASHA: Oh the name is genius but I don’t really know that part hahaha GMAN: Everybody wants a Happy Ending right? I have always appreciated good flyer art. If you look at our flyers it’s new every week. It’s an expense. I had this rad artist Randy Laybourne who was doing the creative. We had this sneaky spy guy with a trench coat and it had all of these splatters on it which might of looked like jizzy…just weird stuff. Our latest flyers have been Tasha’s connection with Falcons NATASHA: Well, Falcons came up to Vancouver to go to design school and he started getting into music and i started getting him gigs and I just wanted one of my friends doing the design. GMAN: Yeah see I didn’t know he was doing design I just thought he did music so I was like “Oh shit he’s a dope graphic artist too, he’s got a really good eye for design and he came with the latest concepts that have since been taken by our homies Sam, Jesse and Spencer…a group effort”
GMAN: When I started the concept it was that any genre of people that would come into that night and enjoy the music. “skater” “hip-hop head” “beat head” “hipster” “artist” “weekend mainstream” etc. We wanted to hit off everybody, but with quality music. We’re the one night that could go from RnB to Indy Dance to David Bowie to Falcons to Dancehall to Future to Hip-Hop to Trap to this to that to House music to whatever and that’s the beauty of the night. It’s that you never know what specific genre you’re going to hear. When Tash entered I think she really took the concept and even took that to another level NATASHA: I think with that I definitely had the same formula in the sense that we got close friends or people that we developed friendships with or DJ’s through the years. I was just meeting new talent, producers and Dj’s over the internet and developing friendships with before they even had agents we would bring them to the night. GMAN: I’m looking at our list of our past guests and it really blows me away. I don’t think there is any club night in the city in the history of Vancouver that has brought this many world renowned acts each week. Sometimes we experiment like “Ok let’s bring in DJ XXXX” and it’s kind of “Oh shit that was a little left field for the crowd but our crowd is just so rad that they kind of stay and dance to anything. We do know when we have to pull it back in, we’ll try not to do three weekends in a row that has music that’s going to go to the left field. NATASHA: I think what is important for us is we really take into consideration to the fans and the people that come and we can capture. Whether you’re a skateboarder or a hip hop head or a girl into fashion or your into new music and also the artist. A lot these artists are coming and playing a party with 500-600 people and like I said when they first start out. We brought Carmack & Djemba… they didn’t have agents, they weren’t playing big shows and just to come and have that experience and it makes it international. Fortune, HEF it’s international, it’s world renown. People come there, no matter who you are, whether you’re a big photographer or a producer and people stay with us and their loyal and i mean.. just to be able to give those opportunities not only the people that come every week but the artist, it’s really really important.. it’s to take those chances in a lot of places people would not take the chance. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t. You find out that “OK, crowd is not really into Juke or Footwork” but then you find out that they’re really into Carmack and then Carmack will come back even if he’s a lot bigger but we just booked him in December and he was just going on a three month tour and just came back from Brazil but when we heard it was Fortune and Friday he wanted to come. GMAN: It’s the energy and the vibe really.. and then those DJ’s start talking to their homies. It is different, we’re bringing DJ’s that haven’t been brought before so at times you’re taking a risk on it. You’re paying to fly people in, immigration, hotels, food. Some of these artists ain’t cheap to bring in. Sometimes you just gotta say fuck it let’s just try it. NATASHA: We believe to take those chances and I think it’s atmosphere. GMAN says I don’t want anyone NOT on the stage partying. I want everyone to feel welcome. Sometimes there’s weed in the air or there’s people crowd surfing. We’re not trying to be constrictive to anybody. If you wanna have some ideas you’re welcome to do it. Make your dreams happen GMAN: One of the things when we started Fortune was we just wanted to be as close to a house party as we could be and take you outside of that club setting. We also have a bunch of unique rooms that we can open and get creative with. It takes a lot of time to fill everyone of those rooms. To do something in the Special Projects Space or in the Karaoke room or the Livestock Room. It’s great Natasha has so many creative ideas. It just keeps me motivated because new ideas are coming out all the time. NATASHA: What’s important is that no one ever says no and that’s what’s collaborative about it. We don’t do it to be cool. We just do it because we have these ideas that we want to vibe off people. Like Winnie Cooper & Friends if you wanna do that you’re welcome to do it. It’s a creative space and I really feel it’s pioneered how to work with an event venue. Treating it as a gallery and treating it as a space. GMAN: We’ve been doing fashion shows, art shows, video premiers, performances, fanzine release, pop up shops, barber contests, drawing parties. So many weirdo different things. You have to come up with exciting stuff that makes ME want to go out and that makes Tash wanna go out to the night. When we’re still motivated and staying excited about the night then it’s like I feel the consumer public out there, the community will want the same thing. NATASHA: The thing too is that it’s been around for five years which a lot of other nights fold and we’re not doing gimmicks, everybody is welcome. I’ve seen people that i feel we attract are super similar to us either their artists, skateboarders or into fashion or they’re really into music and those are the best. There are so many amazing kids like yourself, Lechvnce, Mario, Christine.. all of these rad kids. They come and get to be creative with us and I love our crowd, I think our crowd is super suuuuper amazing. GMAN: We also wanna thank the team the help us every year, it’s not even just us… there are so many people like yourself and Winnie Cooper and our Sponsors and clothing brands and all the people that help us. It’s really so much work that we need everybody helping out with this night, this night is kind of everybody’s night to help out. If you’ve got ideas out there hit Natasha or myself up and we can execute your dreams and ideas. We just put up an event yesterday thinking “wouldn’t it be cool if we would be drinking and do drawings in the club. GMAN: Or it’s like you XXXX. You’ve been working for us for a while came to us with “Hey I kinda wanna do this idea, what do you guys think?” and now this is our second installment of Winnie Cooper & Friends right? “And the last one was dope with Godmode” NATASHA: Yeah XXXX it was awesome.
Do you have a personal favorite shows?
NATASHA: Carmack & Djemba and so many other its hard to name em all
GMAN: One of my favorite dudes right now musically, production wise and the mixes he puts out is Falcons, which is why he is playing this Friday. Pomo is dope. Hoodboi always delivers. Then our local Dj’s kill it too I mean…Natasha, Klash Akt, LeChance, Yurie, Expendable Youth, Dr. Seiz, Rich-A, The Freshest, Christian Flores, Killing Time, Chapel Sound etc
What would be your dream Happy Ending Fridays?
NATASHA: Jamie xx hahaha
GMAN: Grimes DJ set would be awesome haha
Where do you see the night going?
NATASHA: What I want to do is keep expanding it, I wanna just get more people on the team and build. I’d like to start a record label with it and maybe start a magazine and just kind of start doing more stuff like that. Redifining the art spaces.
GMAN: It’s such a unique thing, you can’t kind of go too far ahead because it’s such an evolving thing. You kind of are going as it goes you gotta understand that five years ago when we started this if people were 20 when they were coming now they’re 25, if people were 25 they’re 30 now. People change, there are people who still come religiously since then, there’s people that get married, people get a boyfriend or girlfriend, people that move away from the city…but come back on a Friday and we got you! NATASHA: I think too with some of our friends that come, like Michelle from Antisocial when she’s going out she’ll come and actually friends and people who you wouldn’t think would make it out. Sometimes you think “Oh this isn’t your kind of scene” but it is for everyone… those are the people that I love. The people in the city that actually work to make the city better and are also creative. I think that’s the direction continuing to go on and that’s what I love because it keeps getting more and more creative with people in the venue. People aren’t there just to get a Facebook profile pic or whatever, i’m just seeing more and more creative people coming out and sharing ideas and vibing.
Thanks a bunch to Gman & Cherchez for their time and joy they have brought to the city with this very special night. Join us tonight for the fifth anniversary that will be including locals Yurie, Cherchez, Gman, LeChance, Rich-A, Dr. seiz, Trizzy Mane, Robert Morton, Christian Flores, Expendable Youth, Eli Muro, DJ SadGirl, Jade Statues, Hrvy, JSPH, Lil India and of course Falcons. Click here for more info on the event and stream an exclusive mix Falcons made specifically for this memorable night below!
Posted by @Hernandizzle